Meet The Artisans: The Craftsmanship Custodian21 Jan 2020
Originally in the heart of culture village of Thanh Hoa province, our women artisans are inherited with special talent from past generations. Not only do they granted with the technique of traditional fiber weaving, but they also are born and raised with the passion for Vietnamese craftsmanship. Our craftswomen use the art of weaving natural fiber homewares to create their own creative design, express their cultural identity and generate income for their families. They create new patterns and collaborate with designers to find the perfect balance between tradition and modernity so that they can resist the non-sustainable practices of our time.
With admiration and respect, we hope to help them to cultivate their talents and flourish their traditional weaving craftsmanship.
The story behind every weaving handicrafts
In the trip to visit Nga Son traditional village, we spent most of the time with artisans to learn about the weaving craftsmanship and the story behind it. Hearing their stories firsthand and getting a feel for their daily life was a genuine way to connect with our gentle weavers. The first time we met them, we were welcomed with hopeful smiles and cheerful greetings. These women had sincere and really likable smiles. Our managers walked us around the factory, introduced us to the artisans and showed us their work. When talking to artisans, we could feel their happiness and joy through their eyes. Their hands were quick but firm in each weaving stitch. When talking to us, they were friendly and intimate, however, their gaze was still focused on the weaving handicrafts.
Artisans are divided into groups at each stage of creating products. Each group always has a leader (usually the ones with the highest expertise) to observe and ensure each product meets the export quality demand. After making products, artisans compare the details of the products to pick out the qualified and retouch the ones with major defects. This meticulous handmade process itself speaks for their creators: these weavers are not just simple workers, but true artisans who put heart and soul to their work.
A talented artisan, a good friend, and a wonderful mother.
When talking with women, we could easily see how the artisans feel towards each other. They taught each other how to braid and always gathered together for factory lunch. During lunchtime, the laughter was still ringing as same as working hours, the stories were incredibly spontaneous and natural. They just simply told each other how their day went, how their children were learning at school, their parents’ health or even their marriage stories. Not only they are artisans, but they are also true friends to each other.
Before becoming skillful weavers at Viet Trang, many of the women here were unemployed. It was usually hard for a not well-educated countryside woman to find a job without any degrees, not to mention that they are “full-time” mothers. Eventually, they had to depend on their husband’s income and had a hard time balancing their household finance. Thanks to Viet Trang, they now have the job that both gain positive income for their family and also gives them a flexible time to take care of their children. Their lives change for better not only by the job they were given but also by the courage and the patient they put for this job. It’s no doubt that when given the opportunity, women have the unique power to reshape their lives, their families, and their communities.
Women empowerment is one of the key philosophies here at Viet Trang, and this continues inspires us to do what we do. We hope when choosing our products, you will think about the story of these amazing local women.
Thankful gifts from Viet Trang team
As a sincere thanks to the artists, Viet Trang team prepared a little surprise party to send the gifts to the artisans. We wanted to express our appreciation and gratitude towards these women, who have helped the dream of Viet Trang Craft to come true. The party took place in a warm and cheerful atmosphere. You can feel this cozy moment by photo images we took below.
At Viet Trang, the artisans are our hearts! This trip was a valuable opportunity for us to truly connect with artisans and to comprehend more about Vietnamese traditional craftsmanship. We have whole new points of view about these seagrass handicrafts after the journey, as the products were made with a greater meaning beyond: more than just handicrafts, they are cultural legacy.