23/10/2017 08:56 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

The Ancient Pottery Village of Thanh Ha

Over the past five centuries, locals in the ancient pottery village of Thanh Ha have kept their traditional method of making pottery - hand made and wheel thrown. Thanh Ha pottery products are not enamelled and heated by a traditional wood kiln so they have different beautiful colours of yellow, red, red brick, brown, pink and black.
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.


The locals use clay on the Thu Bon river to make pottery. Photo: Tat Son/VNP


Forming the shape of a product. Photo: Tat Son/VNP
Drying pottery products. Photo: Cong Dat/VNP


After drying for 2-3 days, pottery products are decorated. Photo: Cong Dat/VNP
Thanh Ha pottery products are made by skilled artisans. Photo: Tat Son/VNP


Thanh Ha pottery products are fired in a traditional wood kiln. Photo: Tat Son/VNP
Locals in the ancient pottery village of Thanh Ha have kept their traditional method of
making pottery - hand made and wheel thrown. Photo: Cong Dat/VNP



The pottery village of Thanh Ha is a favourite destination for both domestic and foreign visitors. Photo: Tat Son/VNP

When heating the pottery, Thanh Ha potters do not use thermometers to measure the temperature, but only base on their experience. According to artisan Nguyen Van Chin in Nam Dieu village, an experienced artisan only needs to hear the sound of fire and feel the heat of the kiln to know exactly when the pottery is ready. To give the pottery different colours, such as red gold, red brick, brown, pink and black, instead of using enamels, the locals only use techniques to mix the soil and use a suitable temperature when firing.

Previously, Thanh Ha pottery products were earthen pots, vases, cups, jars, bricks and tiles. However, to meet the increasing demand of the market, the Thanh Ha villagers now make diverse products of high artistic value, such as statues.

At present, the village has many households engaged in the craft, making a contribution to preserving and developing the traditional craft. It has now become a destination for visitors on tour to Hoi An, a world cultural heritage site.


Pottery animals made by hands. Photo: Cong Dat/VNP


Thanh Ha pottery is mainly used for decoration. Photo: Cong Dat/VNP
Some unique pottery products made by Thanh Ha villagers. Photo: Cong Dat/VNP


Small jars with simple designs. Photo: Cong Dat/VNP


Hoi An Pagoda Bridge made by Thanh Ha villagers. Photo: Cong Dat/VNP
The pottery name board of a coffee in Hoi An was designed by Thanh Ha villagers. Photo: Tat Son/VNP


Modern garden houses in Hoi An use Thanh Ha pottery products for decoration. Photo: Tat Son/VNP
 
By Tat Son - Cong Dat