What is a dragon kiln? While there are no actual dragons involved, the history of a dragon kiln isn’t any less magical. Dragon kilns are traditional brick-built kilns that use wood fires to cure pottery pieces. Historically, they were essential to the ancient and now-dying art of traditional pottery, dating back to the 1950s.
While they used to be prerequisites, as industrialisation took flight, many ancient dragon kilns faced cessation and were replaced by their electric and gas counterparts.
Fortunately, for individuals who wish to experience traditional pottery, Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle is Singapore’s oldest surviving kiln. Pottery is cured using natural fire in the kiln, the flames and ashes created in the process yield unique patterns on pottery pieces that modern techniques are unable to replicate.
P.S. Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle fires up their legendary dragon kiln two to three times annually, remember to follow their Facebook page so you don’t miss updates on their upcoming firing sessions.
Dragon kiln guided tour
The traditional wood kiln was built in 1940 and the family took over in 1965, mainly using the kiln for mass production. The 80 year-old dragon kiln still sits royally, graced by its ancient culture and traditional interior.
Feast your eyes upon the exquisite art of pottery accumulated throughout the years. The package includes a full walkthrough public tour and demonstration on the potter’s wheel. However, the dragon kiln only hosts large tour groups, therefore requiring a minimum of 20 pax, priced at $18++ per person.
As the day ends off with free and easy shopping at their very own wholesale retail, don’t miss out the opportunity to purchase your very own pottery piece. Each of them are handcrafted with love by skilled artisans, making the pieces worth every penny.
Dragon kiln workshops
Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle also hosts a wide selection of workshops open to the public. Try your hand at sculpting pottery on manual turning wheels, or have a go on the potter’s wheel. As hand building workshops are open to all ages, anyone can sign up for a day of fun.
Potter Wheel workshops are slightly more advanced than hand building workshops, and would require individuals to be 13 years and above. You will learn how to throw clay on an electric turning wheel, centering and shaping until you get to the final form.
For miniature lovers, there’s also a workshop that allows you to sculpt these ‘oh-so-cute’ tiny pottery.
If you’re a beginner who is curious but worried that you may not have experience, you do not have to worry as professional and experienced trainers will be guiding alongside. All workshops are beginner-friendly. You can check out their workshop calendar here.
Paw stamping workshop
Dear paw-rents, this workshop is perfect for your precious paw babies—it’s a special workshop that you’re not able to find elsewhere, allowing you to print your pet’s paws on customised pottery pet bowls.
Nothing beats having your paw baby looking up with those adorable eyes, proudly presenting the little bowl which they contributed to.
You can book this workshop here.
P.S. Do take note that all workshops in the list will require booking in advance.
For more workshops like such, check out 15 places and workshops in Singapore to unleash your inner artist.