I have some good news, and I have some bad news. Let's start with the bad:
This pile of "dirt" happens to be what was originally an assortment of different size pyramid studs. In fact, one happened to be the bronze version of this necklace. They came out of the kiln looking pretty good (with the exception of the necklace which had fallen apart), but once I started to handle them they pretty much crumbled in my hands. I'm fairly certain the problem is that I didn't have them in the kiln for long enough, so next time I will have to do a separate firing schedule for the stud pieces.
Now for the good news:
The thinner pieces that I fired turned out just fine! I even took a hammer to them after I took them out of the kiln and they survived. The top picture is how they look straight out of the kiln and the bottom how they look after polishing.
The adventure continues.......