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Vietnamese man makes incredible woodburning art on bamboo pens

Sunday, September 25, 2022, 15:17 GMT+7
Vietnamese man makes incredible woodburning art on bamboo pens
Duong Thanh Phan has been working on bamboo for the past four years. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Duong Thanh Phan, a Ho Chi Minh City native, came up with the idea of doing woodburning on bamboos straws in 2018.

The 40-year-old said he started woodburning out of passion but decided to turn his hobby into a profession when he realized the value of bamboo art. 

Duong Thanh Phan uses a tool to wood burn a bamboo pen at his shop at 241/24/7 Tan Hoa Dong Street in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo:  Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Duong Thanh Phan uses a tool to wood-burn a bamboo pen at his shop at 241/24/7 Tan Hoa Dong Street in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Bamboo artworks by Duong Thanh Phan. Photo:  Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Bamboo artworks by Duong Thanh Phan. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Phan initially only wanted to wood-burn bamboo pens, but increasing demand pushed him to open his own workshop to produce bamboo pens.

Currently Phan’s Nha An Lanh shop offers bamboo and fire-carved bamboo pens, as well as lucky bamboo sticks, bamboo dragonflies, bamboo books, keychains, and more.

Bamboo dragonflies fetch from VND290,000 to 450,000 (US$12.23 to 18.98). Photo:  Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Bamboo dragonflies fetch VND290,000-450,000 (US$12-19). Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Bamboo books and lucky bamboo sticks. Photo:  Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Bamboo books and lucky bamboo sticks. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

According to Phan, an engraved pen is valuable because it promotes Vietnamese culture using traditional symbols, such as bronze drums, ancient lac birds, images of the Vietnamese countryside, and messages.

“[My art] looks simple, but it’s definitely not easy to create a wood-burned bamboo pen,” Phan said.

“A [woodburning] artist needs to concentrate or they can hurt their hands. Meticulousness is also required in this craft.”

Duong Thanh Phan works on material to make bamboo pens. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Duong Thanh Phan works on materials to make bamboo pens. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Bamboo straws are used to make pen barrels. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Bamboo straws are used to make pen barrels. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Phan works on bamboo straws to make pen barrels. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Phan works on bamboo straws to make pen barrels. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Phan cuts bamboo chopsticks to make pen tips. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Phan cuts bamboo chopsticks to make pen tips. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Phan sharpens pen tips. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Phan sharpens pen tips. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Phan adjusts a pen cover to fit other parts of the pen. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Phan adjusts a pen cover to fit other parts of the pen. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Duong Thanh Phan uses a tool to wood burn a bamboo pen at his shop at 241/24/7 Tan Hoa Dong Street in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo:  Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Phan uses a tool to wood-burn a bamboo pen at his shop at 241/24/7 Tan Hoa Dong Street in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Ordinary bamboo pens at Phan’s shop sell for VND30,000-40,000 ($1.27-1.69) while wood-burned pens range from a few hundred thousand dong to several million dong depending on a customer’s requirements.

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Ngoc Phuong - Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

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