Behind The Scenes

Handmade Vietnamese Pottery: A Buyers Report

Last September we made a trip to Viet Nam with hope of finding some great new furniture designs. We did find some great product there, but what has stayed with me the most was our visit to a pottery factory.  I was surprised to see that even on a large scale, the very same techniques are used as in a small pottery (note that the place they make this stuff is also referred to as a pottery) and the pots are primarily made by hand. I guess it was something I just didn’t think about before!

As we toured the pottery I developed a feeling of nostalgia as I took photos of the kilns where they fire the pots. They seemed to spring to life from the pages of some ancient story! Made from earth and bricks, it just felt so organic.  The scent of burning hard wood in the air, row upon row of pottery in various stages of production, and workers scattered about spinning pots, loading the kilns…I quickly forgot about the notion of mass production. Even on a scale that we buy at, these are still hand-made!

With countless styles and finishes to choose from, we tried to develop an Urban Barn look using popular earth tones like chocolate brown and slate grey, as well as some spa-like whites and apple green. We made a selection of both large and small pots all suited for indoor or outdoor use.

Several months later, as the pottery arrives in our shops I look at it a lot differently than I did before, that’s for sure. There is something about knowing that somebody put their skill and hard work into making such a thing that gives it value it otherwise might not have.

Especially now that the pottery is arriving at our stores, I feel a great sense of connection to the finished pots. From the people who made the pottery, our input into the styles and finishes, and some great garden work from our customers, I hope these beautiful pots are enjoyed for many years to come!

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