09/05/2016 10:35 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Fine Art Replicas from Wood Scraps

For nearly 40 years, the village of Binh Minh Commune, Trang Bom District, Dong Nai Province has been well-known nationwide for making unique fine art items from wood scraps which are exported to many countries around the world.
The craft of this commune originated from traditional carpentry  in the North which was introduced by craftsmen from  Dong Ky in Bac Ninh and La Xuyen in Nam Dinh over half a century ago. However,  in the 1980s the locals started making delicate wooden replicas from wood scraps.

It is said that a craftsman in the village called Ky Van in Tra Co Hamlet, Binh Minh Commune  created a boat with fine patterns from a dead jackfruit tree in his garden and brought it to Ho Chi Minh City for sale. This boat fascinated tourists and was bought by a Russian tourist. Seeing the developmental potential  of this type of product, the locals started making  various replicas of cyclos, cars, tanks, Boeing helicopters, boats and decorative items to meet the demand of customers.

Since wood processing factories were put into operation in the province of Dong Nai, the locals have used  wood scraps from these factories to make fine art items. They also established workshops to further promote the production.  Visiting Thanh Nhan  Workshop – the largest in Tan Bac Ward, Binh Minh Commune, we saw hundreds of decorative wood items. This workshop accounts for 90% of the total artistic wood items of Trang Bom District. Wooden replicas made by Thanh Nhan meet the strict requirements of customers so they are the favorite in the market. Besides working at the workshop, the employees also take raw products  home to finish them so the elders and children can participate in making products.

A wooden product making workshop  in Binh Minh, Trang Bom, Dong Nai Province.

The craft has strongly developed thanks to a large number of wood scraps
from wood processing factories in the province.

Some products made by Binh Minh are favored by foreign customers.

The replicas of cars, one of the major products made by locals in Binh Minh.

A stage in making a wooden car.

Gluing parts of a product.

Polishing the product.

The fine art articles require the artisan’s meticulousness and carefulness in all stages.

The stage of spraying PU paint for products.     

In recent years, Vietnam’s wooden products have gradually carved a niche in some large markets in the world thanks to their high quality and competitive prices. Furthermore, the  increasing demand for wood items and fine art articles both at home and abroad  also provides an opportunity for the development of the domestic wood processing sector, including the traditional craft in Binh Minh.

According to Nguyen Thanh Nhan, owner of Thanh Nhan Workshop,  his workshop can not make enough wooden products for export to the markets of the US, France, Germany and some other countries.  His workshop once received a large order of two containers of wooden artistic articles  from  Wal Mart – the largest retail group in the US. To ensure a timely delivery, 30 employees in his workshop  had to work more shifts. Thanks to beautiful designs, high-quality and competitive prices, his products  received high praise from the partner. Then,  the representative of Wal Mart directly contacted him and ordered a large number of products, about 5,000 products/month. At present, his workshop  is capable of making only 2,000 products/month.

Nhan said that his workshop now makes about 500 artistic wooden items from different kinds of wood. To provide customers with more choices, Nhan’s workshops  and others in the village continually invest in techniques and create new exotic products.

Over the years, the craftsmen in Binh Minh turn wood scraps into pieces of art which are in high demand.

Some products made by Binh Minh craftsmen

Story:  Nguyen Vu Thanh Dat
Photos: Thong Hai