A young craftsman puts a trendy twist on Bat Trang ceramics

Quynh makes a giant ceramic vase with relief designs. Photo courtesy of An Van Loc

The 36-year-old ceramist, who comes from a long family of potters, said she only realized she had a passion for ceramics as an adult.

“After graduating from high school, I decided to pursue fashion design studies at the University of Industrial Fine Arts instead of staying in the family business,” she said.

“I was passionate about fashion at the time. I used to run a large clothing store in my hometown and I also do a lot of personal fashion design.

However, Quynh chose to put down his tailor’s scissors so he could take over his family’s trade after an attempt to start his own business failed.

“It wasn’t until I started making my own ceramic products and inherited the family business that I realized how much I treasured the art of porcelain,” she said.

For a long time, his family business focused primarily on making household items like cups and dishes.

But she realized her family was in a rut, producing household items that weren’t unique and that many other companies were producing as well.

Meanwhile, most of the ceramic items used for worship that people prefer are made in other countries, and it is difficult to find those steeped in Vietnamese culture.

Quynh believed that his family would be able to succeed if they made the transition to producing pottery for spiritual purposes while maintaining a high aesthetic standard and retaining Vietnamese features.

With these concerns, the young artist spent a lot of time studying Vietnamese culture and ceramic techniques.

She began to combine classic patterns into contemporary ceramic products. Thus, Quynh was able to preserve the pattern and uniqueness of Vietnamese ceramics while producing a fashionable product to satisfy customers.

“The jars in the royal palace, for example, had peach and peony designs, meant to represent prosperity and power, but painted very clearly. I recognized that if I kept the shape of the antique vase but added a relief pattern, the result would be much more beautiful, although more expensive,” she said.

However, when Quynh shared his idea with his parents, used to working in the traditional way, it was not immediately accepted.

Her parents thought that embossing antique designs was impractical and too difficult to attempt.

But Quynh did not give up. Instead, she spent three years conducting covert research to develop 3D embossing technology.

“During those three years, I broke thousands of products,” she said.

“The clay I used was sufficient to pave ground a few hundred meters wide.”

3D relief pattern makes ceramic products more sophisticated and precious. Photo courtesy of An Van Loc

Quynh said the hardest part of putting 3D patterns on ceramic was making sure the lines didn’t break and making sure they looked soft and real while still staying hard and firm.

The young potter gained knowledge and expertise in ceramic production procedures when every product she made broke.

Her hard work and determination paid off. The unveiling of the first product with 3D relief design was a resounding success and customers raved about it.

In addition, Quynh came up with the idea of ​​gilding the embossed patterns, thereby increasing the value of its products.

She began to produce in larger quantities and produce improved and diversified designs.

Depending on the sophistication and size of each product, the time required to manufacture them is also different.

“Large size vases can take up to six months to complete. But in return, the value of the product increases. There are vases in our current product line that range in price from a few hundred million to a billion of dong,” Quynh said.

Vases decorated with relief patterns and gold-plated can cost up to billions of dong. Photo courtesy of An Van Loc

Quynh’s ceramic brand, Van An Loc, is now present across the country with thousands of unique ceramic products, having started with a modest store in the pottery village of Bat Trang.

Speaking of future goals, Quynh hopes to promote its ceramics to more customers, especially overseas.

“I would like to attract more attention with my 3D relief ceramic products at home and abroad. Vietnamese ceramic vases are just as good as those made anywhere else in the world, and I want friends internationals discover them for themselves,” she said. .

Source: Vietnam News

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