The Dragon Kiln



It’s funny.  I was just looking at my last post and it too was about “dragons”.  Guess you know you’re in Asia when…

My mom would love this tour!  You can be assured when she comes to visit I will be bringing her here to Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle (home of the dragon kiln).  It is called the dragon kiln because it does resemble a dragon.  It is built on a slight incline with the mouth at the bottom and the tail at the top.  The belly is filled with local artist pottery and only fired 2-3 times a year.  There are only 2 remaining in Singapore with one being operational.

Thow Kwang Dragon Kiln was built in 1940 and is one of the oldest surviving brick-built kilns in Singapore for wood firing.  The pots are engulfed in a river of fire and the ashes reach with glaze to produce unpredictable colours and textures, producing unique pieces unlike firing by gas and electric kilns.

The big draw to this particular tour was that they were going to be firing up the dragon.  In typical Singaporean fashion, things don’t always happen the way we plan.  When we arrived we were told that the firing would be that evening (which would have made for some great photos) and not that morning as originally planned.  Oh well, life goes on and more time to SHOP!  This place was HUGE!!!  Pots, vases, bowls, statues, etc were everywhere.  I had one item in mind to purchase, an umbrella holder.  I searched through thousands of pots looking for just the right one.  In the end, I settled on a larger vase that is just going to have to double for an umbrella stand until I can find one that I like.

Although I didn’t witness the dragon awaken, I was fascinated by yet  another piece of Singapore’s historic art and culture.