The cup and stem were made as pinch pots. You probably tried this out in kindergarten. It looks simple, but it is actually really tricky to do well. One needs to gradually and evenly work the clay all the way around. Going too fast will render a piece with a heavily dimpled and surface and a cracked edge. Working unevenly will give you something unsymmetrical. Try it sometime!
The piece was allowed to dry and then it was loaded into a kiln for an initial firing (called a bisque firing), which heated it to a little less than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. After the bisque firing, the piece was glazed and then fired again to slightly more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes about 24 hours per firing, since the kilns have to get to temperature and then cool back down to room temperature.
I Create As I Speak: An Undergraduate Thesis Exhibition. College for Creative Studies Student Exhibition. 2015.