The Lao Handicrafts Association (LHA) is aiming to introduce some new additions to the pottery range in Vientiane, which it hopes will attract more customers.
The association already supports local potters to produce various items including jars, mortars and vases, and customers can place orders directly with the association.
President of the Lao Handicrafts Association, Mr Hansana Sisane, spoke about the need to diversify pottery products at a workshop on the business recently.
Phase II of a skills development programme took place at the Santiphone Pottery Factory in Vientiane as part of a strengthening technical and vocational education and training project.
Mr Hansana said the association needs to increase understanding of the importance of supporting local pottery makers rather than purchasing products made elsewhere.
We are now worried about pottery businesses in Laos because the demand for pottery increases each year but the number of local people actually making pottery products has decreased, he said.
In response, the LHA’s policy to support sustainable pottery aims to respond to production needs by ensuring the long term viability of pottery businesses.
During the training course participants discussed their work. As part of the project, communities were required to implement a viable and sustainable pottery management model allowing villagers to earn more income from the pottery they sold to markets, he added.
He explained that the LHA was continuing to promote Lao handicrafts at home and abroad while tackling the issue of pottery preservation by encouraging pottery production at the local level.
While Lao handicrafts are proving popular with domestic and international customers alike, some people have sought out imported pottery when local raw products are in short supply.
Mr Hansana said we believe that customers are interested in items like plates, cups, spoons and other utensils made by Lao people.
So we use raw materials found in Laos like clay to make pottery products here and of course these will also be made with the use of Lao people’s skills, he added.
The Lao Handicrafts Association will also look to local markets in Vientiane for inspiration before creating any of the new pottery products.
The association hopes to expand these new products to other provinces especially if they see increased customer interest in them.
According to the association, in October and November this year, the Lao Handicrafts Association held an exhibition of Lao handicrafts to present the new pottery products at Lao-ITECC.
The association invited customers from shops, hotels and restaurants around the city to attend the exhibition, when they were able to purchase new pottery items.
Source: Vientiane Times