Artisan Tran Nam Tuoc: outstanding craftsman of Vietnamese pottery

With a sharp and creative thinking of an artist, Meritorious Artisan Tran Nam Tuoc always thinks big and does big things on the basis of his deep understanding of traditional culture.
Artisan Tran Nam Tuoc: outstanding craftsman of Vietnamese pottery ảnh 1A set of statues of Vietnamese Mother Goddesses is covered with an ancient enamel layer restored by artisan Tran Nam Tuoc. (Photo: Vietnamplus)

Hanoi (VNA) - Tran Nam Tuoc left home to earn his living since he was 15. He had done many jobs, such as wood carving, relic restoration and renovation. In difficult times, Tuoc even had to buy and resell scraps and work as a driver. However, pottery with Tran Nam Tuoc has always been his passion, his breath and non-stop creativity.

Artisan Tran Nam Tuoc: outstanding craftsman of Vietnamese pottery ảnh 2Artisan Tran Nam Tuoc enjoys watering his garden of ornamental trees every morning. (Photo: Vietnamplus)

Tuoc has not attended any training classes. All of his products are made by his own research and creativity.

In 2020, when many enterprises were hardly hit by COVID-19, artisan Tran Nam Tuoc still exported 5,000 Vietnamese folk statues to the UK market. This is also a good signal for craft villages in the country.

Previously, a dragon head of Ly dynasty made by the artisan was personally presented to the US President by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Tuoc said when he was in grade 10th, he quit his study and he decided to discover the country. In the following years, he travelled to all provinces and cities across the S-shaped land. Every place he set foot, he just worked until he had enough money to go to another place, and learnt every profession on the way.

Saigon was the place where he stayed the longest before returning to the north. Tran Tuoc stayed there for seven years. His jobs were mainly related to fine arts in the toy market, but the market at that time was underdeveloped.

He came back to his hometown -Thai Binh later and studied and made ceramic products for about 1-2 years. In 1996, he came to Bat Trang, not to look for a job, but as a driver for a rehabilitation center. After that, he found pottery profession suitable for him so he decided to quit driving, settle down in Bat Trang pottery village and spend time on restoring relics.

A principle of Tran Tuoc pottery line is “say no to copy”. All products are renewed and based on legends.

When Tran Tuoc was young, he travelled everywhere. But perhaps because of the influence of his family, Tran Tuoc had a mindset of a merchant from an early age. That is also the reason why his mindset in pottery making is different from others.

Tran Tuoc’s products are both classical and practical. It is necessary in life like eating and drinking, not just to be seen in a glass cabinet. He thinks, like any other craft villages, how to bring traditional products to life in a useful way which will help the trade last forever. Currently, he is one of a few pottery artisans who can bring pottery products into daily life.

Artisan Tran Nam Tuoc: outstanding craftsman of Vietnamese pottery ảnh 3A ceramic ancestor altar is a successful experiment of artisan Tran Nam Tuoc (Photo: Xuan Mai/Vietnamplus)

He has chosen a ceramic line for himself and approached market and customers directly. That is, he produces and sells directly to consumers, not depend on market demand. For Tran Tuoc, in a year of 12 months, every month is an opportunity for him

According to artisan Tran Tuoc, pottery is an art, but the way he thinks and the way he performs his pottery making skills are based from a cultural point of view. He takes the traditional value of the legends and puts it into the products he makes.

His working style is to preserve and promote cultural values of many generations.

Tran Tuoc creates a variety of pottery products that have his distinctive style. He has also restored a number of ancient pottery pieces from the Dinh, Tran, and Ly dynasties. Many of his items have been given as diplomatic gifts.

Tran Tuoc’s pottery products have been exported to many countries. The artisan is well-known for his deep understanding about past dynasties so his items have the soul of ancient pottery./.


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