We are firing up again!

15 02 2011


Direction to Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle : Take MRT to Boon Lay Station. Hop on to bus 199 at the bus interchange. Alight the bus stop after the PIE flyover along Jalan Bahar, just before the turn to Nanyang Avenue (NTU). You can see a small road on the left side with huge pots at the corner before the bus stop.


all are welcome

9 12 2008


Exhibition this Sunday 14 Dec 2008

8 12 2008


Evolving creative display structure for the wood fired pieces. We use the damper wall bricks as display shelves and painted with clay slips to compliment the rustic look.

Come and see the result of the wood firing at our coming exhibition this Sunday on 14 Dec 2008 from 10am to 5pm. All are welcome. The pieces are also on sale. Ideal as X’mas presents for your love ones. Pieces will be resonably priced to promote local art so we will do more wood firing with local clay.

wood firing tiles

30 11 2008

I made a set of simple tiles using only self-made sprial wire cutter and Jalan Bahar local white clay last year and fired them in the electric kiln. I brushed iron oxide and blue slip into the grooves to give it some colours. I did not quite like the end result as they were less intense and the colours were dull. Out of these four tiles, two are re-fired in the wood kiln and two are fired once in the electric kiln. The shrinkage is quite visible too. Can you spot the difference?


The colours of these tiles are now very rich and intense from the ash and salt glaze produced by the wood firing. Only wood firing will yield such unpredictable result.


A close up of one of the tiles shows the variations in textures and colours from a tiny area.


cockle shell waddings result

30 11 2008

We used cockle shells as waddings for our pieces. The shell is calcium carbonate and may be with residual salt from the sea water. When the shells are fired at a low bisque temperature, they will become soft and powdery and lose their visible shape. When they are used as waddings at high temperature like our case in the dragon kiln, they may leave delightful marks on the surface from the fluxing of the residual salt which makes a glaze where the shells get in touch with the clay body. However, the shells we used are too small to have any big fan-shaped markings on the clay bodies. The shells also become powdery after firing except for some reasons, three of them are stuck to the glaze on Siew Kuan’s piece.

31Nov2008_shell wadding_SK 31Nov2008_shell waddings

My three bowls are made of Neo Tiew white clay not Jalan Bahar white clay which is more sandy gold rather than Jalan Bahar dull grey after firing. The markings left by the cockle shells are very visible but nothing stuck to the bowls like Siew Kuan’s. The end result is very ‘mild’ as there is no significant evidence on ash and salt glaze effect on the bowls.

31 Nov 2008_shell wadding bowls


23 11 2008

Wood firing is labour intensive and hard work. After one week of cooling, today is the day we are all waiting for. Taking a quick look inside the kiln, there is sign of relief and joy in the air! What we see is simply stunning! To compare this picture with the one before the firing, see here

23Nov2008_dragonkiln 23Nov2008_overall 23Nov2008_chamber2 23Nov2008_mywork

Looking at the pieces inside the kiln, it is not too much to say that every piece of our work is the visual outcome of the path and activity of the flame and fire. Staring into the details, one can imagine the ash melts into a natural glaze where it lands on the scupltures, figurings, tiles, pots, bowls, plates and jars inside the dragon kiln. Examining further, some of us cannot hide our disappointment as the placement of the pieces obviously affects the appearance. There is a general theory that pieces in chamber 1 nearer to the firebox should receive more ash while pieces in chamber 5 which are away from the firebox may receive less ash. However, the pieces in chamber 1 are less than desirable compared to the pieces in chamber 5. As much as we like to rationalise and imgagine the fire and flame path, it is still very much depending on the element of chance and luck. To me, that is the beauty of wood firing.

Our collaborative tall sculpture is looking really good. Tuan Yong says we may call it “Two to Tango”. My figuring sculpture looks just like me full of freckles due to the ash!

23Nov2008_sculpture 23Nov2008_figuring

Visitors to Thow Kwang today were very lucky to see so many nice pieces fired in the dragon kiln. Mr Wong, Mdm Poh, Yang Pow Sing, Kuo Wei and Ron, our faithful supporters came with well wishes. My ex-students, Xiaochang, Tanny came to give us moral support. Kenny and Karen from Book Actually even helped us with the unpacking in the morning. Thank you friends.


Today, Elfie has a class and Todd is also the instructor cum tour guide for a group of girls who are having a birthday party celebaration at the dragon kiln. The place is just full of life, youthfulness and energy!


behind the wall

22 11 2008

This sunday we will know the result behind the wall.