Thanh Ha Pottery Village
- on Sep 7, 2019       By: Bảo Ngọc
Hoi An ancient town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its surroundings are known for being home to a significant number of villages where a rich and varied traditional handicraft has been perpetuated for generations. Among these artisanal villages is Thanh Ha and is distinguished by the quality of its ceramic objects made for centuries by families with the know-how passed down from their ancestors. Located on the bank of the Thu Bon River in the district with the same name and three km west of the Hoi An city center lies the Thanh Ha Pottery Village, you should absolutely come for a visit! You have the opportunity for a pleasant boat ride on the river and can admire the exceptional artisanal cultural heritage that makes all the wealth and pride of the province of Quang Nam.
The birth of Thanh Ha ceramics
The artisanal activity of Thanh Ha village dates back to the 16th century when people from Thanh Hoa province in northern Vietnam came to settle in Quang Nam province with their traditional craft pottery. From then, Thanh Ha village was what some historians and archaeologists called "the ceramic road". A road which according to more studies left from Japan and China then skirted the Chinese and Vietnamese coasts with a stop in Hoi An before continuing towards other countries of South-East Asia and even as far as the subcontinent of Indian.
Thousands of ceramics have been found in the many shipwrecks and their torn bunkers. From the 16th to the 18th century, Hoi An was a flourishing port city where Chinese and Japanese ships, caravels of the Portuguese or Spanish Navy came to the port to unload or reload bunkers of various products including ceramics and pottery from Thanh Ha village. Despite the decline of port activity in Hoi An because of the silting up of the river and the changes of history, the ceramic has found new momentum thanks to the tourist appeal of Hoi An and its great renown has exceeded the borders of the country because it is exported around the world.
Thanh Ha: a well preserved traditional village
By going to Thanh Ha you will be able to discover a well preserved traditional artisanal village. We particularly appreciate its old houses made of weathered bricks, centuries-old trees including beautiful banyan trees and glazed clay roof tops. You can watch the sampan boats as they come to take delivery of products from the workshops where families make objects of great delicacy entirely by hand and use centuries-old techniques.
Discover Thanh Ha pottery village
At the banks of the Thu Bon River you can see workers trying to extract the raw material used by the potters: clay. This is then mixed with marl, sedimentary rock and silica. The mixture is kneaded manually then left to rest. You can observe the craftsmen making rolls of earth that are obtained by rolling a little clay between the palms or on a flat surface. Then they will shape the clay according to their usage. Finally, they are arranged in a traditional wood oven at a temperature of 850 to 1000 ° C for about 8 hours. The smaller pieces are sometimes sun-dried. Once finished, the pieces are decorated with various patterns. It is a real pleasure to watch how the artisans apply their ancestral know-how.
Terracotta Park Thanh Ha
If you are interested in pottery do not forget to visit Terracotta Park. Located in the Thanh Ha Pottery Village, Thanh Ha Terracotta Park was built in 2011 on a plot of nearly 6,000 square meters by architect Nguyen Van Nguyen who was inspired by the centuries-old tradition of the craftsmen's work.
The park is divided into five functional areas: Nam Dieu village, a creativity workshop, trade promotion, pottery museum and an outdoor exhibition area. Each large space has its own story told through symbolic images, artifacts and objects which all came together during the 500-year-old settlement and development period of the Thanh Ha Pottery Village.
Pottery workshops are also available, an excellent and fun activity which draws both children and parents during which all the secrets of the traditional Thanh Ha pottery are revealed. It is also a great opportunity to bring back an original souvenir made by one's own hand. This experience encourages a more responsible tourism and stimulates local craftsmanship.