Melting pot: Hanoi smithies transform discarded cans into cookware

By Ngoc Thanh   January 16, 2018 | 02:22 pm GMT+7

90 minutes is all it takes for this couple to melt down scrap metal collected by poor farmers and mold it into pots.

Lam Van Dong and his wife have been traveling to the most suburban parts of Phu Xuyen, an outlying district of Hanoi, and nearby area with their kiln to cook aluminum scraps and shape the hot liquid into pots since 1994.

Lam Van Dong and his wife have been traveling to the most suburban parts of Phu Xuyen, an outlying district of Hanoi, and nearby areas with their kiln to cook scrap aluminum and transform it into pots since 1994.

Locals collect all the scraps, wait for the smith couple to arrive and place orders for their pots. The business is at its busiest in months near Tet, the biggest and most important festival of Vietnamese people when they celebrate a new lunar year. The pot sometimes is used as gift for this occasion.

Locals collect the scrap metal and wait for the couple to arrive to place orders for their pots. They are at their busiest in the months before Tet, the biggest and most important festival in Vietnam when people celebrate the Lunar New Year. The pots are sometimes used as gifts for Tet.

It took me almost a year to collect more than ten kilos of metal. It feel secure when I order [them] to make the pots for me because I can watch the whole process, seeing the metal scraps that took me effort to gather, turn into something else, said a local name Dao Thi Ban.

“It took me almost a year to collect 10 kilos of metal. It feels secure ordering a pot from them because I can watch the whole process, seeing the scrap metal that took me time and effort to collect being transformed into something new,” said a local name Dao Thi Ban.

In order to make a pot with a diameter of 50 centimeters and depth of 40 centimeters, Dong needs up to 25-30 kilograms of aluminum scrap and 90 minutes to finish the job. His customers are mostly poor farmers.

In order to make a pot with a diameter of 50 centimeters and 40 centimeters deep, Dong needs up to 25-30 kilograms of scrap aluminum and 90 minutes to finish the job. His customers are mostly poor farmers.

Dong uses a mold, sand and coal to make the pots.

Dong uses a mold, sand and coal to make the pots.

Most of the material used for cooking pots is beer and coke cans.

Most of the materials used for making the pots are beer and soda cans.

It is critical that the entire process takes place during sunny day and in dry place because a drop of water can damage the last product.

It is critical that the entire process takes place on a sunny day in a dry place because a single drop of water can damage the final product.

The liquid aluminum is poured into the mold.

The liquid aluminum is poured into the mold.

Dong takes the final product out of the mold.

Dong removes the final product from the mold using tongs.

He usually puts the name his customer on the pot and the lid.

He usually stamps the names of his customers on the pots and lids.

 
 
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