Keith, you sound like a pro already!!
I used to do a lot of pendants, so I would definitely recommend firing them separately.
Also, you mentioned Thinfire. I used to use Thinfire, but if you’re firing pendants, I would recommend shying away from Thinfire, and using kiln wash. I always thought that kiln wash was a real pain, but I found that the Thinfire was causing a gray haze on the edges of my pendants. If you are cutting the pieces with a glass cutter, and have sharp broken edges on the glass, it’s most likely not a problem. But if you are grinding anything, or cutting with a tile saw, the Thinfire paper seems to get into the ground “pores” on the edge of the pendants and cause a problem, especially with full-fused pendants. I’ve experimented and tried with and without Thinfire, and I got the best results by not using it. But I was also building slabs of dichro with Tekta over it, cutting on a tile saw, then firing in batches (cost effective if you’re selling them!)
Again, if it’s cut edges, not a problem.
If you choose to go the kiln wash route, I could usually fire 2-4 times without recoating. I just kept the bucket of Bullseye kiln wash and a haik brush near the kiln. When it started to show cracking on the surface, I would scrape it off with a wide razor paint scraper (don’t forget to wear breathing protection), then recoat. When I do plates, though, I use both a fiber blanket and Thinfire…I’ve never had a problem with bubbles since I started using that combination.
A picture would be helpful, and please let us know how your experimentation turns out!