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1 Characteristics of the study area: Bat Trang Pottery Village

1 Characteristics of the study area: Bat Trang Pottery Village

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Bat Trang has fairly wide geographical area, relatively favorable position

foe development as well as traditional pottery exchanges, commodity exchanges

with the surrounding area and easily acquire modern science and technology for

development the local economy.

4.1.2 The history and development of Bat Trang Village

The period 15th-16th century: when King Ly Cong Uan relocated the

capital in Thang Long. With the establishment and development of the capital,

many businessmen, crafters from many areas come to settle down here to work

and trade. In Bat Trang, there were a lot of white clay, so that many potters,

whom was Nguyen Ninh Trang family, came and built the kilns here.

Accordingly, Bat Trang has gradually changed from a normal ceramic and

pottery village into a famous ceramic and pottery center.

The period 16th-17th century: After geographical discoveries in the 15th

century, many developed countries of Western Europe to Eastern spill. Countries

Portugal, the Netherlands, Britain, France... established companies in the East

for trade. Maritime trade activities in Southeast Asia has a long history of capital

becomes more vibrant, attractive countries in the region in the Asian trading

system and the world market is forming.

In 15th -17th century was a period of high development of ceramic industry

Vietnam exports, which in the north there are two important centers: Bat Trang

and Chu Dau .At that time, Thang Long (Hanoi) and Hien street (Hung Yen

Province) are the two largest urban centers. Bat Trang located on the banks of

the Two River (Red River) in between Thang Long and Pho Hien, the waterway

connecting the two cities and is the gateway to trade with the outside world.

Vietnam pottery is sold to many countries such as: Chinese, Japan, Southeast

Asian countries and the Western countries

Late 17th century and early 18th century: The sale and export of pottery of

Vietnam in Southeast Asia are declining rapidly because after Taiwan was



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liberated (1684) and Qing Dynasty abolished crossing policy prohibiting trade

with foreign countries. Since then, high-quality ceramics of China swept into the

Southeast Asian market and pottery of Vietnam is not competitive enough. After

a period of closure to protect the precious materials such as silver, copper; Japan

has been promoting the development of economic sectors in countries such as

silk, sugar, ceramics... which previously had to buy foreign products.

The period 18th-19th century: Some Western countries go into the

industrial revolution with the new goods to large consumer markets. The

economic situation together with the foreign trade policy of limiting government

Trinh Nguyen in the 18th century and the Nguyen Dynasty in the 19th century

has made international trade relations of Vietnam, and the decline export pottery

also declined. That is why some pottery village production interruptions (such as

Chu Dau pottery village). Bat Trang although affected, but retains the vitality

thanks to a broad consumer market in the country with these appliances,

worship, ornaments, and bricks are required for all classes society from nobles

to civilians. During this period, Bat Trang pottery declining exports, but Bat

Trang is still a manufacturing center famous traditional pottery in the country.

The period 19th century- now:

During the French colonial period, though the Bat Trang pottery kilns were

some ceramics factories and imported products compete but still maintain

normal operation.

After the Indochina War (1945-1954), 10 individual landlords, the landlord

of Giang Cao (after land reform in 1955) contributed capital to establish Truong

Thinh company to produce ceramic serving civil society. This is the starting

platform for enterprise Bat Trang. In 1958 state-private joint venture, Truong

Thinh company converted into Bat Trang cooperation, hire workers to work in

Bat Trang village. With adequate infrastructure, Bat Trang workers tested,

practiced, creativity by hard work and created a generation of skilled robust



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ceramic. Meanwhile, Bat Trang have some cooperatives as Hop Thanh (1962),

played at the ground close to Da Ton commune, Hung Ha (1977), Hop Luc

(1978), Thong Nhat (1982), Anh Hong (1984) and ceramics industry association

(1984) Enterprise X51, X54 (1988) ... The production facilities offer domestic

consumer goods, some technology, and some plastic goods exports. The famous

artists in Bat Trang such as: Dao Van Can, Nguyen Van Khieu, Le Van Van, Le

Van Cam ... train many young potters to provide new open kilns in the

provinces.

After 1986, Bat Trang with a significant change in the direction of a market

economy. The cooperatives in turn dissolved or transformed into joint-stock

companies, large enterprises established, but still, exist many organizations

produce and disseminate are small production units per household. Bat Trang

commune has become a major pottery center.

Currently, Bat Trang ceramic products increasingly wealthy and diverse. In

addition to the traditional products, the Bat Trang pottery kiln was producing

more new products to meet consumer demand in Vietnam as the types of cups,

plates, vases... a new kind of building material, all kinds of insulators... and the

products exported by foreign orders. Bat Trang products available in the

domestic market and is exported to many countries in Asia, Europe. Bat Trang

attracted much manpower from around the composing new designs and

improved production technologies. Some artisans have initially succeeded in

recovering some traditional pottery designs with unique glaze and the Ly, Tran,

Le, Mac...

4.1.3 Status of population and labors

Population and labor is one of the crucial factors of production and business

process. It directly impacts economic and social development. Labor creates

material wealth and it is also the force consumption to society.

In the course of business, any industry need to quantity and quality of labor.

For the production of ceramic craft, not only quantity of labor but also quality of



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labor is important. We need labors who are highly skilled. Because ceramic

manufacturing process through a lot in a short time and product must has high

aesthetics

Table 4.1 Status of the population- labor of Bat Trang Commune

in 2015

Target

I. Total population

II. Total labor

III. Total actual labor work

- Labor beyond age

- Labor aged

+ Labor industry

+ Labor in administration

+ Labor and Commercial service

+ Other

IV. Total household

V. Average demographic/household

VI.

Average

actual

working



2015

Quantity

(person)

8,006

6,176

4,379

2,136

2,243

1,122

280

480

561

1,889

4.24

2.32



(%)

100

77.14

70.90

48.78

51.22

25.61

6.05

7.48

12.08



employees/household



Source: Statistic People’s Committee of Bat Trang Commune

According to the statistic yearbook of Gia Lam District in 2015 (table 4.1),

the population of Bat Trang has 8006 people with 1898 household. The number

of social worker accounted for 77.14% of the total number of household

members. In that labor accounts for 48.78% beyond age. Because Bat Trang is a

traditional village, children under working age and old people still contribute to

engage in production. Household size of 4.23 people’s social/ household is

average of 2.3 employees’ worker/household. Thus, it can be said Bat Trang has

favorable conditions for the development of pottery workforce attraction in the

village as well as surrounding areas.

Labor is the major factor in the process of production, is one of the key

motivations for companies to ensure viable in the market and develop. Labor is



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the social conditions that managers use to create efficiency in production. A

company that want to make profits, they must use effective labor.

The table 4.2 shown the situation of hiring labor in Bat Trang village from

2013 to 2015



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Table 4.2 Classification of hiring labors at Bat Trang village in 3 years



2013



Total labors



Quantity

(person)

6,830



2014

%

100



Quantity

(person)

6,192



2015

%

100



Quantity

(person)

5,973



Comparison (%)

%



2014/2013



2015/2014



Average



100



90.65



96.46



93.50



1. Gender

- male

- female



2,859

3,971



41.85

58.15



2,965

3,227



47.88

52.12



2,981

2,992



49.91

50.09



103.70

81.26



100.53

92.71



101.79

86.79



2. Age

16-25

26-35

36-45

>45



1,476

3,597

1,593

164



21.61

52.66

23.32

2.41



1,042

3,294

1,653

203



16.82

53.19

26.69

3.3



1,272

2,681

1,864

219



21.29

44.88

31.20

2.63



70.59

91.57

103.76

123.78



122.07

81.39

112.76

107.88



92.82

83.33

108.16

115.55



3. Skill levels

qualified labors

new labors



5,629

1,201



82.41

17.59



5,438

754



87.83

12.17



5,376

597



90.06

9.94



96.64

62.78



98.85

79.17



97.73

70.50



Source: Statistic People’s Committee of Bat Trang Commune



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To obtain a deeper understanding about Bat Trang labors, the labor force is

divided into 3 criterias: gender, working aged and skill levels.

According to the above table, the number of employees of Bat Trang

village over 3 years tends to reduce from 2013 to 2015. Because of the

economic crisis in 2013, the quantity of labors was cut down. Through 2 years

2013 and 2014, the labor force of village has decreased at about 9.34% and from

2014 to 2015 the rate is 3.53%. In 2015, Bat Trang village in total has 5973

labors, which can maintain a stable operating and developing village.

With regard to gender, it can be seen in all 3 years, there are more female

labors than males one because the job requires carefully and meticulous.

About skill level of workforce, the village now have 5376 qualified labors.

The work is simple, using machines is not so complicated, so it doesn’t require

high level of labors, they just need to have good health and enjoy the job.

Having spoken to the households, we learnt that it takes no more than 2 weeks to

train new employees to work fluently.

When the household receives more orders, there will be more work, so

seasonal workers will be used/hired. Salary of seasonal labors is paid based on

workload and the working time.

4.1.4 Socio-economic situation

Bat Trang ceramics brand has a history of over 500 years, is now well

known throughout the country and internationally. There are over 2,000

households living in Bat Trang produce ceramic, 133 enterprises. Annual

revenue from communal pottery reaches 400-500 billion VND

After 4 years (2011- 2014) implementing the new rural program of the

State, with the criteria for achieving 11/19 (2011) and 2014 Bat Trang village

have achieved and reached the criteria of rural 19/19 each. Economic growth

rate on an annual average is 12%. The poverty rate reduce from 0.84% in 2011

to only 0.7% in 2014. Social workers without unemployment...



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4.2. Current situation of consumption of ceramic products in Bat Trang

village

4.2.1 Results of the ceramic products consumption in surveyed household

Bat Trang is a village long standing tradition, almost household produce

ceramic products. Therefore, household characteristics have an important role in

promoting production-business pottery village. Basis situation of household

production of ceramic village shown in table 4.3.

In 70 surveyed household, there are 61 male-headed household and only 9

female. Ceramic are profession that requires health and finding the consumption

market is relatively hard, so men’s role is crucial for the production of ceramics

in Bat Trang village. The number of person per house about 4 person per house.

There are few three generations living under one roof.

Seniority of the household head is also quite high, average over 25 years of

pottery. So, we can see that the experience of household pottery in Bat Trang is

deep and high skill level.

Education headed relatively average grade 12. It show the village interest

for young generation. This generation have brought new scientific, advances

technology and creative to develop village.



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Table 4.3 The basic situation of the household surveyed in 2015

Unit

Total households

Total persons

Gender of household leader



Household

Person

Person



2015

Numbers

70



%

100



331



100



61



87.14



9



12.86

100



Primary



56



16.91



Secondary



52



15.70



High school



176



53.17



College and University

Average person/household

Total average



47

4.7

7.3



14.22



-Male

-Female

Education



Person



Person/household

Person/ household



employees/household

-Labor in family

-Outsourced labors

Average age of members in

household

Average age of employed



2.6

Years old



4.7

35.9



Years old

32.7

Source: Calculated from survey data



Ceramic production process of Bat Trang conclude:

* Clay preparation

– Clay treatment and mixing

. The first important basis for establishing ceramic kilns is the source of

clay, and the clay must be prepared carefully in any ceramic making activity.

The preparation process varies according to the requirements of the end-product

In Bat Trang, the clay is made through an immersion system which usually

comprises four storage tanks positioned at different elevation levels: beating tank

(keep clay for 3-4 months), filtering tank, drying tank and warming tank. This



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process removes all impurities, and finally leaves a deep layer of clay which is

rich in aluminum and mangan, the ideal composition for making pottery.

Depending on the product, kaolin may be added in the preparation process.

– Shaping

The next step is shaping the product. The traditional method used in Bat

Trang was throwing on the potter’s wheel. The product was created either by

shaping the clay by hand or by coiling, both done on the wheel.

For particular products which required skillful and technical details, the

craftsmen use an applying mounding (đắp nặn) method. In this method, an

object may be made in whole or in several parts which put together.

The most popular shaping method recently is pressing mould, made of

plaster. The mould construction varies from being simple to complicate

depending on the shape of the object.

– Drying and correcting

The wet and newly formed object can easily become distorted. It must be

allowed to dry evenly so as not to crack or become misshapen.

The next stage requires covering the object, correcting and decorating.

Depending on the object, decoration may include hand-drawing by brush, or

used ready-made polychrome transfers to apply on a fired object and re-fire

again at low temperature in a tunnel oven.

Besides, other forms of decoration include an application of a running

glaze, which when fired melts, creating an unusual pattern on the objects’ body;

or motifs that are applied or incised. Applying is formed by attaching the

material to the desired area on the object and then cutting and trimming. Motifs

may also form by deep incision on the surface of the object.

* Glazing Pottery

– It is the secret of the craft. Glaze making requires the processing and

mixing of raw materials according to correct specifications.



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– General speaking, a glaze is a combination of many components: white

clay, baked lime, rice husk ask, decomposed rock, finely ground red rock and

slip. The crackled glaze appeared since the 16th century; it obtained from baked

lime, hush rice ash, and kaolin.

– There are two methods of mixing glaze, dry and wet. Bat Trang use the

wet method: they blend the components which have been well ground then add

water and stir until dissolved. The mixture is allowed to settle. The glaze

obtained after eliminating the clear water on the top and the sediment that has

settled at the bottom. Since the 16th century, Bat Trang potters had up to 5

different glazes, in which the most popular one was ash glaze, and the most

famous ones were light blue glaze and cracked glaze

– After completing the shaping of an object, the Potter will apply the glaze

before firing. The object must be cleaned with a feather duster first, then those

pieces with a colored clay body will be covered with a slip made of white clay

before applying the glaze. It is necessary to check the glaze quality and

classification beforehand.

– Glaze properties must be determined accurately to ensure compatibility

with the clay body, requirements of the object, climatic conditions and weather

at the time of application. Glaze application made by pouring, or spraying for a

larger object and dipping for a smaller object. It requires both technical and

artistic

* Firing

– Formerly, Bat Trang potter used several kinds of the kiln: frog kiln,

sectioned kiln and stepped kiln. In the last twenty years, they’ve turned into box

kiln (also called vertical kiln) as it can occupy the list area: around 5m high and

0.9m wide and lined inside with fire resistant bricks in the same way as a house

wall. It can attain a temperature of 12500C. Because of its simple construction

small size and low operating cost, it’s highly suitable for family operation.



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