woodcarving-workshop-in-hoi-an
Central Vietnam,  Vietnam

Woodcarving Workshop in Hoi An with Woodart Vietnam

When you are interested in handicrafts, as well as experiencing the culture of a country through their art and artforms a woodcarving workshop is something you should consider doing while you’re in Hoi An. You don’t only get to see stunning traditional and modern works of art (Hulk vs. Wolverine) made by Woodcarving, you also get to make your very own piece.

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If you want to skip the history lesson on Vietnamese Woodcarving as well as the introduction to the studio and jump directly to the workshop, click here.

Woodcarving

Woodcarving is traditional craft that has been practiced for centuries in Vietnam. The first recorded pieces of woodcarving include weapons and shields dating back to the Dong Son culture from 3 BC to around 1 AD. The artform peaked during the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945) when it was used to decorate temples, palaces and other important buildings, as well as the homes of the upper class all throughout the country.

Traditional woodcarving is characterized by intricate details and symbolism connected to nature and Buddhism and was used to create purely decorative pieces such as wall hangings, sculptures and vases, as well as furniture: from beds to chairs and tables to wardrobes.

Woodcarving in Vietnam is traditionally done on Vietnamese woods such as red doussie, teak, mahogany, rosewood, bamboo, pine and Thแป‹ wood (Parashorea chinensis).

Before the workshop we got to see some traditional Vietnamese Woodcarvings:

Woodart Vietnam

Woodart Vietnam is a Wood Carving Gallery & Studio in Cam Phu, which is a small village located about half an hour drive west by scooter from Hoi An. They have set themselves the mission to bring Vietnamese wood art to the attention of the world and and the same time break stereotypes both internationally and locally that woodcarving is only something for old people.

By applying traditional techniques to modern themes and characters they have gained attention on Youtube where they show off their woodcarvings. Marvel characters, as well as characters and scenes from popular Mangas like Naruto and Animes like Attack on Titan, but also colossi from popular mainstream movies like Godzilla emerge from blocks of wood with the artisans detailed attention.

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Woodcarving Workshop

The woodcarving workshop in Hoi An, or rather near Hoi An, starts either at 9 AM or 2 PM. I picked the morning one, since the heat spikes around midday. When we arrived at the woodcarving studio we were welcomed with an iced coffee and first got to cool off form the drive by looking at some of the displayed art, both traditional and modern, which I included in the gallery above.

Once at the workshop area we started by drawing our design onto a wooden plate, then got to work carving out the outline of it. While seasoned woodcarvers use a variety of tools (like chisels, knives, and saws) to work on the wood, we stuck to different sizes of chisels and a wooden block to exert force on it.

The woodcarving workshop in Hoi An takes 3 hours in which you create your own piece of art to take home. You can bring your own design if you have an idea, just make sure it has clear lines and isn’t too complicated. If you don’t have a design idea you can also look through their stock of animals and characters from animation.

I had brought in a design by a fandom artist and was able to do it, since it fulfilled all the requirements.

My thoughts on the woodcarving Workshop in Hoi An

They say on the website that you don’t need any prior knowledge to take part in this woodcarving workshop and you’ll still walk home with a piece of art. And they are correct. You need a little fine touch not to carve off too much, but even if you do, they can help you fix it.

With this workshop you get the opportunity to immerse yourself in a thousand year old craft under the guidance of a master.

You can book it here on Get Your Guide* or here on Klook*.

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