Old-world Saigon houses a myriad of pre-industrial handcrafting facilities. This is where we found your frost-resistant, colourful ceramic pots. Imagine a big barn-like structure, with mountains of cut wood and colourful pots surrounding the perimeter. Handcrafting pottery takes time.
Especially in the heat. Feel the stickiness of thick, heavy air with high humidity in 35 degrees Celsius.
First stage of a good clay pot requires creating good clay: each batch of clay is mixed from the earth, by hand.
The only motorized machine on the premises appears to be the clay refinement machine. The loud single-piston fires loudly as it presses out air and removes impurities. The object is to remove anything that will compromise the integrity of the clay or blow up firing pots in the kiln.
Refined clay is cut in layers—with a wire cutter like a really big wire cheese knife—to 1” depths.
Large moulds are filled and outlined by hand with clay.
After peeling away the moulds, bumps and ridges are smoothed over.
Glazing is mixed and poured over the air-dried pots.
The fire is stoked, the heat monitored carefully and brought up to 1,300 degrees Celsius.
Pots are lined into the brick kiln to fire.
Pots are cooled, packed and loaded into shipping containers, travel the oceans, trucked from Vancouver harbour. Now, awaiting your planting genius.