DISCOVER THE LAST OF THE LARGE TRADITIONAL KILNS, OVER 100 YEARS OLD IN ANCIENT BAT TRANG VILLAGE

Bat Trang ceramic village is located about 10 km from the center of Ha Noi. In Hamlet 3, Bat Trang – Gia Lam district – Ha Noi, there is a unique gourd kiln (dragon kiln) which has an area of 1030 m2, 15m long.

Gourd kilns are one of the first types used to burn pottery by Bat Trang’s artisans. In the past, there were nearly 20 gourd kilns in this ancient ceramic village but so far there is only one remaining. Gourd kilns have emerged since the early days of this pottery village and were used widely until the 20th century.

Gourd kiln is actually a system of kilns connected together. A kiln usually has from 3 to 10 pots or calcination chambers. Each gourd is about 1.6m-2.6m long, from 3.5m-4.5m wide and 1.5-1.7m high. The furnace is about 13 meters long, with a part to build the chimney on the 2-meter-long tail, the total length of the furnace is 15 meters. The inclination of the furnace shaft is about 12-15⁰. The temperature of the ovens can reach 1300 ° C so the oven arches are made of refractory bricks.

When burning, artisans put ceramic products into sacks then arrange them neatly in the oven. With simple structure, taking good advantage of the heat from smoke, gourd kilns used to be very popular in Bat Trang village. However, in order to operate the kiln, artisans have to burn lots of wood. It also requires skillful workers to adjust the suitable inner temperature.

Along with the development of burning technology and new types of kilns, gourd kilns gradually lose its position and are no longer used. At present, only one last kiln is kept for visitors.

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