So I recently had a situation, where a student project had a defect during a firing, the thing is, it went according to my plan.
In other topics, there have been discussions of accidentally breaking a student's project, but have you ever damaged a student's project (for whatever reason) on purpose?
I'll start. There have been a few projects over the years, where I questioned their intended use. So I'd make some alterations pre-bisque, like small holes or "cracks" Also I just don't allow any small bowl type object, with notches in the top. I'll tell the students to get rid of them. If they don't, I'd take a fettling knife to the pieces, and I am not careful, or neat about it.
In regards to the project, that inspired this topic, I had a student make a nice coil pot. It had some nice additive elements, and the student put a lot of time, both into the building and glazing. However, the student kept asking odd questions, that made it sound like they wanted to use the pot. The project isn't meant to create functional wares. The project in question, would not be functional, for any legit purpose. The student was also very adamant about me glaze firing the project. They really wanted it back. This was before the Christmas break, so I asked, if it was going to be a gift. They said no, so I inquired further about why they needed it so soon? They just said, they really wanted it. The final straw was, when a couple of the student's friends came to look at the project, with big grins on their face. I asked them why. They didn't say.
So I decided I needed to do something about it. I wasn't going to break the project, but I wanted to make it non functional, for any conceivable purpose, besides being purely decorative. So, I fired it one evening. When I came back in the next day, the kiln was still around 300 F. Not terribly hot, but probably a little too warm, to be set next to an open window, where the outside temperature is around 0 F. Sure enough I hear "ping, ping, ping". Moments later, hey look stress cracks!.....
I put the project back in the kiln, and when I unloaded the kiln during class, "Oh no, that's too bad....." I assured them, the cracks wouldn't affect their grade, and it will still look quite nice.
The student really wanted to find a way to fill the cracks. I said there weren't any. "Couldn't we put glaze in there"...NOPE! And even worse, the student asked if they could come in next term, and make another coil project. They even offered to pay for the materials. I said, no.