Taiwan helping El Salvador’s pottery industry
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.
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.