Bat Trang ceramic village , a small village in the north of Vietnam, is about 13 kilometers south east of Hanoi center, on the other side of Chuong Duong bridge. Why is its name popular to most tourists to northern Vietnam? The answer is its ever famous ceramic and pottery products of high quality. If you have known about Vietnam, you may not be surprised that Bat Trang’s vases, bowls, dishes, and many other kinds of ceramic products have been exported worldwide. Should you would like to contemplate workers making ceramic products by hand, just come here! What’s more, you can also try it yourself!
History of Bat Trang Ceramic Village
Bat Trang pottery village is said to be established in 14th or 15th century in several documents. However, according to the villagers, the village perhaps appeared earlier. There are always two stories concerning the village origin. One of these tells that under Ly dynasty, in 1100, when the nation was in its independence and initial growth period, there were 3 scholars who came back from their mission trip to China bringing the ceramic craft industry learned there back to Vietnam and taught the people of Bat Trang. In the other story, in the village history dates back to the 10th century, when King Ly Cong Uan relocated the capital in Thang Long.
With the establishment and development of the capital, many businessmen, crafters from many areas come to settle down here to work and trade. In Bat Trang pottery village, there was a lot of white clay, so that many potters, among whom was Nguyen Ninh Trang family, came and built the kilns here. Accordingly, Bat Trang has gradually changed from a normal ceramic and pottery village into a famous ceramic and pottery centre until now.
As time went by, the village’s products have developed and become well known for the best quality, style and glaze, both inside and outside of the nation. Many of these are now customized for aristocratic families and religious needs. Its popular foreign markets are Japan (under the brand “Kochi (Giao Chi) ware”), the Netherlands, Britain, Portugal, Southeast Asia, etc.,
Introduction of Bat Trang pottery village in Hanoi
Bat Trang Pottery Village is located on the left bank of the Red River. Now in Bat Trang Commune, Gia Lam District, Hanoi. It’s more than 10km south-east of the city center. This is a traditional village famous for its ceramic products.
This village was formed in the Ly dynasty. Over the past 500 years of history with the ups and downs of the same time. But the name Bat Trang still exists and growing up until now.
Bat Trang pottery products have been highly appreciated for their quality, many designs, designs and types, divided into functional groups such as household ceramics, worship items, fine pottery Art, building ceramics and decorative ceramics.
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Ceramic bowl is circulated all over the country, even expert to oversea countries. Bat Trang pottery village is not only a place to make a national product brand, contributing to preserve the cultural values of the capital.
Interesting experiences in Bat Trang pottery village
Bat Trang pottery village is often the destination of many tourists to visit the capital. To this ancient land, visitors will feel extremely interesting when encountering vases, ceramic pots displaying the alleyways in the village or the walls exposed to the special.
Visit the pottery workshop in the village, visitors will be introduced to the process of making products like. Tourists will have to respect the ingenuity, skillful, meticulous of the craftsman in the profession. Thanks to the skilled hands have turned land into works of art essence and lively.
The most attractive tours of Hanoi to Bat Trang pottery village is probably the experience of manually molding clay blocks into cups, plates, lovely items as you like.
To experience this pottery service, visitors need to go to the Pottery Market. Here, quite a few families offer this service to tourists. The cost for each pottery is from 40,000 to 60,000.
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First, visitors will receive a large and moist clay with a turntable. Guests will make the cups, plates, vases or molded cute animals. Products depend on the imagination, creativity and craftsmanship of visitors.
However, do not worry because visitors will receive the dedicated guidance from artisans here. They will make the work of visitors become more perfect.
After that, the items made by visitors are dried for about 30 minutes, decorated and heated like other Bat Trang products. Visitors will be brought back to the achievement as a souvenir when visiting the pottery village.
1. Production Process
To produce a complete product, one must follow 3 steps. The first step is making the product frame. The artists select the suitable clay, treat it and start making a raw product. It must be repaired to get the best appearance. Secondly, they decorate and cover it with glazes.
Last but not least, the raw products are baked in 3 days and 3 nights. There are several kinds of kiln, yet the temperature must be at 12000 or 13000. After baking, products are brought out, classified and repaired in case there are mistakes. And now we have the perfect product.
Bat Trang ceramic village has become a popular destination for the young living in Hanoi (college or high school students) to visit during weekends. It has also become famous among foreign tourists who want to understand more about the historical and traditional values in each handicraft product.
2. Popular Product Types
Bat Trang products are divided into 3 kinds based on the purpose of use.
- Utilitarian wares: including plates, bowls, teacups, kettles, wine bottles, flowerpots, vases, jar… What differs is that they are thicker than Chinese ones.
- Cult wares: comprise lamp stands, candle holders, incense burner, altar boxes, swords… These are valuable for collectors because of inscription of the production years, the names of the producers and the potters.
- Decorative objects: house models, altars, statues and architectural fixtures.
The special trait is thediversified decorations on the products. Thanks to a long–lasting history and development, the village’s works have been accumulated with a lot of different special designs. One more thing that makes them distinguished is the glaze, which is of high quality and a variety of colors, such as blue, brown, white, moss green, in both breaking and melting glazes.
In fact, there have appeared a number of competitors both domestically and internationally who take advantages of high technology. Yet most customers prefer the craft products that contain historical and traditional values. Hence, it is no surprise at all that Bat Trang ceramic village is still found in busy days and works. More importantly, the village is now so popular that absorbs a huge annual number of tourists to visit and buy ceramic goods.
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