09:18 | 01/01/2020 Local Industry
(VEN) - Dai Bai Village in Bac Ninh Province is well known as the cradle of Vietnam’s ancient bronze casting tradition. Previously, local production establishments only made household articles such as pans, basins, food trays, and pots, but now skilled craftsmen are also making objects for worship such as incense burners, urns, bronze statues, flower pots, and more. According to artisan Nguyen Tan Dich, “It takes many phases to produce a complete product, which requires years of practice and innate skills and attention to detail.”
The village, located just east of Hanoi in the Red river Delta, has about 70 enterprises employing 700 households. According to the village’s historical records, the bronze casting craft was begun in Dai Bai in the early 11th century. About 200 years ago, some of the craftsmen moved to Thang Long Citadel, present-day Hanoi, to establish a handicraft guild. To this day, Hang Dong or Bronze Street in downtown Hanoi specializes in bronze household utensils and fine arts pieces.
Nowadays, in addition to keeping traditional secrets, local production establishments are using machines to replace labor power for time-consuming phases such as making rough draft molds or sharpening products. As a result of mechanization, the quality of output products is more stable and can meet large orders with stricter customer demands. In addition, thanks to innovations in bronze burning technologies and decorations, the local household producers in Dai Bai save about 70 percent of energy consumption and reduce nearly 80 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions, which cause environmental pollution.
Local households have been trying to preserve their crafts by establishing cooperatives and private businesses. They have also invested in improving technologies with many home-made machines such as laminating and polishing machines to shorten production time, expanding their markets for traditional bronze casting products.
To help craft villages such as Dai Bai apply science and technologies effectively in production, local authorities and state management agencies have adopted preferential policies to help them access bank loans and advanced technologies, and also act as a link between local producers and customers or in technology transfers.
The Bac Ninh Province Industry Promotion and Development Consultation Center has organized training courses for local production households and laborers to improve their skills in technology applications and in market access to improve competitiveness of products. It has also enhanced links with research institutes and universities to seek orders and technology transfers for households and enterprises in Bac Ninh Province and Dai Bai Village in particular.