Honduran craftspeople set for exchange

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Sep 07, 2013 - Page 3

A group of Honduran pottery artists will visit Taiwan next week to learn more about the country’s pottery industry as part of a cooperative program aimed at helping Honduras foster a creative and culture-focused pottery industry, the agency overseeing the project said yesterday.

The six artists, from the town of Valle de Angeles in Honduras, along with two Honduran government officials, are scheduled to visit Taiwan from Wednesday to Sept. 17, said Laurencio Chen, a consultant with the Taipei-based Corporate Synergy Development Center, which is responsible for the project.

During the trip, the group is scheduled to visit Taiwanese pottery artists and stores in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Yingge (鶯歌) and learn more about advanced techniques in ceramics, Chen said.

They will also have the opportunity to travel around Taiwan to learn about its experience in developing a commercial district steeped in local culture in a bid to attract tourists, he said.

The visit is part of a program organized by the center under the commission of Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Under a “one town, one product” project in Honduras, a team from the center has been working with pottery artists in Valle de Angeles to improve the quality and quantity of their products, Chen said.

With the two-year program set to be completed at the end of this year, “the focus is to teach Honduran artists how to advertise and promote their products,” Chen added.

The aim of the program is to develop a niche industry in Honduras, he said, adding that the center’s team has worked to help improve firing techniques and instill more Honduran cultural characteristics into their products.

In an effort to improve Honduran pottery products, Taiwan has also offered automatic machinery and equipment to the town, including electric potters’ wheels and an electric kiln, Chen said.

“The machinery and equipment have increased the amount of products they can produce per day by at least five times,” he said, adding that the artists previously had to make products without the help of automatic equipment.

The “one town, one product” concept stems from Taiwan’s own successful experience.