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!
To appreciate your Talavera, you should know something of its origins. We hope that this short history of this beautiful pottery lends a hand to creating this understanding.
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.