Thow Kwang is one of the last two dragon kilns in Singapore. They practice the traditional art of wood-firing. This was built in 1940 and was brought over by Tan Kin Seh in 1965. In history, the dragon kilns are recognised to provide clay latex cups, which were essential to the rubber plantations found across much of the rural landscape during that time. They also provided employment opportunities which drew communities closer together.
The dragon kiln is a unique part of Singapore’s pottery history. This is an important heritage that our children should know about. Today, the traditional wood-firing kilns are used only by clay artists to achieve a unique glaze on their work. The art of wood-firing is slowly fading away.
At Thow Kwang, the children and their parents experienced pottery-making first hand. By working with clay, they had to make full use of their hands. Pottery making enhances creativity and self-confidence; improves motor skills; and allows children to appreciate clay. It allows children to focus, concentrate, and make their own decisions in designing their art pieces.
The parents were surprised to discover their child’s creative ability as their child turned a lump of clay into a beautiful masterpiece. The children were amazed with their work and they had a sense of accomplishment knowing that what they had created is unlike anyone else’s. This was a memorable experience for the whole family.