Displaying your Talavera!

Authentic Talavera Jases VasesAntique furniture provides the perfect backdrop to display art as unique in nature as Talavera. Pick up a hutch, or ask family members about an heirloom piece that might be in storage where it does no one any good, and place it in an area where the eye draws to it easily. Line the shelves with bowls, and stand plates upright so family and friends can get a good look at the designs and colors around the rim.

If you do not mind dirtying certain pieces from your Talavera collection, put them into use. Fill bowls with chips, pretzels, dip, confectionaries, and other snacks, and place them on the hutch. These tempting treats can draw guests to the hutch to likely discuss the pieces displayed there.

Talavera Sets Itself Apart

Talavera Plates from MexicoTalavera sets itself apart from other types of pottery in numerous ways. The clays you use to create Talavera pieces must come from certain regions, you must fire the clay on high heat for durability, and most experts allow artists to draw from a very strict color palette when creating authentic Talavera wares. Do not let all the time and effort involved in crafting Talavera go to waste. Display your Talavera proudly by placing it in prominent positions.

If your home or apartment lacks the space for Talavera, do not fret. Improvise by adding your own shelves, tables, and other stands. Once you learn the basics, your inner artist can have as much fun dreaming up new displays as it did creating pieces to display.

Talavera Pottery is Versatile

Talavera Plates from MexicoTalavera is quite versatile, and artists make a variety of items, not just bowls and vases, from this type of earthenware. Many come in the traditional designs and make for great decorative and utilitarian pieces in the home.

One thing anyone who wants to buy Talavera should know is how to spot authentic pieces and distinguish them from regular types of pottery. The Mexican Government, through the Mexican Talavera Regulatory Council, has actually laid down some rules to limit the production of this type of pottery to within four districts. Any workshop looking to produce authentic Talavera must apply for certification from the council, and must pass a verification process each month.

Real Talavera must pass other standards as well. The workshop making the Talavera pottery must only use the two types of clay that come from the area. Next, the artist must only hand-form the clay. For example, he or she must never mix the clay into a liquid consistency and pour it into molds. The clay should have a tin and lead glaze base, which should be slightly porous and not pure white. Finally, artists must paint the pieces by hand, using only the prescribed colors: blue, green, yellow, red, brown, and black, although mixing these colors with blue to form orange and purple is acceptable.

Beware of Talavera Imitations

1468956412-TFB085a_new_1How would you know that the products offered by online distributors, and offline dealers and retailers are really authentic? Beware of imitations!

Talavera is a tin-enameled earthenware, Majolica pottery made and comes only from Puebla, Mexico, and its nearby communities of Atlixco, Cholula and Tecali.

This world-renowned hand-painted pottery is notable by a milky-white glaze. It comes in different forms, including both functional and decorative pieces such as plates, serving dishes, vases and tiles.

Here are some characteristics of genuine Talavera pottery:

    • Talavera is made from a mixture of only two clays, a dark clay and a light, slightly rose-colored clay.
    • The source of clay supply to make the Talavera comes from the Talavera geographic zone of Puebla and the communities of Atlixco, Cholula and Tecali.
    • Talavera is hand formed with a potter’s wheel or using molds, not poured. They are also hand-painted.
    • Talavera pieces have gone through two firings. The oven used to fire Talavera should be at least 800 degrees Celsius.
    • Talavera uses six color pigments, and its color combination enhances the workmanship sophistication of Talavera pieces.

The Talavera item is created by certified workshops in the state of Puebla Mexico using the traditional Talavera process.Workshops producing authentic Talavera are certified by passing an inspection and verification process at least every six months. The Mexican Talavera Regulatory Council regulates the production of Talavera and restricts the use of the term to items produced within the designated zone of Puebla. There are only less than 20 certified workshops producing genuine Talavera.

Certified Talavera pieces bear the signature of the potter, the logo of the workshop and the special hologram that certifies the piece’s authenticity. Only pieces from workshops that meet the standards are certified.

You can buy Talavera in many shops and throughout places in Mexico and globally. Some workshops also offer tours where you can see how it is being made.

There are also a number of shops now that offer non-certified and authentic but still high quality Talavera products.

Authentic Talavera is costly, as every piece is one of its kind and of excellent quality. However, imitations may be as pricey and seemingly unique. You need to be extra careful that your money is really worth the Talavera item you have with.

More than 300 years Later, Talavera Pottery Still Endures

tgj040Travel across Mexico, and you’ll see all sorts of signs of Spanish influence that date back to the colonial era. Architecture, of course, is chief among them—those ornate churches and stately, airy casonas that still demand admiration– but there’s also Talavera, a type of pottery that was introduced to Mexico from Spain in the mid-17th-century. More than 300 years later, the popular style endures.

Age-old techniques have been passed down from generation to generation by master craftsmen.  These techniques produce unique pieces that are truly works of art.  Vibrant colors and delicate details are trademarks of Talavera pottery that give it the characteristic color and brilliance known only to Talavera ware. The detail is outstanding, and due to the kiln’s high firing temperature all our Talavera dishware is also crack and chip resistant.

Within Mexico, this style dates back to the 16th century colonial era when it was first introduced to Mexico by Spanish guild artisans. Thus today, Mexican Talavera reflects the diverse cultural heritage inherited from the Orient, the Italian Renaissance, the Moors, Spain and the indigenous people of Mexico.

Every jar and vase available at La Fuente Imports is handmade of clay in the classic Talavera style and then hand-painted by specialized artists outside of Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico.

Talavera Potters in History

There were a number of potters in sixteenth-century Puebla who were originally from the Spanish city of Talavera de la Reina: Gaspar de Encinas and son, as well as their in-law, Diego Gaytan. Though the birthplace of certain potters has yet to be determined, in some cases their last names correspond to families of potters in Puebla.

	 Talavera Jar w/ Butterflies

In the seventeenth century eight Spanish potters were identified (four of whom were orig­inally from Seville, two from Cadiz, one from Barcelona and the other from Galicia), as well as a potter from Portugal and two from Italy. Some emigrated at an early age, completing their apprenticeship in Puebla with established pot­ters, as was the case of Damian Hernandez who studied under Alejandro Pessaro in 1601; and Miguel Perez who studied under Sebastian de Villardel in 1609, both of whom later became important potters in their own right.

Others arrived in Puebla already trained in their craft and consequently influenced the shape and design of ceramics in Puebla, including potters such as the elder Gaspar de Encinas, Alejandro Pessaro. Juan Rodriguez de Herrera, Juan Bautista SalomOn, Antonio de Vega, Diego Gaytan, Jose Escoto, Sebastian de Villardel and Diego Salvador Carreto. No Spanish potters have been identified since the eighteenth century. Those identified were originally from Puebla though they consid­ered themselves Spanish, that is, chaos. There were also potters who identified themselves as “dark-skinned” or mestizo. Its important to em­phasize the Ordinances which, in fact, deter­mined that only Spaniards could take the exami­nation which would afford them the title of mas­ter potter, even though workshop artisans and servants were mostly indians, mulattos and blacks. By the late eighteenth century, mestizos and mulattos were eventually allowed to qualify for this examination.

On August 5, 1652, “light and dark skinned” pot­ters from Puebla gathered and authorized Diego Salvador Carreto to ask that the viceroy establish examinations and publish Ordinances “determin­ing the conditions, grievances, obligations and circumstances required for the benefit of the craft.” Viceroy Luis Enriquez de Guzman, Count of Alva de Liste, answered the petition and issued an order addressed to the mayor of Puebla ask­ing him to arrange a meeting so that potters could elect an inspector and two deputies to write the Ordinances.

Article excerpt from Artes de Mexico Magazine – June 1992


Talavera Ceramics in Mexico

Handpainted Talavera PotteryCeramics in Mexico date back thousands of years before the Pre-Columbian period, when ceramic arts and pottery crafts developed with the first advanced civilizations and cultures of Mesoamerica. With one exception, pre-Hispanic wares were not glazed, but ratherburnished and painted with colored fine clay slips. The potter’s wheel was unknown as well; pieces were shaped by molding, coiling and other methods.

After the Spanish Invasion and Conquest, European techniques and designs were introduced, nearly wiping out the native traditions. Indigenous traditions survive in a few pottery items such as comals, and the addition of indigenous design elements into mostly European motifs. Today, ceramics are still produced from traditional items such as dishes, kitchen utensils to new items such as sculptures and folk art. Despite the fame of the prior, the bulk of ceramic items produced in the country are floor and wall tiles along with bathroom fixtures. Mexico has a number of well-known artisan ceramic traditions, most of which are in the center and south of the country. Examples are the Talavera of Puebla, the majolica of Guanajuato, the various wares of the Guadalajara area, and barro negro of Oaxaca. A more recent addition is the production of Mata Ortiz or Pakimé wares in Chihuahua. While the number of artisans has been dropping due to competition from mass-produced items, the production of folk art and fine ware still has an important role in the Mexican economy and the production of pottery in general is still important to Mexican culture.

Since the 16th century, Mexican craftsmen have been producing Talavera pottery.  This art form has evolved from ancient cultures and influenced the production of pottery in Mexico resulting in the exquisite Talavera pottery that is available today.  True, 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.

Age-old techniques have been passed down from generation to generation by master craftsmen.  These techniques produce unique pieces that are truly works of art.  Vibrant colors and delicate details are trademarks of Talavera pottery that give it the characteristic color and brilliance known only to Talavera ware.

Talavera is a type of majolica earthenware that is fired at extremely high temperatures producing a very durable product.  Artisans are not limited to the production of tiles and vases.  You will find beautiful pieces to suit your taste in plates, jars, pots, religious figures, animals and more!

Talavera Poblana is an exquisite type of pottery

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.

Talavera 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.

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.

Spanish craftsman from Talavera de la Reina embraced the techniques of Majolica and also added to the art form. Chinese and Italian influences were incorporated and guilds of craftsmanship, where strict adherence to technique were required, were formed. This dedication was brought from Spain to Mexico. Guilds were summarily established in Mexico with appropriate standards and regulations. The indigenous craftsmen incorporated their artistic heritage with the techniques of Majolica pottery. A beautiful marriage was formed between the old world and the new, and Puebla became the birthplace of an exquisite art form known as Talavera Poblana.

Talavera Pottery is an Art

Authentic Talavera Servings Platters and BowlsTalavera pottery is an art, historically linked to certain spaces like the kitchen, churches, convents, facades, and interiors of houses. This art that is essential as sculpture, has also an internal space; that of imaginary, represented over its surface; this spaces conform a world where reality and fantasy communicate, where the hands that create, buy and sell ,combine with the hands that paint the forms of their dreams into an object. This is the world of Talavera Poblana, another world in our world.

Talavera ceramic is made in several parts of Mexico, but official Talavera is only produced in Puebla. The Talavera produced in certain workshops in Puebla is now officially designated, recognized and protected by the Government of Mexico. These Talavera manufacturers must follow a complex and strict technical fabrication process dating from the 16th Century and use only clay from a few approved clay sites in the Puebla area.

Since the mineral pigments needed to produce the color blue were very expensive, this color was reserved for the finest ceramic. Talavera buyers could easily differentiate the quality of fine ceramic from the one of lesser quality. During the 18th Century the Talavera artisans started to broaden the designs of their ceramic by using more colors, like green, mauve and yellow, in addition to the blue tones that were very popular in the 16th and 17th Centuries.

Thanks to the artistic skills and the high quality of the clays, the Talavera form Puebla has achieved high quality and beauty. In the centuries XIX and early XX it became common for wealthy families in Mexico to have extensive collection of talavera dinner sets and decorations. Since then, it has been treasured and appreciated by collectors and admirers all over Mexico and in many other parts of the world.

Hand-Painted Talavera Pottery

ThMexican Talavera Potterye world of interior design knows Talavera pottery as an ornate style of ceramics produced solely in Mexico by proud local artisans. These vibrantly colored, handcrafted works of art have been fashioned in the same way for centuries and appreciated for their quality and aesthetics for just as long. So what is it about Mexican Talavera that makes it so special?

 The world of interior design knows Talavera pottery as an ornate style of ceramics produced solely in Mexico by proud local artisans.

As you can imagine, Mexican Talavera has a long and rich history. Named after the Spanish village of Talavera de la Reina, this renowned ceramic art boasts a melting pot of multiculturalism. The Spanish contribution dates back to the invasion of the Moors, who brought their knowledge of ceramics from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, and which was later refined by a combination of the Italian Renaissance and artisans from the Orient. Later, Spanish colonists brought their highly refined ceramic skills to Mexico, where they were once again blended with the unique pottery styles of Aztec, Mayan and other indigenous cultures.

It’s not just the history of Mexican Talavera that makes it so desirable. Excellent craftsmanship is a common trademark of Talavera pottery. The process begins by blending together two different clays, then soaking them thoroughly in water to improve pliability. When it’s determined that the clay is ready, having been removed of impurities, it’s then formed into the desired shape by hand, molds or a potter’s wheel. Next, the newly constructed form is left to dry for up to three months. Once the artist has inspected and approved the dried clay, the piece then undergoes the first of two firings. The initial firing turns the clay into a reddish-orange color that is then brightly painted with intricate patterns – a trademark of Talavera ceramics. Afterwards, the pottery is submerged in a special tin-glaze, then fired once more. The final product – what was once an ordinary mound of clay – is now a beautiful work of Talavera art.

Talavera pottery is known for brilliant colors set against a pristine white background. Typically, the vivid patterns are slightly raised, and the entire piece is smoothed over by a glossy sheen. Yellow, green and mauve were traditionally the most prolific colors used to decorate Talavera, although cobalt blue was the most desired. Due to the expensive mineral pigments required for its use, this regal color became a way to identify the finest quality of Talavera ceramics.

Today, Talavera patterns can be simple and bold or elaborate and highly detailed. Floral patterns are perhaps the most common, but when it comes to Mexican Talavera, creativity is limitless. Although some patterns might appear similar, hand-painted Talavera is never identical. This should be no cause for concern, however, as color and pattern themes almost always exist, and the individual character of each piece will only enhance your Talavera collection or home décor. This is especially true if you consider decorating your home with Talavera tile.

One of the most predominant characteristics of colonial Mexican cities, in particular the city of Puebla located in central Mexico, is the beautiful Talavera tiles. In the 17th and 18th centuries, as the production of Talavera pottery continued to grow, striking tile and tile murals began to adorn Mexican churches, buildings, stairways, gardens and homes. These architectural examples splashed color in an otherwise dull stretch of concrete and brought kitchens and bathrooms to life in a way that only Talavera tile could deliver. Now, more than ever, this style continues to be embraced as authentically Mexican.

When it comes to Mexican and southwestern home décor, Talavera pottery and Talavera tile can be an essential part of capturing an authentic design motif. At La Fuente Imports we strive to offer the most outstanding and diverse selection of handcrafted Talavera tiles found anywhere on the web. Also, be sure to browse our exceptional Talavera plates and platters, plus everything else for decorating your home including Talavera vases, canisters, planters and more!