Here is a small turquoise bowl that just came out of my kiln.It fits so perfectly in my hand it almost feels like a miniature. Yet it is totally functional. In fact this is the size I start out my day with, containing some yogurt or fruit.
It started out bigger than this, by almost 18% . There is quite a lot of shrinkage when firing ceramics. The first thing that goes is the moisture within the clay body itself. I like the smooth white texture and results of a porcelain clay body. Hopefully it is Very dry when I start the kiln, or it can blow up or crack. That doesn't happen too much to me now, but it can and it has. This hot dry climate of Arizona is a real boon to clay artists. Things dry quickly and well.
With the first firing there doesn't seem to be such a decrease in volume. The second firing is to a much hotter temperature, and that is when the size changes. It seems so big when I make it, then it gets down to its true size. It is then very strong with the clay inside and a glaze to make it really waterproof and decorated.
I guess that is like a lot of things in life. Something starts out very grand, and ends up more in proportion. If it is a good thing , we feel happy. If the story isn't what we anticipated, than it is not so much fun. I have the same thing each time I open my kiln. The art and surprise in both life and art.