word of the day:
kiln dread (/kɪl, kɪln dred/) adjective. Describes the fear, apprehension, and extreme reluctance potter's feel before opening their kilns after a glaze firing.
I have my ways of avoiding bad firings. I never load a kiln when I'm tired, in a huge hurry and stressed out, or have been drinking. When I'm programming the kiln, I make sure my attention is 100% focused on what I'm doing. If I have any feelings that a piece is not quite right, I don't load it until I have time to double check it. And I make deals and beg with god. Despite all of this, every once in a while I look at a cooling kiln and I think, "I do not want to know what's in there". One time, I accidentally programmed my kiln to hold at cone 5 for 13 hours instead of 13 minutes. Talk about major kiln dread.