Huong Canh Ceramics
Huong Canh pottery village, situated in Vinh Phuc province, 50 km north of Hanoi, is one of the rare craft villages in Vietnam whose products have been selected to be promoted and sold by the “Ten thousands villages” organization in the United States.
Huong Canh has developed because of the very favorable conditions of its natural environment: It is situated at the meeting point between midland and flat plain areas. Soils are constituted of strata structures with layers of fine clay at the top, laterite and further layers of fine clay as one goes deeper. Huong Canh’s abundant resource of quality clay comes in various colours: yellow, grey, brown, red, etc, a very precious asset for craftsmen.
According to historical records, pottery was founded by Mr.Trinh Xuan Bien – to whom grateful villagers have built a temple – more than 300 years ago. Today, of the 600 households in the village, 50% work in relation to ceramics production.
To achieve the high quality that characterizes their products, Huong Canh potters pay a lot of attention to all technical stages of production. After exploitation, the clay is kept from 5 to 6 months, and treated several times to thoroughly remove all impurities. Shaping is carried out on the wheel, and objects are carefully corrected before being decorated. Decoration involves carving, engraving, incising or relief. The kilns currently used in Huong Canh are advanced toad kilns, including several chambers and partitions. Articles are put into the kiln following the practice of “big one contains small ones” to make maximum use of the kiln’s space and avoid the use of saggar. By using this kind of advanced kiln and high firing temperature, Huong Canh’s potters are able to produce brown earthenware with low paste plasticity, hard and shiny dark brown surface, and clear sound when hit. There is no glaze applied on Huong Canh’s ceramic, but pieces have a shiny dark brown surface created by clay rubbing and firing technique.
Huong Canh produces a vast range of articles: from household items to architecture, construction, as well as artistic ceramics. Decoration style combines folk traditions to contemporary styles, using bright, colourful and lively motifs. Household, construction and architecture articles are mostly sold on the domestic market, while artistic ones are going for export.
To meet the increasing market demand for quality, Huong Canh’s potters patiently experiment and research to maintain and further develop their ancestor’s craftsmanship. The increasing number and variety of articles produced by Huong Canh pottery village, together with the trust of customers, has firmly positioned Huong Canh’s ceramic on the global market.