Traditional pottery village busy preparing for Tet

As the New year of Ox is coming, the kilns in Tan Uyen town are busy producing pottery buffaloes and traditional products.


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As Tet coming, the pottery kilns in Tan Vinh Hiep commune, Tan Uyen town are busy producing traditional pottery buffalo. At the pottery workshop of Mrs. Nguyen Hong Hop, the staffs are busy pouring soil into the mold to shape the buffalos. For nearly 20 years, Ms. Hop’s family rented a land area of about 2,500 m2 to live and build a pottery workshop. Her brothers also left their hometown in Thai Nguyen to work here. The pottery workshop operates all year round but is busiest at the time of the Lunar New Year. Every day, Mrs. Hop’s workshop produces about 1,500 products. (Photo: VN Express)
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“Every year is just similar to each other. Every four months before Tet, I set the frame for the kind of folk animal of the next year.” (Photo: VN Express)
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After more than an hour of sun drying, the buffalo was formed and removed from the mold, then dried again for another two hours before being placed in the furnace. Every day, the workshop uses up nearly a ton of raw clay. In the sunny midday, Mrs. Mien and the workers at the factory used wheelbarrows to move the buffaloes that had been dried into the warehouse. “I will use a knife to cut off the excess so that it will stay smooth and in shape,” said the 63-year-old woman. (Photo: VN Express)
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An employee in the workshop is in charge of the kiln’s heat. On average, a kiln can heat 3,000 products per day. Workers in the pottery kilns in Tan Uyen town mainly come from northern provinces such as Thai Nguyen, Hanoi, Hai Duong … and work on the Tet holidays. (Photo: VN Express)
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Mr. Ma Chien Quang brought out a basket of piggy bank and buffalo after more than 10 hours of burning in the kiln. “A qualified product must be of high hardness, not burn black or chipped when heated. Every day, there are cars coming to pick up the goods as soon as they come out of the kiln”, Mr. Quang said. (Photo: VN Express)
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Most raw products will be brought to the processing factories in Thuan An city (Binh Duong) for decoration. Mr. Phuoc, the driver, said that each day he has to drive about 100 km to carry 4,000 products, divided into two shipments to the factory. (Photo: VN Express)
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At the workshop of Mrs. Vo Thi Thanh Ha in Lai Thieu ward, every day about 2,000 pigs and buffalo are imported. Staffs are busy painting and decorating on each product to deliver. (Photo: VN Express)
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The paint commonly used to paint the products is powder coating because it has a firm grip and dries quickly. The painter once finishes the painting, will coat the golden buffalo with glitter. According to Ms. Ha, the most difficult part is drawing the buffalo’s eyes, nose, and horns because it requires high skills to create soulful products. (Photo: VN Express)
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This year, the village makes two types of buffalo, which are different in size. Both types are covered with iridescent yellow color. (Photo: VN Express)
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The owner of the workshop arranged the large golden buffaloes in a corner so that the paint can dry. The large golden buffalo, which is decorated with exquisite sophistication, has a price of 30,000 VND (1,3 USD) (Photo: VN Express)
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In a corner of the workshop, every day Mrs. Ha, who has been in the profession for more than 10 years, draws each piggy bank, buffalo in gold paint.(Photo: VN Express)
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Close to Tet, every day, many traders go to factories in Lai Thieu ward to collect pigs and buffaloes for sale in Ho Chi Minh City. According to factory owners, their products are also exported to Laos and Cambodia. (Photo: VN Express)