Adapting to change: Reforms needed for Myanmar’s traditional pottery business

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(L&R): Photos depict pots produced by Twantay Township and a female pottery artisan dedicatedly passionate about her craft.

As interest in pottery declines among younger generations, reforms are necessary to sustain the traditional pottery business in Myanmar amidst changing times.
Clay pottery is predominantly used in rural areas, with its popularity waning elsewhere. The pottery market has shrunk as fewer newcomers are willing to enter the trade.
“The market is now primarily confined to rural areas, and even there, it’s contracting,” explained Daw Myintzu Oo, owner of Myintzu pottery business. “Fewer people are interested in pursuing pottery as a profession”.
In 2000, with assistance from UNICEF, a project to manufacture clay pottery filters was initiated. Although successful, the project was eventually phased out. Today, the focus has shifted to producing a variety of clay pottery, particularly plant vases and pots for gardening purposes.
Myintzu pottery produces over ten items, including vases, kettles, water pots, piggy banks, and oil lamps. The production process involves five steps.
The pottery industry in Twantay Township has been a family trade for generations. However, it faces challenges such as a shortage of skilled workers. — ASH/TMT

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