Hà Nội's Ceramic Village - Bát Tràng

Woman sitting at table with scores of bowls stacked in front of her. Hand painting bowls in one of the Ceramic Village's workshops Previous pages have shown something of the ways of selling to be seen on the streets of Vietnam. This page turns to a quite different method of attracting customers: by gathering dozens of artisans working on the same craft into a village where visitors can watch the production of items and then buy them. Hà Nội's craft villages produce, among other things, furniture, bamboo and wickerwork, cloth, embroidery, lacquer pictures and prints. The village of Bát Tràng specialises in ceramics: from bricks to fine figurines. It is situated some 15 kilometres from Hà Nội on the opposite bank of the Red River, and, being relatively accessible, visitors flock to its busy streets. Field covered with sheets of veneer. On the way to the village another craft is in evidence: making veneers - sheets here being sun-dried Ox carriage led by man on foot. One way of securing customers for the village is... Ox carriage with woman driver sitting at front and passenger photographing. ...to bring them by buffalo carriage out from Hà Nội Two large vases at entrance to one of the shops. Entrance to Nam Ha shop with many vases standing by door. Single large vase with coloured design. Left, two large vases measuring some two metres in height. Above, a collection of such vases at the entrance to the 'Nam Hà Earthenware and China' shop. Below, the entrance to another shop, guarded by ceramic animals and two vases. Right, one of the large vases with coloured decoration. A small friendly alligator is at the front. Entrance steps to showroom with ceramics at doorway. Warehouse with several workers painting pots, and high tiers of shelves behind. One of the big warehouses where ceramic items are painted, some of the huge stock is waiting on the racks behind Man holding infant walking between shelves of ceramics. Friend Hân biting his lip wondering what he
can afford
Customer squatting sorting her plastic bags. The village's wares displayed at the Hà Nội night market Customers beyond a stall covered with small ceramic items. Customers discussing, and photographing, another similar display of ceramics at the night market in central Hà Nội View into a ceramic shop, two men browsing at the rear of the display. One of the village shops - Hân and Colin browsing - but who took the photo on my camera! Here are some examples of the painted ceramics that are being made in the workshops which are shown above. Vertical panel in ornate frame with birds, hills and bamboo. One of the ceramic pictures that can be seen hanging on the wall at the back of the shop just above Two plates on stands with large Chinese characters on each. Two display plates - the characters mean as little to the Vietnamese as they do to most of us Ceramic painting of the gate in the Old Town wall. Each of the painters, as seen at work in the pictures above, renders their subject individually... Exactly the same composition as the last picture but very differnt feel. ...Here are two workers versions of the Ô Quan Chưởng Gate in the Old Quarter of Hà Nội Four vertical plaques hanging together other pieces of porcelain can be seen. The ceramic pictures hanging in the shop; the one second from the left is enlarged above. The damp patches on the wall are not a sign of neglect, but of the rampant humidity that makes ceramic plaques more desirable than paper prints which would soon deteriorate Man wheeling adapted loaded bicycle. Ceramic products are packed in these wicker baskets... Dozens of wicker baskets waiting by a lorry to be transported. ...padded with hay and shipped off by a variety of means... Man riding motorbike with two of the large vases rising above his head and strapped on either side of the rear pannier - looking very valnerable. ...this being the most alarming! Trailers... Veritable cave of lanterns with man sitting. The next page shows something of the variety of Hà Nội shops. The five point five tonne Golden Buddha in Bangkok. The next page of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Measuring Life'.
Or go to the contents Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section. of the Mosaic Section.
Saturday 30th July 2022 Murphy on duty ...guide to this site

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