“I wish I could marry you/ I will buy Bat Trang bricks to build our house” are the beautiful folk words honoring Bat Trang ceramic & pottery quality, the pride of northern Vietnam.
Bat Trang, 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!
Bat Trang village
It’s said that Bat Trang village was established in 14th or 15th century. 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, 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.
A wealthy Vietnam under Ly dynasty
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.,
2. The famous ceramic & pottery products
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.
A completed pottery product of Bat Trang village
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 the diversified 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.
3. To conclude
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 make a Vietnam Tour to really understand about the historical and traditional values in each handicraft product.
Well, choose a Hanoi traditional handicraft villages tour to visit the two famous handicraft villages on Hanoi outskirts: Bat Trang Ceramic Village and Van Phuc Silk Village. Surely you will find it best fit your time frame and may buy some ceramic goods as souvenirs for your trip in Vietnam.
Tags: Hanoi tours vietnam