Vietnamese sculpture has a long tradition and there remain many valuable works in ancient temples and pagodas. Two main materials used for sculpture are wood and stone. Stone is used for carving statues, while wood is used to decorate architecture and interiors.
Wood carving uses seasoned timber, so it is necessary to select the wooden blocks having the size that is proper with the intentionally made works. The first step is to chisel into large blocks to create simple shapes according to the model, then continue to chisel until they gradually become that same as the model. The next step is to trim, contour, and polish with sandpaper. The last step is to varnish or coat the products. Wooden sculptures are usually objects, decorative plaques, small animals. If they are statues, the works are mostly Buddhist statues or ancient luminaries. Some famous wood carving villages are Thiet Ung Village, Hanoi; Nhan Hien Village, Hanoi; Bao Ha Village, Hai Phong. Well-known artists are Mr. Nguyen Van Truc (Nhan Hien Village), Mr. Dong Van Ngoc (Thiet Ung Village), Mr. Tran Thu (Cam Phu Village, Quang Nam).
From 1995 till now, carved wooden furniture has been thriving, creating large handicraft areas. Most of the products are applied with good and precious wood sorts, which are carved elaborately based on some ancient samples of Vietnam, China, France, and so on. A part of the product quantity is sold within the country, but most of the products are exported to China.
The handicraft is served mainly to architectural buildings. In recent years, stone carving has been strongly developed to serve the needs of the construction of religion, monuments, interiors and exteriors of resort areas, etc. The techniques now involve modern equipment that is imported from Japan, Germany and Taiwan.