Monday, March 16, 2015

DragonFire Singapore: The free app featuring traditional wood firing in one of Singapore's dragon kilns

Look at the photo below. What do you see?

Yes, you saw ceramics. They could serve as our tea cups, our bowls and more. Ceramics are all around us.

Ceramics are everywhere
When I did a search on the definition of ceramics, one site stated "ceramics are classified as inorganic and nonmetallic materials that are essential to our daily lifestyle".

Ceramics are "generally made by taking mixture of clay, earthen elements, powders and water and shaping them into desired forms. Once the ceramic has been shaped, it is fired in a high temperature oven known as kiln." (Source:

One of the last surviving dragon kilns in Singapore.
Image credit: Carolyn Lim

If ceramics are so ubiquitous in our lives, are you aware of the processes involved in making a piece of ceramic? Are you aware of how a piece of ceramic is being fired in a kiln? Do you know that in Singapore, there is now a very limited number of surviving dragon kilns that can be used for traditional wood firing of ceramics?

Does the above-mentioned questions piqued your curiosity?

There is now an app that could fill all of us in with many of the answers!

DragonFire Singapore that has been downloaded onto an iPad (iOS8).

Free download of an app, DragonFire Singapore
If you are an iPad (iOS 8) user or have access to one, you can enjoy a FREE download of the interactive multimedia app, DragonFire Singapore, at iTunes app store. This app is the first to feature a traditional wood firing in one of the last surviving dragon kilns in Singapore. It is not an e-book. It is an app that provides an interactive multimedia experience. Users of this app can experience the process of a wood firing of ceramics through videos and stunning images.

DragonFire Singapore. The process of pottery making.

Triggering personal memories
I do not have an iPad and I was very lucky to be offered an opportunity to use this app on someone else's iPad so as to learn more about traditional wood firing in Singapore and about the local dragon kilns. Using the DragonFire Singapore app made me reminisce two positive experiences visiting two of the last surviving dragon kilns in Singapore on two separate occasions.

My first visit to one of Singapore's last surviving dragon kilns was in 2011, during a firing event at Thow Kwang Industry Pte Ltd. Then in the year 2012, I have had the pleasure to visit another dragon kiln located at 97L Lorong Tawas to participate in one of the Awaken the Dragon workshops to make a piece of ceramic art.

Wood firing at Thow Kwang Industry Pte Ltd, 2011.

At 97L Lorong Tawas. One of the facilitator's ceramic works.

These are what I like about the DragonFire Singapore app:
- The photographs that were beautifully taken.
- Enjoy 360 degrees view of four completed ceramics works.
- Time-lapsed videos to demonstrate the process of making a piece of ceramic work. (e.g. throwing a pot)
- Photographs to trace the journey of a piece of ceramics
- It is free for iPad (iOS8) users thanks to the generosity of the team who has developed this app. This app is made possible with partial funding from the National Heritage Board.
- The content was accessible. Members of the general public will find the content relatively easy to read.

If you have access to an iPad (iOS8), please get your free download of this app, DragonFire Singapore, now at iTunes app store:

Thanks to the generosity of the team that develops this app and puts it up for free download!

Please spread the love around by sharing this app with your friends and family members who are likely to be interested and has access to an iPad.

Credits and acknowledgments for this app:
This application is supported by the National Heritage Board.

Writers: Marcus Bussey (University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia), Chia Hua Hoong, Carolyn Lim, Tan Tuan Yong.

Photographer: Carolyn Lim

Graphics and Videos: Mitchell Koh, Neo Anngee, Qyisti Qusyairi, Wong Zhen Hai, Wong Zhen Jiang.

Editors: Marcus Bussey, John Keeble, Elizabeth Rowe, Jim Warthman.

App created by: DW (
Jeanette Lau Li Ling, Xavier Lee Chong Kwok, Gary Lim, Supapon Pucknavin.

Copyright 2015, Carolyn Lim.

You may also like to view the following links:
Fired by Passion: Dragon Kiln Firing - A Journal (A 40-minute video of a traditional dragon kiln wood firing in Singapore which took place in 2003 at Thow Kwang dragon kiln.)
Unpacking the Thow Kwang Dragon Kiln (video)

A visit to the Thow Kwang Dragon Kiln Firing event in 2011
Participating in Awaken the Dragon Project
Awaken the Dragon Festival 2013: The exhibition

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