Dinh Cong Silversmiths Strive to Preserve Works of Art

Dinh Cong Silversmiths Strive to Preserve Works of Art

Dinh Cong village in hanoi’s hoang Mai district is renowned for its silver making craft. It is one of the oldest craft villages in Hanoi.

Artisan Quach Tuan Anh, ownwer of a workshop located inside the temple worshiping the jewelry making ancestor in Dinh Cong village. Photo: Thanh Giang/VNP

The jewelry craft of Dinh Cong has been appeared in a saying "glossy silk from Yen Thai, pottery from Bat Trang, goldsmiths from Dinh Cong and bronze casting from Ngu Xa” that praises four most prestigious crafts in Thang Long-Hanoi. During the flourished period, Dinh Cong village was full of people producing silverware.

However, these days the Dinh Cong goldsmiths switched to the craft of dau bac - winding thin silver strings to make up shapes, patterns or fine details of silver products. There are only some remaining families keeping this traditional craft alive, including the family of artisans Quach Van Truong and Quach Tuan Anh.


According to Tuan Anh, since he was a child, he witnessed his father, artisan Quach Van Truong, burning silver, designing shapes, spinning silver into thin threads and braiding the silver threads into products. The craft gradually becomes an indispensable part of his life.

In 2023, he took over the business from his father. His workshop now is located inside the temple worshiping the jewelry making ancestor and has six young silversmiths. Tuan Anh works as a designer, a silversmith as well as a teacher for his young craftsmen.

Silversmiths focus on their works. Photo: Cong Dat/VNP

Dau bac requires a silversmith to be patient and skillful. To make a complete silver product, the craftsman must go through a number of steps, including designing a pattern by hand, burning silver, handling silver, spinning silver into threads, shaping each product, polishing and lightening the product.


Unlike mass-produced silver products, dau bac products are made by hand so each item is very elaborate.

It takes about three days to finish an item like a ring, necklace and earrings while a silver painting needs months to complete.

In addition to the popular jewelry products, Tuan Anh has developed a line of silver paintings. He puts iconic images of Hanoi such as Khue Van Cac, Turtle tower, Hanoi’s old-quarter or lotus flowers and playing a flute while herding buffalo in his paintings.

There are many samples designed by silversmiths as well as orders following customer requests. All items are delicate, unique and designed in traditional styles.

Craftsman Le Van Son (born in 1996) said that he has both studied and worked for three years. He started with simple items such as a flower and leaf and then more delicate ones of animals.

He hopes there are more craftsmen like him to have a community of dau bac craftsmen to study, share samples and preserve the village’s traditional craft.

The young silversmiths at the workshop like Chien, Dat, Son and Nam share the common thought as to how to develop the profession widely.

The passion of the artisans in Dinh Cong jewelry village is to open many workshops to spread their craft and to introduce the cultural beauty of Vietnam into each silver product. 


Story: Bich Van/VNP  Photos: Cong Dat & Thanh Giang  Translated by Nguyen Tuoi