Measuring 43 metres long, 2.2 metres high and 2.5 metres wide, the longest dragon kiln in Singapore was built in 1944. Dragon kilns can be as long as 100 metres.
Thow Kwang Dragon Kiln (龙窑) has a brick-built kiln constructed on a hill side with the fire box in front and side-stoking holes at the sides. During firing, the kiln resembles a recumbent dragon with fire spewing from its nostrils (fire box). The dragon kiln technology was brought to Singapore by immigrant Chinese artisans in the early 1900s.
In the old days, Thow Kwang Dragon Kiln was fired every fortnightly to meet the demand for latex cups needed by the rubber plantations in the Jalan Bahar area. Pipes and household items like water containers, flower pots and crockery were also fired in the kiln.
When demand for rubber declined, the pottery industry in Singapore suffered a set back. The pottery industry was revived briefly when flower pots became very saleable in the early 1970s. But competition with the lower priced Malaysian industry resulted in the closure of Thow Kwang Dragon Kiln and other kilns in different parts of Singapore.
Pottery-making classes are available
There are classes in pottery and other ceramic techniques conducted by resident artists at Thow Kwang Dragon Kiln, which also provide facilities for both hobby and professional potters and ceramicists. Various types of clay, glazes and other ceramic materials, and pottery equipment are available for purchase.
Thow Kwang Dragon Kiln
85 Lorong Tawas (off Jalan Bahar)
Tel : 6265 5808 / 6268 6121