To me, firing my pots and sculptures is part of my art. It's an important step in my process of creation, and I derive as much satisfaction from it as I do from any other part of the process. I like being hands on with every step of working in clay; choosing it, shaping it, glazing and firing it.
I fell in love with firing clay way back in the 70's when I worked with a production potter. Production potters will often use the same clay and glazes, and fire in the same way so that they know exactly what will happen. Even so, anomalies can happen, as harnessing fire in a kiln is a bit like cooking on an open fire - results will vary based on the conditions.