Cultures of Fire

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Marcus Bussey wrote a beautiful poem for DragonFire. Unfortunately, we couldn’t incorporate it into the eBook. Here’s the poem by Marcus and illustration by a young talented artist, AnnGee Neo.

Carolyn Lim: DragonFire &emdash; eBook opening poetry_0006_04 In our hands Light became Fire.

In the beginning was Light!
The primordial silence was shattered
by the Big Bang
when all that is began to unfold.

After many experiments in form
Humanity emerged,
Children of the Light,
recycled star dust.

In our hands Light became Fire.
Our love of Fire gave birth to Culture.
Around the camp fire we gathered
to tell stories, cook food, share memories.
We tamed Fire and Fire tamed us.

The magic of Fire birthed
the alchemy of Culture,
and Culture lead to Technology as surely
as a seed becomes a tree.

Carolyn Lim: DragonFire &emdash; eBook opening poetry_0003_07 a seed becomes a tree.

From the intestines of the Fire
vessels emerged to hold our food,
to carry our drink, to cherish our Dead.

From the fiery furnace of the Dragon’s belly
came bricks to build homes, villages and cities.
As these things arose communities grew and flourished.
Just as we kindle the Dragon’s Fire
it gives birth to Us.

Carolyn Lim: DragonFire &emdash; eBook opening poetry_0000_10 Just as we kindle the Dragon’s Fire, it gives birth to Us.

Poem by Dr. Marcus Bussey
Illustrations by AnnGee Neo

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DragonFire at Library@Esplanade

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Carolyn Lim: DragonFire &emdash; _MG_7503 - Version 2We gave a talk, Earth, Wood & Fire: Wood firing and the Dragon Kilns in Singapore, at the Library@Esplanade during the Jubilee weekend, on the eve of National Day. All the potters came out in full force to share.

When we were planning the presentation, we didn’t want to do the usual slideshow presentation, – we wanted the audience to participate and have a hands-on experience. We decided on a round-robin format whereby the audience would move from station to station. After proposing this idea with the organisers and looking at the logistics in terms of space and layout, we had the go ahead.

We gave the round-robin presentation over the course of 1 hour. There were 3 stations, each manned by 2 or 3 potters. At Station 1, the potters gave a coiling and slab making demo; Station 2, they showed the DragonFire app, focusing on the time lapse videos and the 360 degree effects; and the potters at Station 3 with an assortment of leather-hard, bisque, wood-fired and non-wood-fired samples explained the effects of wood firing. The talk began with an introduction on the history of the ceramic industry, after which the audience would be divided into 3 groups and went to one of the stations. After 15 minutes, a bell rang and they moved to the next station. At the end (after 3 rounds), everyone assembled in the seating area again for a Question and Answer session.

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Carolyn began with a brief history of the ceramics industry in S’pore

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Round-robin in session

Station 1 was where everyone had a hands-on demonstration on coiling and slab making.

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Tia & Tuan Yong showed how to hand-build a pot

Station 2 featured the dragonfire app focusing on the timelapse videos on pot making and wood firing effects.

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Hua Hoong and Jeannette (Dezainwerkz) brought wood firing to the library space via the DragonFire app

Station 3 highlighted the wood-fired pieces and the audience was able to touch and feel them.

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Carolyn Lim: DragonFire &emdash; _MG_7475 - Version 2Yulianti, Hee Lai and Siew Kuan were at hand to answer queries on wood firing

Carolyn Lim: DragonFire &emdash; P8084122 - Version 2The audience was attentive and interested in wood firing, the questions came fast and furious! A big thank you to Khoo Ee Hoon, the staff of the Esplanade and the Library@Esplanade for the opportunity to share our passion for ceramics and wood firing.

Photographs by Carolyn Lim & Chua Hee Lai

At a Wood Firing

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A wood firing session at Thow Kwang dragon kiln presented an ideal opportunity to share the dragonfire app. On the evening of 19th June, about a dozen staff from Jurong Town Corporation had a close-up look at the dragonfire app. The app complimented the sights and sounds of a real wood firing that was going on round the corner.

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Presenting DragonFire to Staff from Jurong Town Corporation

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Later that night, visitors to the wood firing had a tour of the dragon kiln and the surrounding workshop area. During the tour, the visitors were introduced to the DragonFire app, which supplemented the ‘live’ firing outside. Through photographs in the app, the visitors got to see the interior of the kiln and what could be happening in the actual firing, which was not visible to them at that moment. The information, videos and images in the app gave the visitors a more complete picture of the processes of wood firing as well as the historical significance of the place.

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The Log Book

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This came in the snail mail today…

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Carolyn Lim: DragonFire &emdash; dragonfire in logbook 1

Potter Elizabeth Rowe from Sydney wrote an article for Issue 62 of The Log Book on Thow Kwang Dragon Kiln and the DragonFire App.

The Log Book is an international publication, published quarterly, which focusses on wood firing and wood-fired ceramics. Edited by renowned ceramicists, Coll Minogue and Robert Sanderson, The Log Book is a valuable resource for wood firers around the world.

We are very happy that The Log Book would feature the DragonFire App, and expose it to a worldwide audience.

DragonFire App at Temasek Junior College

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DragonFire at Temasek Junior College (TJC)!

Carolyn Lim and Yulianti Tan presented the app to some 30-40 students at the library. We brought along our wood-fired pieces and had a show and tell session. TJC’s principal, Ms Leong and her staff joined us and took a quick ‘tour’ of the app. After the presentation, the students and staff had a hands-on session, carving clay marbles (goli). A big thank you to teacher, Ms Salamah Ishak and her students for collaborating with us.

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Heritage Grants Showcase

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Organised by the National Heritage Board, the Heritage Grants Showcase was held at the National Museum. We shared with the public our experience in developing the Dragonfire app and its concept. Other grant recipients were also present to show their work. There was an interesting mix of projects from card games to paintings and publications. Carolyn Lim, Chia Hua Hoong, Tan Tuan Yong, Jeannette Lau, Ng Siew Kuan and Yulianti Tan were at hand to answer questions from the public.

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Showcase of DragonFire App

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As part of the Heritage Festival 2015, we will be showcasing our DragonFire SG interactive app at the National Museum of Singapore on 2nd May (Saturday) from 10am-12:30pm. We will share our experience in developing the app. Join us and other grant recipients for a show-and-tell! Heritage Grants Showcase http://heritagefest.sg/events/~/media/27eea91d4dd64001ba3bb3c006330eed.ashx

Venue: National Museum Gallery Theatre (Basement 1)

Date: 2nd May 2015

Time: 10am-12:30pm

Meanwhile in Sydney…

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Received these beautiful photographs of Elizabeth Rowe and her friends in Sydney, Australia.

Elizabeth and her group of wood firers had a firing in Western Sydney, Australia in late March. During the long firing hours, she shared our DragonFire App. Their kiln, located at North Richmond at the foothills of the Blue Mountains is fired once a year by their teacher Barbara Campbell-Allen and her students.

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Carolyn Lim: DragonFire &emdash; IMG_4994

Elizabeth Rowe and her woodfiring friends around thier kiln near Sydney viewing the DragonFire App.

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Ceramic artist, Yumi Harmelin successfully downloaded the new DragonFire Singapore app onto her iPad

Here are some shots of their charming wood-fired kiln.

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Sharing with Potters

I dropped by Toa Payoh West Community Centre to introduce the DragonFire app to a ceramic class. A class of 8 students took a short break from their clay making to preview the app. Generally, they found the app visually pleasing and the information insightful. Although they have been doing studio pottery, some of them had not seen a wood firing. A few suggested the app be made available on the Android platform.

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