Despite the war, and a shortage of imported raw materials, the handicraft industry in South Vietnam still manages to flourish.
TV ZOOM INTO CU Man making cast
MV Two halves of model being put together
SV Finishing touches (2 shots)
SV Cast removed to reveal elephant
CU Finishing touches
SV Man carrying model up steps
SV Elephant into kiln (2 shots)
MV & SV Bricking up entrance to kiln
CU Fire ZOOM OUT TO MV man stoking
SCU Finished model PAN TO models being painted
MV & CU Girl painting
SV Prospective buyer (3 shots)
SV & GV Men packing model elephants for export
Initials SGM/1320 SGM/1402
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Background: Despite the war, and a shortage of imported raw materials, the handicraft industry in South Vietnam still manages to flourish. One of the most popular items is the plaster-st elephant....a reminder of the Indochinese elephants which symbolised wealth and social standing in centuries past. Today, the little elephant models sell in large numbers to U.S. servicemen and foreign visitors. Many of the elephants are custom-built, and they top the list of handicrafts exported from South Vietnam.
SYNOPSIS: Despite the war, and a shortage of imported raw material, the handicraft trade in South Vietnam still survives... and indeed flourishes. One of the most popular items, on sale in most South Vietnam towns, is a plaster-cast elephant. The manufacturing process is simple, if skilled...first the mould is made fast in a wooden frame, then filled with plaster.
Next comes a drying process, then the moulds are removed and the rough cast gets tidied-up.
The next step is to a kiln for blast-burning. Many of the models are made to a customer's personal specification.. and there are plenty of buyers...mainly U.S. servicemen going home and other foreign visitors. The model is a reminder of the Indochinese elephants which symbolised wealth and social standing in past centuries.
After the blasting process skilled artists get to work with their brushes, and the buyer has the right to ask for any changes before the finished model is packed for shipment overseas.
It's not known how much overseas exchange the little elephants earn, but they do top the list of handicrafts exported from South Vietnam.