Few people know that pottery products in Bien Hoa, Dong Nai Province were famous both at home and abroad from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. So far, the types of pottery products made in Bien Hoa during that period are still invaluable and rare for those who are keen on collecting ancient pottery.
Located along the basin of the romantic Dong Nai River, Bien Hoa City has been known for the traditional pottery making craft that has existed for about 300 years. Today, the craft is only done in the wards of Buu Long and Tan Van in Tan Hanh and Hoa An Communes where there are about 400 small and large production workshops of families.
Bien Hoa is the place where the Bien Hoa Vocational Training School, the first pottery vocational training school of Indochina, was founded in 1903. In 1913, the school was renamed the Bien Hoa Fine Arts School. In 1923 when the couple, Robert Balick and Mariettee Balick, managed the school, they marked a milestone for Bien Hoa pottery. Working as Head of the School’s Pottery Board, Mariette Balick devised a plan for developing the pottery craft in the area with a focus on producing pottery with different colours, delicate patterns and unique glazes. Then, Mariette Balick and her Vietnamese colleagues created successfully some glazes, such as blue-speckled copper and celadon glaze from natural materials, such as rice straw ash, sand in Da Nang and laterite.