Tradition and modernity are inherently two opposite definitions. However, ceramic embodies traditional knowledge and craftsmanship with modern technology and savoir-faire. At MINH TIEN Ceramic, we believe that our products can be that very embodiment.
In order to finish a product, ceramists have to go through a number of stages such as selecting clay, processing clay, forming shape, drawing patterns (underglaze), covering enamel and firing at a high temperature. Every step requires a certain amount of time in order to achieve a perfect product.
For instance, learning from ancestors, Bát Tràng people have a saying from Vietnamese old tradition: “Nhất xương, nhì da, thứ ba dạc lò”. It implies three important stages in ceramic. First, the clay needs to be selected and wedged to shape the final product and ensure the stability. Then, the enamel needs to be covered equally and shiningly. Finally, baking or firing skills are the final deciding factor of a ceramic product’ quality.
Moreover, as we all know, the main component of ceramic products is clay. In Vietnam, clay usually comes from Dâu village (Bắc Ninh) or Cổ Điển village (Vĩnh Phúc). To select the clay, ceramists process it for months until it becomes white, smooth and viscous. Then, they traditionally form the shape of the products with a special tool called “bàn xoay” or a wheel-throwing table. They frequently make each product one by one and completely by hand. Up to now, thanks to the development of technology, most manufacturer use a new technique called slip-casting for mass production. With this technique, ceramists use molds to help them to form products more effectively and consistently. Once the products are either taken out from the molds or done with wheel-throwing, the bodies are dried for underglazing and glazing enamel.
Becoming a ceramist or a ceramic artist requires high techniques and skills because every product can have its own specific patterns. The brush strokes need to be tender, lively and detailed. Indeed, decorating with oxide underglaze helps giving the product more aesthetic value. Moreover, final transparent glazing (or colored glazing) is necessary to give the products their final look – matte, glossy, raku, etc.
Baking or firing – a final stage – is considered as the deciding factor in the process. This step requires high skills and attaches special importance in burning time, as well as coming out time. Clay selection, shaping, decorating and glazing would be lost effort if this final stage does not come out perfectly. Chemical components could react very unexpectedly even with the highest-skilled engineer overlooking every step.
Every experience and method gathered from generations to create traditional features on ceramic have been enhanced with modern techniques and technology. Indeed, thanks to these advancements, modern ceramic has improved aesthetics but also quality. Vases, for example, went from amphorae and pots to various new shapes and sizes nowadays.
Thus, Minh Tien Ceramic believes that with our pottery brand, Lina Pottery, we can balance traditions and modernity in every ceramic product. And thanks to our team of veteran engineers and ceramists, we are able to curate modern shapes and designs to all types of clients. Finally, we strongly think that our knowledge in technical ceramic also helps customers to achieve better and safer ceramic products.
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