People who visited Vietnam, especially Hanoi know about Bat Trang village. However, not many know about other villages in Vietnam that also famous for making ceramics. HA Travel had listed a list of 6 present day villages that still able to keep their traditional techniques in pottery making.
1. Bat Trang village (Gia Lam, Hanoi):
A village laying next to the Red river, 10km away southeast of Hanoi. In the past, Bat Trang was a high mound near the river. The location made it easy for making ceramics and transporting it. Despite the time flow, Bat Trang still able to keep the traditional making process and glazing colors. From white clay, the clever hands of the artisans had produced high quality and intricate goods that required an extensive and skilled making process. Present day Bat Trang has more than 600 producing areas, mostly are the villagers.
2. Phu Lang village (Que Vo, Bac Ninh):
Appeared around the same time as Bat Trang, however Phu Lang artisans mainly focused on making households goods from red clay and shaped on the spinning table. Phu Lang also had a distinctive glazing colors, which was various shades of yellow. They nicknamed it as eel skin glaze. They also famous for strong, and 3D patterns. Phu Lang is combining modern equipment with traditional skill to revive the village.
3. Thanh Ha village (Hoi An, Quang Nam):
Majority of Thanh Ha pottery has a bright reddish orange shade, light and spongy. Thanks to some special techniques of clay procession and manipulations, the durability of their products is at the top tier as compared to others in the country, and the brightness is the same as the glaze. When knocking on Thanh Ha ceramics, there should be a clear and soft echo coming from the goods. Products are usually decorated with both engraving and floating patterns. In recent decades, Thanh Ha pottery has been popular in both domestic and foreign market (Canada, France, United States). Thanh Ha is also known for its reputation in renovation works.
4. Bau Truc village (Binh Thuan):
Bau Truc village was known to make Cham pottery, so it’s different than Bat Trang or Phu Lang ceramics. In the Cham era, Bau Truc has a deep brown colors and tend to have uneven colors due to the firing process. Instead of firing in a kiln like most potters, Bau Truc potters fire their goods in open space, burning woods then put hays on top to burn. Bau Truc ceramics are made from clay taken from the Quao River and then mixed with sand. Clay is collected from the river only once a year, each harvest would last for half a month. The amount of clay taken is depended on the ability of the potters. In the clay collecting season, local people try to take as much clay as they can to store, for use in an entire year. One distinct feature of Bau Thuan ceramics is that it doesn’t have a shiny glazing.
5. Bien Hoa village (Dong Nai):
Bien Hoa ceramics is the blending between Cay Mai and the French art of decorations. Prominent products are basins, elephants, and Buddha statues. Bien Hoa pottery is light, had an ivory shade inside. Present day Bien Hoa pottery is not as popular as Bat Trang or Phu Lang, but it still had its own standing in both domestic and foreign market.
6. Vinh Long village (Vinh Long):
The key ingredient is red clay, however the clay is contaminated with acid sulfate so whwenever the final product is done it will have some small white veins on the surface. Vinh Long ceramics are usually large, and mainly for exporting.