Ceramic Project – third-year assignment of product design major (term 22)

(Admission Office – Van Lang, September 28th, 2018 ) – The projects of 19 third-year students of Product Design (Industrial Design) were presented and assessed at Room C709 – Campus 2 of VLU on Sept 19th.

To freshmen and the second-year students, summer is the time of coming back home. However, to the third-year students of the Product Design Industry, it is considered " season of projects". And during the last summer, they have devoted to a typical and special project - Ceramic Project.

Saigon - Dong Nai: 6 weeks of constant back and forth

To complete the product, students have to go through 6 stages of hard work and almost 2 months of constant back and forth between Saigon – Dong Nai province.

Stage 1: Seeking inspiration

Students identify the type of product that they want to make, find their inspiration, and then present and defend the idea to their instructor. Students have to identify the reasons for choosing the topics, material innovation and images, etc.

Stage 2: Land model at the ratio of 1: 1

Students design preliminary products from industrial clay (clay with oil) with a real ratio of 1: 1, then present them to their instructor before making the official product.

Stage 3: Making plaster mold

After the instructor has commented and "approved" the product, students begin the constant journey to the Viet Thanh pottery factory (Dong Nai) from HCMC in 6 weeks.

Ceramic molds are made of plaster because of its good desiccant and water absorption which are suitable for ceramic products. There are many types of ceramic molds made by machines, hands or hydraulic presses, with different characteristics and production procedure, and spilling molds are considered optimal choice for students.

Students come to the pottery workshop and become the apprentice of "ceramic artists". Students learn the technique of pouring a plaster mold with appropriate amount in terms of thickness, height and width from the professional artists. The molds must be dried completely in natural condition before being poured to make shape of ceramic products.

dhvl do an gom sv nam 3 tdsp 1The mold must be dried completely in natural conditions before being painted and enameled

The process of pouring ceramic into the mold is not too complicated. However, at this stage, students must be very careful in every single step. The product is very soft; therefore, students may have to start over if they make any single mistake. Firstly, the VLU “artisans” must tie plaster molds tightly with rubber bands, then pour liquid clay slowly into the mold, and bring the finished product to dry in natural conditions.

Hoang Nam - class monitor- said: "At this stage, everything needs to be done with great carefulness and the product needs to be dried completely before firing the product. I never forget the time when our works were damaged because of the heavy rain. Then we had to start again. It was an unforgettable memory.”

Stage 5: Enamel

Students move through the ceramic production area of ​​Van Thanh pottery to do a lot of work: painting, engraving, glazing and firing. At the painting stage, the students are free to decorate the most perfect products before glazing and firing. "Since students have never done this job, glazing stage is assisted by the real artisan. Each student chooses one color to glaze their products.”, Hoang Nam said.

Stage 6: Firing

This stage is most expected by students. After firing the ceramic product at high temperature in a day, students now can admire their very first product after 6 weeks working hard. And it’s well worth the wait.

Stage 7: Marking – Evaluating

The instructor of the eramic project - Le Ngoc Quynh Dan, MA. and the artisans of  Viet Thanh pottery highly appreciate the first ceramic products of students. Each product has its own meaning and can be used in daily life.

dhvl do an gom sv nam 3 tdsp 2


Bamboo shoot lamp (student: Vo Hoang Nam – marks: 8/10)

Inspired by the bamboo shoots which are not only chubby but also strong, Hoang Nam creates a night lamp with the function of an oil diffuser which offers users a pleasant feeling. 


dhvl do an gom sv nam 3 tdsp 3

Addicted to the image of the Japanese Koi fish fish, Nguyen Phuong Linh Nhi prepares the Nishikigoi tea set including a pot and three cups.

"Nishikigoi" is the original name of Koi fish, which has the distinctive features in terms of strength, energy, and ability to swim upstream. More importantly, it has great spiritual meanings and represents luck, success, courage, prosperity, longevity and etc. Nishikigoi tea set is expected to send peaceful message to users.


dhvl do an gom sv nam 3 tdsp 4

Camellia ceramic, the work of Nguyen Cao Thuy Trinh (marks: 8/10) brings harmony of nature in the mini landscape of waterfall which help condition the air, make the house more lively and make all members feel comfortable and peaceful. The sound of water is just like music for the soul. The waterfall makes the house become a great place ffor all members to relax, enjoy tea or gather together.


6 weeks working for "unforgettable summer project" in student life

In room C709 – campus 2, it seemed that the results were no longer important. Instead, it’s fun, joy and achievement for their hard work.

Finishing the project, no one has to wake up early in the morning and then moves to the pottery workshop. However, students will never forget 6-week "daily trip to Dong Nai". To 3rd-year students in product design department, winning over yourself is the greatest joy when you make ceramic products by yourself. Hoang Nam shared: "I’m satisfied with my handmade ceramic product and its applications. After finishing the project, my class becomes more united, we understand each other more. Working with ceramic artisans for nearly 2 months, we realize that it is not easy to prepare a ceramic product. We must preserve, promote this cultural identity and respect the pottery products."

dhvl do an gom sv nam 3 tdsp 133The representatives K22TD class visit and thank ceramic artisans at Viet Thanh Ceramic Workshop on Sept 26th, 2018.

The ceramic project is an important project of the 3rd year students in the product design department. Through the project, Van Lang University wants students to understand more about pottery in general and Dong Nai pottery in particular, the specific glazing color as well as the process of making the product. More importantly, each project is an opportunity for student to complete a process of research and product realization - the precursor for the later product designer.

More products: 

Writer: Le My
Photos: Vo Hoang Nam – student of K22TD
Translator: Nguyen Thi Van

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