Weeks before the lunar New Year (Tet holiday), craftsmen of Thanh Ha pottery village were busy making buffalo statues – the mascot of the new lunar year to serve customers.
The buffalo statues are different in sizes, depending on the market demands. The raw material for making the statues is alluvial clay from the Thu Bon river.
After being exposed to the sun for getting dry naturally from 4 days to 1 week, statues are put in the kiln, then being polished and painted.
Ms. Vo Tan Kim Chi, from Thanh Ha pottery village, said that the creation of buffalo statues requires meticulousness, ingenuity and persistence. Artisans must consider how to burn them to an appropriate level so that the statues will not be broken.
Thanh Ha pottery village is located on the banks of the Thu Bon River in the city of Hoi An, Quang Nam province. Legend has it that in the beginning of the 16th century, artisans from Thanh Hoa province settled in Hoi An and established the village. They did their traditional craft and handed it down through the generations.
During the 17th -18th centuries, the craft flourished, providing pottery products to provinces from Thua Thien Hue to Binh Dinh. At that time, the village’s products were also exported to Japan, China and Spain via the Hoi An Trading Port.
For hundreds of years, although the traditional craft has undergone some ups and downs, the locals have kept their love and passion for the craft. They have, so far, kept its traditional and unique method of making pottery - handmade and wheel thrown and their products are not enamelled or heated by a traditional wood kiln.
Some pictures taken at the ancient pottery village before Tet:
Trays featuring food from the country’s three regions and various offerings for the Lunar New Year festival, known locally as Tet, have been vividly created using clay by an artisan in Ho Chi Minh City.