Just realized I never showed a pic of this final box/vessel. I believe this may be what I will put together for a 'how-to' article. There are some tiny (not noticeable) changes that I'll make, and this one may be headed for reclaim, but you get the idea.
I've started experimenting with sterling boxes as opposed to fine silver. I dropped Charlie's tooth box the other day and got a slight dent on it. The sterling is soooo much harder, so I may use that going forward. I made a sterling one yesterday, also destined for re-claim, and it all turned out as it should have, more or less. I've got some tweaks to consider.
All of this experimentation is getting expensive. All I can do is offer up hundreds of dollars to the clay gods and call it learning. If I think about it, I would spend more taking a class, with fees, transport (air fair!), hotel, etc. This way, I'm perfecting my processes, which will allow me to make much nicer pieces in the future. Some of the costs will also be recouped by teaching. I only feel comfortable teaching a process or medium if I have figured out the ins, outs, strengths, weaknesses and limitations. I believe the only way to do this is to create, then try to destroy...
To that end, I took the box that I made yesterday and threw it on the ground a number of times, with no dents apparent. The peace of mind this gives me is worth the money. When I'm selling my pieces for $100's, I need to know that they will hold up.
We'll see what the future holds for sterling boxes.