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In Vietnam, young designer turns wood chip miniatures into side hustle

Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 10:41 GMT+7
In Vietnam, young designer turns wood chip miniatures into side hustle
Miniatures made by Tran Minh Tan. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Tran Minh Tan earned part of his income from making meticulous miniatures using discarded wood chips.

A graduate of Dong Nai College of Decorative Arts in Vietnam's Dong Nai Province, Tan is currently working as an interior designer.

He is also a craftsman who upscales discarded items into miniatures after being inspired by creations he saw on a foreign news site a few years ago.

Tan decided to pick up wood chips, a cheap material that is available in plenty around him, to assemble scale models of structures he saw on his trips around Vietnam.

“Each chip takes a different shape, pattern, and color, which rouses my imagination," Tan said.

“The art may look easy, but it requires knowledge of color coordination, layouts, and details in order to make the prosaic pieces of wood come alive."

For now, the designer is mulling a scale model collection of architecture indigenous to the mountainous area of northwest Vietnam.

Creating scale models may be his passion, but Tan also found customers who are willing to pay VND250,000 – 500,000 ($11-23) for each of his pieces, which helps him earn extra money and inspires him to hone his craft further in the future.

Tran Minh Tan makes miniature from a discarded wood piece in his studio in Dong Nai Province. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Tran Minh Tan makes miniatures from a discarded wood piece in his studio in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

A miniature made by Tran Minh Tan. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

A miniature made by Tran Minh Tan. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Wood pellets used by Tran Minh Tan to create miniatures. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Wood pieces used by Tran Minh Tan to create miniatures. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Tran Minh Tan cuts wood with a cutting blade. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Tran Minh Tan cuts wood in his studio in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

A miniature made by Tran Minh Tan. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

A miniature made by Tran Minh Tan. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

A miniature made by Tran Minh Tan. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

A miniature made by Tran Minh Tan. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Tran Minh Tan brought back wood pieces he solicited from a carpenter’s workshop. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Tran Minh Tan holds wood pieces he solicited from a carpenter’s workshop. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

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