My kiln is firing today, (no, that’s not a photo of the process, it’s a campfire) turning all those little fragile clay bowls into something akin to stone.  There is a strange weight of responsibility resting on the shoulders of potters.  The intense heat of the kiln (2,000+ degrees fahrenheit) liquifies and bonds the silica in clay, creating an incredibly hard material.  Potentially the pots I fire today could be intact a thousand years from now.