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Arts/Crafts in Vietnam


Ceramics have been around Vietnam, it is believed, since the Neolithic period.  During the 11th century ceramics were in great demand for religious purposes with the popularity of Buddhism.  Religious objects as well as statues were needed and were produced with great skill.  The beauty and elegance of ceramics caused the aristocracy, as well as emperors, to become patrons of kilns in the Red River Delta.  Cups, dishes, etc., with whitish-ivory and jade-green glazes were produced in the 12th century, gradually increasing in ornamentation during the 15th and 16th centuries.  With the adoption of cobalt blue from China, Vietnam started producing blue-white ceramics which were still being produced as late as the 19th century in royal workshops, and in the village of Bat Trang (Hanoi).   

 

Woodcuts initially came from China, but is now considered to be a traditional Vietnamese art.   These are mainly used for book illustrations and for pictures during Tet (Trahn Tet - traditional New Year's pictures).  

Woodcarving, considered to be a peasant art, was until recently a hidden art within Vietnam.  It was not until 1972 that the country realized the beautiful art hidden within it's country's homes.   This art uses ironwood, ebony, reddish mahogany and rosewood (yak wood) with the natural beauty of the wood just adds to the finished product, whether it be in a temple, home or a statue.  Adding to the natural beauty, sometimes several layers of  lacquer and color are applied making it even more breathtaking. 

 


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