The potter picks the greenware pot off the shelf and stacks it in the kiln. There have been many difficult times of cleaning, wedging, stretching, and drying. But now comes the very worst of it: the pot is flung into the blazing furnace. Hot. Very hot. Impossibly hot. The kiln heats the pot to about a thousand degrees Fahrenheit. The fire is hot, and the fire is dangerous. But after it is fired, the pot is smaller, lighter, and much, much stronger. The firing process heats the clay so hot that a permanent change takes place; it will no longer dissolve in water. The process isn’t easy or comfortable, but the clay pot is not good for anything until it is transformed by fire.