Category : Disappearing Jobs

Pham Quan Xuan – Rubber Sandal Maker

Throughout history, humans have made various covers to protect their feet or move more easily over terrain. Everything from wooden skis to woven plant fibres have been used. For the most part, these have always been first-hand products that perished easily. Early Vietnamese entrepreneurs, however, had the bright idea of recycling used tyres to make extremely durable shoes during tough times. Mr. Pham Quan Xuan of Hanoi has dedicated his life to working with this salvaged rubber and was even […]

Le Dinh Thang – The Old Quarter Woodturner- Hanoi, Vietnam

Woodturning is an art that has been responsible for all the beautiful round wooden objects in our lives for centuries. Chances are, any piece of wood you’ve ever seen with a smooth round surface has been turned in a lathe. While recently our consumerism has raised the demand for repeatable, cheap, machine-made products, this process was all done by hand in the past. Now, there is very little demand for one-off woodturning outside of themed tourist towns. Slowly, this art […]

Nguyen Phuong Hung – The Old Quarter Blacksmith – Hanoi, Vietnam

Blacksmithing is an art I have long been enamoured with. Starting as a child, my fascination with the way medieval smiths could take iron and turn it into the most beautifully crafted weapons and armour drove me to read deeply. I even invited the Melbourne Museum to my school with as many pieces from history as they could bring, all so I could see them first hand. I’ve met several blacksmiths now and watching them work is absolutely mesmerising. When […]