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Driving away along the China Sea coast from Mui Ne towards Nha Trang, about 10 kilometres South of Phan Rang there is the small village of Bau Truc where the Cham ethnic minority people live.

More than 300 families in the village are involved in the traditional pottery business. The style of pottery has been handed down from Po Klong Chan, one of their ancestors from the immemorial time.

Hinduism had profound influence on the ancient art of Champa and inspired many sculptures that decorate the Cham's temples and towers and today it is still part of the style of traditional craftsmen in Bau Truc.

The craftman in this series of photos was working in a dark room and the light source was the light coming from one window. He was making a small copy of a clay statue copying from a bigger version which he had made using a black and white photo torn from a page of a museum catalogue.

His tools were rudimentary: an old knife and some home made instruments. When the piece is finished, it is placed in the sun for 4-6 hours every day for about 5-10 days. It is then baked in a large, outdoor kiln. Straw and firewood are placed in alternate layers inside the kiln and then it's set ablaze and left to burn for 4 to 5 hours.

f9 1/60th sec zoom at 24mm 1600 ISO (hence the grain)

Im very pleased with the response on the sand dunes. Thank you.

Hoping you will like to see another aspect of Vietnamese life away from the beaten tracks and that you will be impressed by the skills of the sculptor.

Have a nice evening,


Tags: Photo journalism Clay Sculptor Landscape and travel Portraits and people Cham ethnic minority Bau truc pottery village Phan rang phuoc dan commune Ninh phuoc district Ninh thuan province

Voters: riprap007, DolphinLady, pascalg and 34 more

Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes


DolphinLady 13 54 1 Wales
7 Jul 2008 7:44PM
Very interesting to see images like this.
When we buy these statues we just don't think about where they came from or who made them.

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pascalg 12 37 France
7 Jul 2008 7:51PM
very interesting & nice series...
lonely_oryx 11 61 55 England
7 Jul 2008 7:53PM
Well put together set
taggart Plus
14 47 13 United States
7 Jul 2008 7:59PM
Excellent reportage, Hard working man!
jaktis 15 84 Sweden
7 Jul 2008 8:00PM
Good photojournalism

microchip 12 1 United Kingdom
7 Jul 2008 8:47PM
A very interesting write up the skills of these people amaze me,
Well captured JeanNoel,
GrahamBaines 12 39 United Kingdom
7 Jul 2008 8:47PM
Love the light in these Jean-Noel, a nice study.

mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.5k 2060 United Kingdom
7 Jul 2008 8:50PM
Quiet and cool. A very intimate account of a craftsman's work, without ever intruding. Excellent set, one of your best I reckon.
Gaucho 17 2.8k 2 United Kingdom
7 Jul 2008 9:02PM
This is very good Jean-Noel.
lostintime 11 13 5 Germany
7 Jul 2008 9:25PM
Super reportage, wonderful detail and an interesting story.
Maiwand 12 3 73 England
7 Jul 2008 10:45PM
Super candid shot Jean. Oh to be blessed with the skill to do this !!.
photophantom 11 108 3 Philippines
8 Jul 2008 7:35AM

Quote:Super reportage, wonderful detail and an interesting story.

She's right JNC
LuzDeNoche 11 2 France
8 Jul 2008 9:14AM
I like the way you've shown the intimacy of the sculptor at work.
Smile Lucy
phil_j 13 134 4 England
8 Jul 2008 9:26AM
Another super collection of images.

Scaramanga Plus
11 57 6 United Kingdom
8 Jul 2008 5:55PM
Really interesting, to see how he works, great series, very informative as usual.
Thank you very much for those comments. JNC
Glostopcat 13 255 2 England
11 Jul 2008 10:18PM
Excellent reportage JNC, your documentaries of Vietnam have been a real pleasure to view

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