I am usually pretty darn patient when it comes to working with clay. But I rushed a bisque firing and this beautiful set of mugs were not totally bone dry before they were heated to 1700 degrees, resulting in the bottoms exploding off. Obviously, in the thickest part of the base of the mug there were still some moisture particles in the clay!!! I skipped a step I learned long ago in art school… if you are not certain if a piece is totally dry, hold it against your cheek and if it feels cool to the touch it is not ready to fire yet!!! Dang it… but on the bright side, look how good the handle construction held up in that little explosion considering they were all sitting on their bases in the kiln shelf and tipped over from the pressure?!?!? Still learning after 15 years of working in clay!