The creation of pottery and different ornamental objects from pink clay is an historic custom for the folks of Kampong Chhnang province, particularly these of Andong Russey, Kdei Tnaot and Trapeang Sbov villages of Sre Thmey commune within the district of Rolea Ba’ier, who’ve maintained this legacy of expertise and handed it down from era to era to the current day.
These pink clay ceramics not solely present a occupation for a lot of villagers, however they’ve additionally created a particular id for the folks of Kampong Chhnang, because the pots and earthenware created there at the moment are recognized with the province by folks inside and out of doors the nation. Area.
Uon Pov, 60, sits in her studio full of massive and small completed and semi-finished ceramic items comprised of native clay. She tells the Submit that she is married and has 4 sons who additionally dwell in Andong Russey village in Sre Thmey commune.
She stated she was proficient in making every kind of earthenware pots and merchandise and discovered the talents from her mom at an early age.
She was 9 years previous when she began serving to her mom make pots in her spare time after faculty. Though she was younger and will solely do the best duties, she tried to be taught and memorize each step of the method when making a pot.
She added that through the Khmer Rouge regime, the cadres knew that the villagers of Andong Russey knew the best way to make pots, in order that they requested them to make pots to retailer the palm sugar produced by the collective farms.
She stated she began her skilled work as a marmite after the nation was liberated in 1979 and that ninety p.c of Andong Russey villagers are marmites, having discovered the commerce from their ancestors, however of his sons, solely two of them just like the job. and at present do.
She added that Phnom Kraing Dey Meas – the close by mountain – uplifted the folks of three villages and supported them, because the mountain was an important supply of uncooked supplies that the folks of the villages used for his or her ceramics.
After the liberation in 1979, the villagers of those three villages nonetheless solely knew the best way to make cooking pots.
In 2007, a Japanese group supplied coaching on pottery methods, soil mixing methods and chemical mixing methods to color pottery like pots, vases or bowls, however in 2009 they ran out of price range and left the village.
“This group skilled us within the strategy of coloration mixing, taught us the best way to combine clay, the best way to flip our merchandise into strong ceramic merchandise that may last more. The group instructed us to seek out earth and stone to combine as a coloration to color our merchandise, however I nonetheless battle to seek out these supplies,” she stated.
In accordance with Pov, the group stated the supplies for making the colours included yellow ash, black clay, firewood ash, pink clay, rice husk ash, laterite, white clay, B and D sort stones. These supplies are blended with ink to soak the product and in the event that they wanted any coloration, they only blended these supplies to get the colour they wished.
Ceramics begins with clay which should be fired in an oven at 800 levels Celsius for twenty-four hours. After that, they’re dyed with ink and heated once more to grow to be ceramics, which should be heated from 1250 to 3000 levels Celsius for an additional 24 hours to acquire outcome.
Pov stated that along with making pots from clay from the mountain, villagers may additionally produce different objects comparable to ornamental statues of small animals and different souvenirs, however the Covid-19 disaster 19 had such a extreme impression on the potters because it did on a lot of the nation as a result of they not had outsiders doing village excursions and shopping for objects to take house as they’d earlier than the pandemic .
Lack of revenue is clearly an enormous downside, however one other downside confronted by potters within the three villages Pov talked about was the dearth of conventional clay wanted to provide their distinctive ceramics.
Up to now, they may dig up all of the clay they wanted in Phnom Kraing Dey Meas, however now the military has constructed an antenna on high of the mountain and banned folks from coming into the world, so folks have been shopping for now pink clay from one other village and it price them round 150,000-200,000 riels per truck and the standard of the clay is inferior to it needs to be finely floor with a purpose to use it to make jars and different issues, which provides extra work to the method.
Sre Thmey commune chief Nou Khean instructed the Submit that the pottery enterprise was inherited from the ancestors of all who lived within the three villages of Sre Thmey commune, however he confirmed the declare. from Pov that because of the Covid-19 disaster, their enterprise had dropped considerably, inflicting them to lose cash.
He additionally confirmed that villagers will not be allowed to get clay from Phnom Kraing Dey Meas after the mountain was occupied by the military. Now they do not know the place to seek out clay.
“Immediately folks within the villages of Andong Russey, Kdei Tnaot and Trapeang Sbov purchase clay from others to make merchandise, however there may be nonetheless no market to promote something. that’s. Authorities in any respect ranges have stated they may attempt to assist revive the vacationer market or discover a new marketplace for our ceramics. At present, villagers are making clay pots, pans and cookers to promote, however they solely wholesale to brokers,” he stated.