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Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle

Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle

Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle and Dragon Kiln is the oldest and one of only two surviving kilns in Singapore; built back in the 1940s.

Owned and operated by the Tan family, this incredible place is a must-visit for pottery and art enthusiasts, as well as anyone who wants to try their hand making pottery.

Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle, Dragon Kiln, Price & Hours, Singapore

From the 1950s to the early 1990s, dragon kilns were fundamental to the pottery industry when earthenware pots were produced using methods such as coiling, throwing and plaster moulding. Other practical products, such as latex cups for the rubber plantations, and ceramic souvenirs were also red in these kilns.

However, as the pottery industry slowed down and by the mid-1990s, with the demolition of the Sam Mui Kuang dragon kiln at the Jalan Hwi Yoh, the two other kilns in Jurong – the Thow Kwang and Guan Huat dragon kilns – ceased commercial operation. Thow Kwang changed its business model to the import and export of ceramics. Thus, the “dragons” went into a slumber.

The Thow Kwang Dragon Kiln is less than one metre wide in the front chambers and extends out to about two metres at the back end. At the back of the kiln is a nine-hole brick damper wall, where the smoke and heat escape via a chimney. On the sides, circular humps of bricks are spaced at intervals along the length of the kiln to support the structure.

Visitors enter the 27-metre long kiln through one of the two arched doorways, which are lined with bricks with names like Nanyang, Bee Kiow and Jurong – reminders of Singapore’s past when factories produced bricks for local use. Alongside the kiln are 17 pairs of stoke holes, where wood is added, and the firers monitor the temperature inside.

The Tan family has been running a pottery business, handing down techniques from one generation to another. They opened the Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle in 1940, and during those years, they were firing up the kiln as many as four times a month. These days, the kiln is fired up just three times a year, as well as during special celebrations, which is why visitors who are interested in pottery are highly recommended to visit this destination in Singapore.

When visiting the Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle, you will be invited by family members to join in on a fun potluck event as the kiln is fired with the precious pieces you’ve made by hand.

They also conduct tours and workshops regularly, so be sure to check out the schedule. Many beautiful handmade pottery wares are also sold here.

Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle and Dragon Kiln is located at 85 Lor Tawas in Singapore. It’s open from 9am to 5pm every day and during public holidays, except for Chinese New Year. Entrance is free, but if you’re a group of more than 15 people, please get in touch with them via email.

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