Well, after two days of designing and assembling, and a two day firing, at 5:00 yesterday morning I eagerly opened the kiln to find my piece had oodles of cracks and fractures. Zounds! Not good!
Not to sound saccharine, but that's okay. I am pretty sure I know what went wrong, so this was an instructive failure. And I can salvage some of the glass for future pieces. As well, I can see that some of my design ideas didn't work out as I had hoped, and I think I can execute more successfully next time. And I get to buy more glass!
Here's a picture of the largest cracks...double oops!