Marlboro College

NewsPress Release - 4/5/2000

MARLBORO, VT -- At 7 p.m. Monday, April 17, Professor Wakana Higuchi will present an illustrated lecture entitled "Environmental Issues and Traditional Mexican Pottery," in Marlboro College's Whittemore Theater.

Higuchi will focus on the relationship between production of traditional earthenware pottery in Mexican villages and several environmental problems -- such as deforestation and scarcity of fuel for wood-fired kilns, substitution of inappropriate fuels, and the use of unstable lead based glazes.

All of these factors affect the immediate human environment and the larger natural world, and threaten the survival of a great pottery tradition. Higuchi will examine these problems, as well as discuss the efforts being made to overcome them through the adaptive use of basic modern technology.

Higuchi, who studied ceramics at the Institute of Taka Art in Tokyo, came to Mexico from Japan in 1982 to be the technical supervisor of a factory producing pottery for Japanese restaurants in Latin America. She later was appointed director of the Toluca School of Pottery and Porcelain, operated by the Japanese cultural and educational organization MOA International, in Toluca, the capital of Mexico state. This school recently was incorporated into el Colegio de Arte and Ciencias de la Vida (College of Art and Life Sciences), where Higuchi is professor of ceramics. Working with colleagues, government agencies, and contemporary studio potters, she has promoted appropriate research and successful pilot projects for pottery producing villages in Mexico state and the neighboring state of Morelos.

This lecture is part of the series "El Medio Ambiente: Cultural and Environmental Landscapes of Latin America," which is made possible in part by a Department of Education Title VI grant to enhance student and faculty expertise in international environmental issues.

The event is free and open to the public. Whittemore Theater is fully accessible. For more information, please call (802) 257-4333. The College's events calendar can be found on-line at

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