Talavera of Puebla Mexico

Authentic Talavera Plate - MH469aThe culture of Mexico reflects the country’s complex history and is the result of the gradual blending of native culture (particularly Mesoamerican) with Spanish culture and other immigrant cultures.

First inhabited more than 10,000 years ago, the cultures that developed in Mexico became one of the cradles of civilization. During the 300 year rule by the Spanish, Mexico became a crossroad for the people and cultures of Europe, Africa and Asia. The government of independent Mexico actively promoted shared cultural traits in order to create a national identity.

The culture of an individual Mexican is influenced by their familial ties, gender, religion, location and social class, among other factors. In many ways, contemporary life in the cities of Mexico has become similar to that in neighboring United States and Europe, with provincial people conserving traditions more so than the city dwellers.

Mexico is known for its folk art traditions, mostly derived from the indigenous and Spanish crafts. Pre-Columbian art thrived over a wide timescale, from 1800 BC to AD 1500. Certain artistic characteristics were repeated throughout the region, namely a preference for angular, linear patterns, and three-dimensional ceramics.

Notable handicrafts include the Talavera of Puebla, the majolica of Guanajuato, the various wares of the Guadalajara area, and barro negro of Oaxaca.

In the early 20th century, interest developed in collecting Talavera Pottery. In 1904, an American by the name of Emily Johnston de Forrest discovered Talavera on a trip to Mexico. She became interested in collecting the works, so she consulted scholars, local collectors and dealers. Eventually, her collection became the base of what is currently exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Her enthusiasm was passed onto Edwin Atlee Barber, the curator of the Pennsylvania Museum of Art. He, too, spent time in Mexico and introduced Talavera into the Pennsylvania museum’s collection. He studied the major stylistic periods and how to distinguish the best examples, publishing a guide in 1908 which is still considered authoritative.

During this time period, important museum collections were being assembled in Mexico as well. One of the earliest and most important was the collection of Francisco Perez Salazer in Mexico City.  More recently, the Museo de la Talavera (Talavera Museum) has been established in the city of Puebla, with an initial collection of 400 pieces. The museum is dedicated to recounting the origins, history, expansions and variations in the craft. Pieces include some of the simplest and most complex, as well as those representing different eras.

Mexican Talavera Pottery Can Not be Imitated

talavera pottery from mexicoTraditional glazed pottery from Puebla (Mexico) known as “Talavera” inspired by the Spanish origin of Talavera de la Reyna, is in no danger to the invasion of imitations from China, said an expert in this field.

Businesswoman Angelica Moreno, owner of the Mexican workshop Talavera de la Reyna said at a news conference that copies of Talavera crafts have a lower quality than Mexican so he is not worried trying to compete with them.

Comments were made at the Franz Mayer Museum in Mexico City concerning the presentation of the exhibition “Alarca. Talavera Contemporary. Glazed pottery”, which will be open until September 30.

Moreno criticized the Chinese ceramics, which he considered “horrific” and said anyone who knows poblana wouldn’t buy a Chinese ceramic product.

The specialist says it takes more than three months to make a good Mexican talaverana piece and a technique that has more than four centuries old is employed.

The name “Talavera” in Mexico is used to designate any object with white glazed ceramic tin and metal oxides, following the techniques introduced in Mexico by the Spanish potters during colonial times (1521-1821).

He added that another thing they have going for 16 Talavera workshops based in Puebla is the denomination of origin, obtained in 1997 and a hologram that distinguishes each piece, which gives security to the buyer that they are purchasing an original piece.

Article Source: El Siglo de Torreon

On the exhibition that will open he said includes more than 70 pieces of pottery made in his workshop and based on designs of 55 Mexican artists.

Among them are Juan Soriano, Francisco Toledo, Vicente Rojo, Javier Marin Paloma Torres, Besabeé Romero and Germán Montalvo.

He praised the contributions of these artists for their uniqueness and because they have enriched the work of Mexican artisans making their way to renew their pieces.

Among those on display will be a car, lenses, dolls, vases, plates, cups, sculptures and pieces of crockery.

The expert noted that the pieces were made in the last fifteen years and are part of a valuable collection of workshop Reyna has been exhibited in Puebla and in Beijing.

The Accomplished Potters of Puebla

Talavera Plate by Studio Tomas HuertaThe indigenous people of Mexico were very accomplished potters and already had a very long tradition producing earthenware.  But they did not know how to use the potters wheel or tin-glaze their pottery, which is one of the main characteristics of the majolica ceramic known as Talavera.

Other versions state that the Dominican friars were the ones that knew how to produce this type of ceramic and that they were the ones that taught the Indians how to do it.

The truth is there are documents that record the presence of several craftsmen from Talavera de la Reina in Puebla during the 16th Century, which established their workshops to produce tiles and ceramic wares. It was a very profitable business since there were so many churches and monasteries being built.

In time, a potter’s gild was formed and Ordinances were laid down, that all of the potters that wished to produce Talavera had to follow. This was done so that the quality of the ceramics called Talavera was uniform and that this earthenware had a distinctive style and excellence.

Some of the rules established by the Ordinances were:

  • The color blue was to be used on the finest ceramic. This was so because the mineral pigments needed to produce this color were very expensive.  The customer could then easily distinguish the quality of fine ceramic from one of lesser quality.

  • To avoid falsifications each master potter had to sign or mark his products.

  • Three types of earthenware were to be produced depending on the quality of the pieces: Fine, Semi fine, and for Daily use.

  • Yearly there were to be examinations that the craftsmen had to pass in order to be considered master potters

The majority of Talavera pottery offered by La Fuente Imports, including all plates, platters, and place settings, is made by hand in traditional fashion and is 100% lead-free as well as microwave, oven, and dishwasher safe for years of enjoyment in your home.

Talavera Poblana is an Exquisite Type of Pottery

Authentic Talavera Pottery from Puebla, MexicoTalavera Poblana is an exquisite type of pottery whose history goes back hundreds of years. The lovely and beautiful colonial city of Puebla, located just 70 miles from Mexico City, is home to this world-renowned art form. In addition to purchasing authentic Talavera pottery in Puebla, there are many reasons to visit the city, including sampling its fabulous regional cuisine. Some of Puebla’s delectable dishes include their famous mole poblana sauce as well as the seasonal delicious dish of chiles en nogada. Additionally, the historic center of Puebla has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Undoubtedly, one of the reasons for this honor is due to the absolutely stunning tile work that decorates the town’s historic colonial buildings.

Mexico has a rich and long history with producing ceramics, predating the arrival of the Spanish by several centuries. Stunning pre-Columbian artifacts from its many civilizations attest to this fact. The indigenous peoples of Mexico, long acquainted with making items from clay, had their own distinct method of producing earthenware, one which did not involve glazing or the use of the potter’s wheel.

Shortly after Puebla was founded in 1531, the Spanish feverishly began building churches, monasteries and convents. To decorate these buildings, craftsman from the city of Talavera de la Reina, located in Spain, were commissioned to come to the New World to produce fine tiles as well as other ceramic ware. In addition, these same craftsman were to teach the indigenous artisans their technique of Majolica pottery, in order to increase production levels.

The tradition that the Spanish craftsmen brought from Talavera de la Reina to the New World has a fascinating history. During the 8th century, the Moors from Northern Africa conquered Spain and with their arrival, the customary blending of cultures occurred. One such consequence was the introduction of Majolica pottery, an art form known for its beautiful glazes and intricate design work. A major component of Majolica is its glazing technique which contains tin as an ingredient. This particular type of glaze provides a creamy white background that is ideal for applying design.

One characteristic of authentic Talavera pottery is the quality of detail in the painting, expertly applied. There is a raised appearance to the painted line, accompanied by a glossy sheen. Only natural earth pigments are used for the colors found in true Talavera. In its early days, the finest pottery was painted with a deep blue mineral, the most expensive pigment. This color motif, placed on the creamy white of the fired clay, was much sought after. It also provided a quality measure, reassuring the buyer that the piece they were purchasing was of the highest caliber. Other colors were introduced in 18th century, including yellow, green and mauve.

Today, when visiting the city of Puebla, you will be able to purchase authentic Talavera tiles, vases and dishes, along with many other fine Talavera objects. As well, you can see first-hand how Talavera tiles were used extensively in the decoration of the city’s historic churches, monasteries and ex-convents.

Talavera Pottery for Everyday Use

1340651185-tts038aThe tradition of Talavera Pottery has struggled since the Mexican War of Independence in the early 19th century, when the number of workshops were reduced to less than eight in the state of Puebla. Later efforts by artists and collectors revived the craft somewhat in the early 20th century and there are now significant collections of Talavera pottery in Puebla, Mexico City and New York City. Further efforts to preserve and promote the craft have occurred in the late 20th century, with the introduction of new, decorative designs and the passage of the Denominación de Origen de la Talavera law to protect authentic, Talavera pieces made with the original, 16th-century methods.

If you are searching for an elegant Talavera coffee set to use not only for special occasions, but also for everyday use, then try our handmade Talavera tea and coffee sets. With every set having its own unique design, you are sure to find a coffee set that you will love. These Talavera coffee/tea sets are 100% lead free, microwave safe, and won’t easily chip or crack. Each coffee set is available in a 4, 6, or 8 person setting.

Use the colorful Talavera snack trays to highlight your dining table or any serving area with authentic Mexican style! Each Talavera snack tray is handmade and hand-painted by the artisans of the Tomas Huerta studio. They are great for serving your favorite snacks and hors d’oeuvres or tea sandwiches. Be sure to view the Tomas Huerta studio plates as well to complete a table set! Each authentic snack tray includes an eyelet for wall hanging and is 100% lead free; chip resistant; and microwave, oven, and dishwasher safe and easy to store.

Authentic Talavera pottery only comes from the city of Puebla and the communities of Atlixco, Cholula and Tecali, as the clays needed and the history of this craft are both centered there. All pieces are hand-thrown on a potter’s wheel and the glazes contain tin and lead, as they have since colonial times. This glaze must craze, be slightly porous and milky-white, but not pure white. There are only six permitted colors: blue, yellow, black, green, orange and mauve, and these colors must be made from natural pigments.

Other items from the Talavera Pottery category, including our Talavera sinks, canisters, planters, and fruit bowls, come from the historic city of Dolores Hidalgo. Every design is painted by hand, and all plates and platters are made with an eyelet on the back for hanging on walls. So whether for home decoration or for day-to-day use in the dining room, our extensive selection of authentic Talavera pottery is sure to make a wonderful addition to your home décor.

The Pottery District of Puebla

Handpainted Talavera PotteryFor three centuries a maiolica pottery industry flourished in the Spanish colonial city of Puebla, Mexico. Throughout that time it enjoyed a virtual monopoly in supplying tableware for provincial users of New Spain. It also successfully competed with peninsular Spanish and other European products in more outlying areas in the Caribbean basin. Its colorful tile became a distinguishing hallmark of Puebla architecture. Yet, much of the suggested dating for the various decorative styles that evolved during the course of those centuries has come from finds outside of central Mexico, principally ones scattered from Florida to California along the northern borderlands of the former vice royalty.

A more secure and refined chronology derived from stratified materials at or near the original source of the pottery is essential for future research in all sites, whatever side of the international border, where those ceramics are present. With that objective in mind, in the summer of 1981 a search was undertaken within Puebla for undisturbed ceramic deposits suitable for seriation. Preliminary to that search was the determination of the probable locations of the old work yards. That proved to be a relatively easy task, with results of potentially more importance than simply dating of artifacts.

Once the pottery workshop locations were graphically plotted on a map, it was obvious for the first time that a well defined potters’ quarter had existed in Puebla from shadowy beginnings in the late 16th century into the 20th century. Quite likely both unglazed or lead glazed utility vessels and tin glazed tablewares and tiles were made there, though not in the same household factories nor by the same artisans. At a time estimated to be about, the middle of the 19th century (hence the Mexican rather than Spanish period), a second district toward the eastern suburbs began to house small potteries given over to mass production of utilitarian objects.

Mexican Talavera Pottery

Talavera isn’t just any kind of pottery, though, and not just any artisan can make it. The form, which is known in Spain as majolica, is a tin-enameled earthenware whose hard white glaze provides a backdrop against which the vivid glazes applied to it can visually pop. And those vivid glazes are selected carefully; in fact, for Mexican talavera to be considered authentic, it can only be painted in one or more of six colors– black, blue, green, orange, yellow, or mauve–all of which must be made of natural dyes and all of which must be painted onto the piece of tile or pottery by hand. The clay, a mix of a lighter and darker barro, must also come from Puebla and the forms into which it is shaped are fired twice. The process is hands-on, time-intensive, and elaborate.

In Mexico, the center of authentic talavera production is the state of Puebla, whose artisans have been renowned for the ceramic form since it was introduced to the country. In fact, Puebla has denominación de orígen status as the source of authentic talavera, and though the tradition of this art form originated in Europe, local producer Uriarte claims that Puebla is the largest producer of talavera in the world today. Read full article here:  The Latin Kitchen

Talavera Poblana: Four Centuries of a Mexican Ceramic Tradition

61HB0K548HL._SX362_BO1,204,203,200_Talavera Poblana: Four Centuries of a Mexican Ceramic Tradition was an historical survey presenting the history of Mexican Talavera ceramics tin-glazed earthenware, from its Spanish roots through contemporary manifestations. The exhibition’s historical section included objects borrowed from important New York collections, the latter portion presented contemporary interpretations of this traditional medium by Mexican and foreign artists, selected from the collection of the Museo Amparo in Puebla, Mexico.

The show was curated by Margaret Connors McQuad, Assistant Curator of Ceramics and Furniture, at The Hispanic Society of America, New York and included ceramic basins, vases, bowls, drug jars, as well as sculptures of various shapes and sizes.

The early production of Talavera Poblana was primarily influenced by Old World traditions brought over by immigrant ceramists from various parts of Spain. Talavera initially referred to the city of Talavera de la Reina in the Province of Toledo, Spain. Talavera Poblana refers to the tradition of ceramic production in Puebla, Mexico with its unique style that combines motifs and surface decorations from different cultures and origins.

Certified Talavera Pottery

Talavera Plate by Studio Tomas HuertaTrue, certified Talavera pottery is produced in the city of Puebla, in the state of Puebla, Mexico however, high-quality, modern Talavera pottery is also available from factories in other Mexican districts such as Dolores Hidalgo and Guanajuato.

From the time of the Olmecs, between 1200 BC and 600 AD, pottery has been a central part of Mexican life.  Their use of clay, knowledge of primitive firing and coloring techniques, as well as designs was passed down to other cultures that followed.  The Olmecs are considered by many as the mother culture of Mesoamerican civilizations.

Talavera de la Reina, a Spanish village, has long been influential in the world’s knowledge of fine ceramics.  When the Muslims conquered North Africa and moved into Europe, their tin-glazed ceramics, known as Majolica, came to Spain.  Majolica was developed in the Middle East but gained cultural diversity through influences from the Chinese, Italians, Moors and Spanish cultures.  Spanish craftsmen learned and further developed this craft and, in the 16th century, introduced it to Mexico.  The term Talavera is used to describe faithful reproductions of the pottery that is made in Talavera de la Reina, Spain.

When the Spanish introduced their stylized pottery to their recently established colony in Mexico, the local artisans blended these new techniques with their established practices to creat the famous Talavera pottery of Mexico.  It is believed that the first workshop was established in the city of Puebla around 1600 AD.  Puebla became the home of authentic Mexican Talavera and is where the first potter’s guilds were formed to establish standards and regulations for the production of Talavera.

Majolica ceramics, made in the Talavera style, are produced throughout many different regions of Mexico.  These new influences have produced a variety of modern styles and designs that are growing in popularity.  One such area, Dolores Hidalgo, is the home of Artesanias Amora fabrica.  It is considered the best fabrica in the area and produces some of the finest quality modern Talavera in Mexico today.  Although these products do not meet the exacting standards established by the Consejo Regulador de Talavera, they are fine quality modern Talavera pieces a modest prices.

Works of Art – Talavera

1404246573-TH085_a (1)Works of art good enough to eat off – that’s the essence of Talavera pottery.

The Mexican pottery, which has been around for 400 years and is primarily made in Puebla City, is an artistic and practical achievement. Vases, cups, plates, serving bowls, and tiles, called azulejos, are some of the items I saw being made in Uriate Talavera factory where the highly regarded, expensive pottery is hand made. The factory, which was established in 1824, is one of Puebla city’s most renowned because it is one of the few authentic Talavera workshops left today. Talavera is one of Mexico’s most unique items, making it a worthwhile gift to bring home.

Puebla City is located sixty miles southeast of Mexico City, making it a convenient hop, skip, and a jump away – and a convenient escape – from Mexico City, which is the world’s largest. Puebla City, which is also the capital of the same name state, is the country’s fourth largest urban center. Approximately two million people live there. The residents, who call themselves poblanos, live in the most European of all of Mexico’s colonial cities. The Spanish established and planned the 16th century city from the  ground up, rather than building it within an existing indigenous community. They did this because the location was on the main route between Mexico City and Veracruz, which was at that time the most important port in the country. Puebla City is situated at a height of 7,000 feet above sea level and is  blessed with a temperate, year round climate.

While the Spanish may have first introduced the highly decorative art from their home country when they settled in the heart of Mexico, diverse artistic styles, including Moorish and Oriental cultural nuances transformed the colonizer’s craft to what it is today. The Moorish influence of cobalt blue patterns on white appeared on Mexican pottery around the late 15th century, while the Oriental styles of animals and floral designs were first seen in the mid-16th century. To be authentic, Talavera pottery (named after a town in Spain) must be hand-painted in intricate designs using natural dyes derived from minerals. The colors used include blue, black, yellow, green and reddish pink.   During a ninety-minute tour of the factory, we learned just how long it takes to make these detailed works of art. And while the pottery is expensive to purchase, even at the point of production, our tour helped us understand why. The factory usually offers free tours that are shorter, but our group of writers was interested in learning minute details about how the pottery is made.