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Art & Craft workshop – Echoes of Huế’s ‘Pháp Lam’ traditional enamel art – FULL

July 22, 2023 @ 9:30 AM - 2:30 PM


Down an alley off Bach Mai street is the HOẠ GẤM studio/workshop in the middle of a very local Vietnamese area.  Young artist Nguyễn Hoàng Anh graduated from the Graphic Design department at the University of Industrial Fine Arts (Hanoi). She has long been intrigued by “Pháp Lam” – a traditional art technique  – a kind of enamel paining – which fired copper coated in brilliant bright enamel and was carved. This high quality art form adorns Hue’s mausoleums and palaces. Pháp Lam refers to firing enamaled bronze. It was created in 1827 during the Nguyen Dynasty. It declined then made a come back before declining again and eventually, over a 60 year lifespan, the technique and its workshops finally disappeared.

Pháp  Lam had many stages and complicated processes. Nguyễn Hoàng Anh did lots of research into reviving and revising this lost art form and created a much simpler and quicker technique – ‘Họa  Kim Sa’.

  • Họa  = drawing the design
  • Kim = metal that is the core of the picture
  • Sa = coloured sand

This still gives the same depth of beauty and rich colours but is much more accessible and suitable for people today.  Hoàng Anh and her HOẠ GẤM team have created a number of items that can be designed and decorated in the Pháp Lam style using the Họa  Kim Sa technique.  While this is certainly loads quicker, time is still needed to create one’s masterpiece and the more intricate the design the more time is needed.

HOẠ GẤM is located on the top floor of Hoàng Anh’s home in a small room full of colour, materials products and creativity. She runs drop in and private workshops. FVH was introduced to her through one of our FVH members. We met her and were inspired by what she and her team are creating.  So we thought lets run our own small group workshop for FVH.

For our first attempt we will decorate a small round coaster.

Total time 5 hours including introduction to history and the technique of this art form and instruction.

There are a huge number of designs, but we have narrowed it down to a choice of 3 traditional images. Those who RSVP will be asked to choose which image they prefer.

Although the coaster may seem small it’s a very intricate art form and it will take time hence 5 hours.

Once the design is sketched out, you will follow the design by fixing down the copper wire and then using different coloured ‘enamel’ type paint to fill in the image.

After you complete these stages there is still another 1-2 more days of work the HOẠ GẤM team will do to ensure your work is totally compete.

A lovely half day of creativity – 5 hours

9.30am-2.30pm bring refreshments/ lunch or pop out for a lunch break whenever you feel hungry

The studio space has limited space, and this is our first event with them so 6 to max 7 spaces are available, after which we will have a waiting list – please RSVP even if the workshop is full.

NB – we sit cross legged or kneeling on the floor (no chairs and high table) so please ensure you will feel comfortable sitting in this position.

This is very intricate work so if you usually need glasses for close up work please bring them with you

Directions and location map will be sent to those who are confirmed on the workshop. Its down Ngõ 392 Bạch Mai street heading towards Minh Khai and Dai La streets.

Vietnamese with English translation


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July 22, 2023
9:30 AM - 2:30 PM
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