Two kilometers from downtown after crossing Thieng Duc Bridge on National 31 along Co Chien River, in the distance, you will see heaving kilns with white smoke emitting into the sky. That is the kingdom of red ceramics. The famous pottery craft village which has been in operation for 20 years along the Co Chien River from Vinh Long City, Long Ho District to Mang Thit District.
Vinh Long ceramics are popular not only due to their elegant shapes but also by their distinguished color of pink that makes them different from other ceramics of other regions. From typical red clay, artisans make them into artistic or household pottery products and export to a number of Vietnamese cities as well as overseas markets.
Coming to the village, tourists will see the many phases involved in making ceramics. First, artisans have to dig out clay from under the river, load it off boats, classify and then mix it with sand. This is a very important process which will decide on the quality of the products. The mixed clay is then carefully kneaded, with the kneaded clay put into moulds and then into kilns. Finally, artisans have to whittle until the products are perfect.
The modeling needs the hands of sculptors or artists as the polishing and drawing patterns require artisans to be patient, meticulous and talented to increase the value of the products.
Keeping the proper fire level in the kiln is also a very crucial technique requiring experienced artisans.
Pottery products are baked in kiln for seven days at temperatures of 100-200 degrees Celsius in the first four days then increasing to 900 degrees Celsius in the final days.
Strolling along Co Chien River, tourists will see egg-shaped pottery-kilns between the industrial factories. These kilns are not only to produce pottery works but also are tourist destinations to showcase the work and explain how it is done.
In Vinh Long, tourists can see many outstanding works in diverse types such as vases, pots, jars, bas-relief, paintings and statues. The most interesting thing for tourists is the process of making ceramic works.
Tourists will see a combination of ceramics and bricks in houses in the village. One of these houses will surprise visitors as the pillars are made from pottery while the roof is made from red-tile and the floor by bricks. The house is decorated with bas-relief and paintings made by pottery.