Thow Kwong Pottery Jungle - a Day Trip

The week before on Friday (Feb 25), we spent a fun evening spent at Thow Kwong Pottery Jungle, witnessing the first full firing of the Dragon Kiln after its renovation last year Nov. Last Sat on 5 Mar, we had the opportunity to see the results of the firing. Tia and Carol showed us the differences between clay pottery fired from an electric kiln and from the dragon kiln. Now we understood on the artistic stand point, the dragon kiln is definitely preferred over the electric kiln.

According to reliable sources, "there used to have 2 Dragon Kilns in Singapore during the 80s; namely Sam Mui Kwang, Thow Kwang and Guan Huat. Only the latter two remain today, while the former gave way to urbanization". For more information please refer to the following website: http://www.jbcs.com.sg/Home/SavingDK.html

We also roamed around the premises with our sketchbooks in search of sketch-able subjects. There were many. Due to the hot weather, I have to settle to draw under the shade before I get scorched or toasted. Despite the heat, I managed to finish 3 sketches. Here they are:

[caption id="attachment_1599" align="alignnone" width="614" caption="Thow Kwong Dragon Kiln"][/caption]

The first I did was a front view of the shelter that houses the Dragon Kiln. The brick wall that looks like a broken piece of wall is the entrance of the kiln, where wood will be fed through a small opening on the front. Temperature has to be maintained at 1200 degC throughout the firing process which may last for 3 days. After which the kiln is allowed to cool down for about a week before it's opened to reveal the fired clay pottery.

[caption id="attachment_1600" align="alignleft" width="230" caption="Pottery under the sun"][/caption]

I did another sketch of some clay pottery pieces that are seen displayed outside another shelter than houses all the pottery pieces that are on sale. I find this group very fascinating as it is a combination of both modern and traditional ceramic designs. I like how the pieces were shining in the sun casting very strong shadows below them. The duck was a joy to sketch while the turtle was a nice touch to the composition.

At this moment, the weather was getting hotter and hotter. I seek refuge in the shelter while listening to Carol and Tia explaining to us all how we could identify the special textures and colors that would be results of firing in the Dragon Kiln. I am no expert in pottery but listening to their highly enthusiastic speeches made me wanting to learn.

I was quite determined to sketch a third one but it was really quite hard to find any shady spots where I would have a good view of the artifacts. In the end I settled to sit just beside the kiln for a view of a buddha statue standing by itself under a huge tree that looks like a pine tree. The statue in the sun and the dark shades of the tree gave a very  good contrast.

Yup I was glad I spent a good morning here.

[caption id="attachment_1603" align="alignnone" width="513" caption="Buddha under a tree"][/caption]

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