Situated on the romantic Thu Bon river, Thanh Ha pottery village in Hoi An has a 500-year-old age, famous for its pottery and terra-cotta pottery, which has been listed by the Nguyen Dynasty into the “National product” list.
History of Thanh Ha pottery village
In 1516, pottery was formed in Thanh Chiem village, then moved to Nam Dieu (Thanh Ha ward nowadays). When the Nguyen chose Phu Xuan as their capital, many artisans of Thanh Ha pottery village were called to Hue, added to the team of skilled craftsmen to build the palace. Some people were appointed to be Chanh Ca, Bat Luyen, names of the mandarins in ancient time being in charge of the making pottery.
The best time to mention from the 17 to 18 century, the same pace with the development of Hoi An port. At that time, every house in the old town had to have pottery. The villagers of Thanh Ha pottery transferred from the countryside to Thua Thien, go around every alley in Quang-Da land. Pots, warmers, scallops, jars are the familiar objects from the clay of the Thu river which is lightweight and durable. The villagers also make curved tiles, red brick providing for the old houses in Hoi An and neighboring areas. Thanh Ha pottery village became more and more famous.
Later, through many variations of the times, pottery village seemed to fall into oblivion. However, with the enthusiasm of some artisans sticking their lives with land and fire, Thanh Ha pottery gradually recovered. Especially, since the UNESCO recognized Hoi An ancient city as “World Cultural Heritage”, Thanh Ha pottery village has become a destination to attract domestic and foreign tourists.
The production process of Thanh Ha pottery
According to artisans in pottery village, from the stage of choosing clay, putting on the table, through the hands of the skillful artist the clay is molded on the turntable table, until finishing the product of Thanh Ha pottery, meticulously beautiful. Clay materials have to be tempered to keep moisture, then stuffed, beat the soil and begin to form. There are ceramic products, which require fine soil, they have to go through the soil filtration process 2 to 3 times to remove impurities.
– Molded pottery will be basked under the sun exposure for a day and then cool to create natural patterns or decorative patterns as required. Finally put into the furnace, only a little negligence will cause the whole clay broken into pieces.
So far, the pottery village still produces handicrafts with traditional means and techniques. Thanh Ha now becomes a living museum, a valuable source of traditional pottery of Hoi An in particular and of Vietnam in general.
Traveling to Thanh Ha pottery village
Visiting Thanh Ha pottery village is a chance for tourists to understand more about the traditional craft, observe the pottery production process through skillful hands of artisans in the village, and also can manually making your own imaginative products, as well as buy your favorite pottery products.
Particularly from 2015, Thanh Ha Pottery Park (also known as Thanh Ha Pottery Park or Thanh Ha Pottery Museum) officially came into operation with an area of over 6.000m2, composed of bricks and terracotta. It is rated the largest and unique in the country today, regularly organize special exhibitions.
In addition, every year, on the 10th of the seventh lunar month, villagers formally celebrate the Trade Ancestral Worship Ceremony at the Nam Dieu Temple, to honor of the ancestors’ merit that has been built and handed down the pottery making job to the descendants. The ceremony is still preserved for hundreds of years. The festival with traditional games such as ceramic pottery modeling, molding competition, cooking rice, pot smashing, tug of war attracted crowds and visitors to participate.
* Tickets price to Thanh Ha pottery village is 35,000 VND per person visit for once. Each ticket is valid for 24 hours. Fee for guidance for groups of 8 guests or more, contact the tour guide of Thanh Ha pottery village at the ticketing. Ticket prices include:
– Transit by tram
– Watching the artisans making pottery
– Visiting Nam Dieu Temple, Ceramics Trader
– Visiting Xuan My temple ruins
– Participate in the making pottery process
– Being donated ceramic products.