I have been reading Katheen Standen's book 'Additions to Clay Bodies'. but am wary of ruining my electric kiln by firing combustibles. Can anyone with knowledge of this book or the techniques described comment on this?
I have had 11 years of fire science and 24 years of primitive pottery. Paper, an organic material, burns at 451 degrees.
Hence the movie 451 Farenheit, I think it was about the Nazis mass burning of books. So, I'm thinking that pre-heating combustibles in a oven up to 500
degrees would only make it carbon and for you to burn the organic material out would have to be in the heat range of about 800 degrees which should burn
anything organic to ash. Since ash isn't a vapor like salt or soda it should vent itself out the kiln or settle in the bottom of the kiln, not on the elements. Carbon can be deposited on pottery between 500 - 700 as the vessel is cooling down. Have you ever watched carbon burn off a very hot pot doing raku? If the pot is too hot, the organic material burns off leaving no marks, then as the vessel cools the hair or other organics leave carbon traces until the vessel cools beyond the point carbon can collect. So there is a small window of opportunity carbon can be put on vessels. But since it is carbon and carbon burns, it can be burned off and tried again if the desired effect isn't achieved.
Anyway, I don't think burning anything pertaining to organic material will hurt an electric kiln. It should and probably will smoke as the organic
material breaks down. Some independent testing may apply and since you're dealing with physics results should be constant with no variation.
Hope this sheds some insight.