When talking about fine clay pottery in Cambodia, one always thinks of pottery products made in Kampong Chhnang province.
The province, located some 91 km north of the country's capital Phnom Penh, is well known for its clay pottery. The name of the province "Kampong Chhnang" literally means "Port of Pottery."
From one generation to another, locals have followed their ancestors' tradition in making pots, vases and various objects from clay during slack seasons.
"I had learnt how to make clay pots from my mother when I was a child," said Khat Eng, 54, a widow who lives in Andong Russei village in the province. "Now, I have transferred this skill to my two daughters and a granddaughter."
The village is home to around 400 families, most of them make clay pottery.
"Unless in rice farming seasons, we produce clay pots so as to earn additional income," she said, adding that her family makes about 1,000 clay pots a month.
Theng Sothea, 13, is the youngest daughter of Khat Eng. She has learned the skill from her mother a year ago. When not in school, she always helps her family members to make clay pots.
"I learnt this skill because I want to help earn more money for my mother who is getting old," she said. "I like this job because I work under the shade."
Making clay pots is a busy and manual job. Khat Eng's family has no kiln to bake clay pots. After being shaped, clay pots are stacked and burned for a few hours on an empty land nearby her house.
Khat Eng said the family can earn between 200 U.S. dollars and 300 U.S. dollars a month from this job.
"The income is only just enough to spend on daily food, we save nothing, but we don't have other business to do," she said. "On the other hand, this is a skill left from my ancestors so that I need to preserve it for next generations."
Every day, there will always be clay pot brokers approaching the village to buy clay pots from locals and then resell to markets around the country.
"I make good income from this brokering business, earning more than 500 U.S. dollars a month," said Kean Noeung, 41, who has been in the brokering business for seven years.
Clay pots made in Kampong Chhnang are mostly used to carry and store water or for cooking, or as furnaces and flower vases.