Artisan molds earth into life in Huong Canh hinh anh 1Artisan Giang Thi Nhan (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Dedicating her whole life to traditional pottery making, artisan Giang Thi Nhan is always concerned with handing the craft down to later generations.

Through the ups and downs of Huong Canh pottery village in Binh Xuyen district, the northern province of Vinh Phuc, Nhan chose to tell her life story with seven ceramic works on which she expressed her pride in her children who have followed and made a living from this craft.

Moulding earth into life

Born in 1951 in Huong Canh, Nhan is the only daughter of Giang Thi Tu - the third generation in a family with the tradition of making pottery. Tu usually burnt kilns and taught the craft in many pottery villages. The furthest was Phuoc Tich village which is more than 500 years old in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

Growing up in a traditional family, Nhan spent her whole life on pottery. She is used to composing and expressing her thoughts and feelings through ceramic products.

When she was young, Nhan worked at Tam Dong cooperative. When the cooperative dissolved, the village switched to making bricks and tiles. But, because of her love for the job, her family reopened a pottery workshop in 2022. In 2013, she was awarded the title of artisan by Vinh Phuc provincial authorities.

Now in old age, Nhan works to satisfy her composing desire. In the recent 2-3 years, there have been seven works that she is very proud to speak of. The first is "Mat marsh", "Young Lady," "Family Happiness", and "Motherly". Far away on another shelf are the works "Hope," "Winning the horse race", and "Glory to the Ancestors".

After many years of working, she grew up from a teenager to a wife and mother. At any stage, pottery was an important part of her life. If the vase "Young Lady" has the image of shy, unblown lotus flowers, petals bloom on the works "Motherly love" and "Family happiness".

The brand of Thanh Nhan pottery is also a combination of her and her husband's name - Nguyen Thanh, former head of Huong Canh cooperative.

They have five children, and fortunately, all five work as in the family business. Her children became the fourth generation to continue the traditional craft and get well-off with the path preserved by ancestors for over 300 years.

Concern over craft oblivion

For Nhan, passing the profession to her two sons is the greatest success. Among seven households still making traditional pottery in Huong Canh today, Nhan's family has the two largest workshops opened by her third and fourth sons.

Wishing children to reap sweet fruits, she created the work "Hope", on which there is an old tree that symbolises parents and fruits which are depicted like the children and the successes she wants them to achieve. Later, the vase "Winning the horse race" conveyed her wishes.

Nhan is delighted to see her children make a living with Huong Canh pottery, saying she could meet her ancestors with peace of mind. It is why the vase "Glory to Ancestors" was made.

She said her fourth son Hong Quang returned home to start his career in pottery after graduating from the Hanoi-based Vietnam University of Fine Arts. Persevere with artistic pottery, self-promotion and investment expansion. His workshop collects billions of VND per year.

Giang Anh's workshop regularly produces traditional items such as jars, vases, and pots that also offer a good income.

Before 2010, two classes opened in Vinh Phuc to teach Huong Canh pottery making and invited Nhan to teach. But after finishing courses, trainees needed land to open workshops, so they switched to work as workers in industrial zones. "I want to teach young people how to do this craft and love the land of Huong Canh, but I'm afraid that no one will come to study", she said sadly.

Therefore, the forerunners of Huong Canh craft village are still yearning to find passionate young people to keep this craft alive./.