Have you ever stopped in a small shops in roadside to sip a cup of tea in freezing winter? To keep warm for the cup of tea, the seller use a handicraft product of Viet Nam countryside. It is U Am - traditional teapot warm keeper. Someone said that it is the product of nostalgic people. In modern life, there are many electrical appliances but the teapot warm keeper have been used in many Vietnamese families and become a favorite souvenir of foreign tourists.
Son Vy, a small village of Lam Thao district, Phu Tho province is native land of the unique product. The occupation of producing teapot warm keepers has been in Son Vy Village for more than 100 years passing many period of rises and falls. With the artistic and skillful hands, the villagers have created the teapot warm keeper with unique design. Each teapot warm keeper is a familiar utensil of each family around the year.
Each teapot warm keeper was brought soul of Son Vi villagers because it was made from the most caring and pride of earlier generations. It was made entirely by handmade. Bamboo is used as rods, straw, rags, cotton is used as cores, and then made the bottom planks thin need wood then glue and paint for decoration. The teapot warm keeper has multiple sizes, different colors but red lipstick color is most popular. Considering to calculate the price it did not "worth" anything, but it was famous by the diligently and silently labor effort of the craftsmen. The processing of making teapot warm keeper go through so many stages, from the choice of rods, bending, modeling, cutting plank, glue the bottom, making stuffed bags, polish and paint. However, making rods would be the hardest time ever, workers had to clean the bamboo, short cut to size, clawed rods, dried it under the sunlight and then boiled up, dried it again then bind them in bundles, when used it we put in on water again to limit termite. Because of that the Son Vi teapot warm keeper has still been durable, unchanged colors over thousand years.
With the silently hardship and with the oldest teapot warm keeper origin from generations, it sooner become the pride of Son Vi villager. In feudal time, the best artisans of the village were recruited to make the teapot warm keeper for the king. In terms of 1960 - 1970 was the prosperous period of the village. The old and the young also had their own jobs; each person would take the responsible for their own stages, engaged in teapot warm keeper production cooperatives. The teapot warm keeper gradually expanding, become an indispensable item in many countryside of Vietnam and to be the souvenirs to visitors in Hue, Hanoi, Hai Phong, and Hoi An. Even those teapot warm keepers also reach the oversea countries such as Japan, France, and America... etc.