A cloudy sky and gently blowing breeze complemented the perfect setting for our Sunday breakfast under the grand old banyan tree. Our hosts, Mr and Mrs Tan of Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle invited a group of potters and friends for a breakfast get-together at the tree house. Mrs Tan cooked her delicious lontong (Malay rice-cakes with spicy coconut gravy). The rest of us brought other local favorites and tidbits like soon kueh, chwee kueh and homemade salad. As always, there was plenty of good food to keep us through lunch!
Thow Kwang is home to one of the two remaining dragon kilns in Singapore. This kiln is more than 60 years old. The kiln spans over 27m long and 2.3m wide. In the past, the kiln was used by the Tan family to make latex cups for the rubber plantations. Presently, the kiln is fired occasionally by a group of potters who is reviving the art of wood firing. I participated in one such firing in 2003. The firing lasted 25 hours reaching a high temperature of 1250 degrees Celsius.
The Tan family runs a ceramic and porcelain business. Located in the west near the Nanyang Technological University, Thow Kwang is a charming place to spend a day. Planters and pots of various shapes, sizes and colors scatter the grounds adds to the character of the place. You can find a wide range of Chinese ceramics for everyday use as well as fine porcelain for sale. There is a good selection of Nonya porcelain too. So pay a visit to the Pottery Jungle and potter around, and chances are that you will find a vase, platter or figurine that will catch your fancy.
I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend my Sunday morning – in idyllic and rustic surroundings in the company of friends. And yes, did I mention the food? 🙂