Tai­wan help­ing El Salvador’s pot­tery in­dus­try

The China Post - - LOCAL -

A Tai­wanese agency funded by the gov­ern­ment is help­ing El Salvador up­grade its pot­tery in­dus­try by im­prov­ing lo­cal pot­tery artists’ de­sign abil­i­ties and in­ject­ing in­no­va­tive el­e­ments into their works, the agency said ear­lier this week.

Un­der a three-year pro­gram that will run through May 2017, the Taipei- based In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment Fund (Tai­wanICDF) is work­ing with artists in the town of Ilobasco, lo­cated in cen­tral El Salvador, as part of an ef­fort to de­velop a niche pot­tery in­dus­try there, said the agency, which is re­spon­si­ble for Tai­wan’s grams.

To help pro­mote the pro­gram, the ICDF has ap­pointed a pro­ject man­ager in Ilobasco.

Ear­lier this month, four Tai­wanese ex­perts in pot­tery de­sign, arts mar­ket­ing and other re­lated ar­eas, also vis­ited Ilobasco to of­fer ad­vice on help­ing the crafts­men to boost their pot­tery in­dus­try.

The “one town, one prod­uct” pro­ject is aimed at pro­mot­ing and up­grad­ing the pot­tery in­dus­try in Ilobasco, a town known for its pot­tery crafts­man­ship, through mea­sures such as im­prov­ing their pack­ag­ing and brand­ing tech­niques, it said.

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In or­der to cre­ate a dis­tinc­tive in­dus­try, the agency said it has also en­cour­aged lo­cal pot­tery artists to in­te­grate his­tor­i­cal el­e­ments of the Mayan in­dige­nous cul­ture and the nat­u­ral re­sources of the vol­canic land when de­vel­op­ing unique prod­ucts.

Un­der the co­op­er­a­tive pro­gram, a group of artists from Ilobasco is set to visit Tai­wan later this year to learn more about the pot­tery in­dus­try here, the agency said.

The “one town, one prod­uct” con­cept stems from Tai­wan’s own suc­cess­ful ex­pe­ri­ence. Lo­cated in north­ern Tai­wan’s New Taipei City, Yingge is a well-known tour- ist town that has many fac­to­ries of­fer­ing a range of pot­tery prod­ucts, from vases and ocari­nas — a sim­ple wind in­stru­ment shaped like a sweet potato — to teapots and table­ware.

The Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs has helped sev­eral com­mu­ni­ties around the is­land in re­cent years to de­velop sig­na­ture prod­ucts that will in turn help these com­mu­ni­ties at­tract more tourists.

The El Salvador pro­gram fol­lowed a sim­i­lar pro­gram launched in 2011, in which Tai­wan helped Honduran artists in Valle de An­ge­les es­tab­lish a cre­ative and cul­ture-fo­cused pot­tery in­dus­try.

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