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!

16th Century Mexican Talavera Pottery

Talavera PoblanaSince 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.

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

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

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.

Talavera for Coffee or Tea!

1340651185-tts038aIt’s a beautiful day on the hacienda and a perfect day to bring out the good china right? Not so fast. No need to make your get together or tea party for the girls stuffy and overdone.

The idea is to enjoy the day with attractive and beautifully designed pieces that are not intimidating yet very elegant indeed.

If you are searching for an elegant coffee or tea 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.

Other items from the Talavera Pottery category, including our Talavera sinks, canisters, planters, andfruit 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.

Utilitarian History of Talavera

Talavera ceramicHandpainted Talavera Pottery is mostly used to make utilitarian items such as plates, bowls, jars, flowerpots, sinks, religious items and decorative figures. However, a significant use of the ceramic is for tiles, which are used to decorate both the inside and outside of buildings in Mexico, especially in the city of Puebla. 

The Puebla kitchen is one of the traditional environments of Talavera pottery, from the tiles that decorate the walls and counters to the dishes and other food containers. It is a very distinct style of kitchen. In monastery kitchens of the area, many of the designs also incorporate the emblem of the religious order. Many of the facades in the historic center of Puebla are decorated with these tiles.

These tiles are called azulejos and can be found on fountains, patios, the facades of homes, churches and other buildings, forming an important part of Puebla’s Baroque architecture. This use of azulejos attested to the family’s or church’s wealth. This led to a saying “to never be able to build a house with tiles”, which meant to not amount to anything in life.  Being able to show this kind of wealth was not restricted to Puebla. In Mexico City, the church of the Convent of La Encarnacion and the church of the Virgin of Valvanera both feature cupolas covered in Talavera.  The most famous example of Talavera in the capital city is the Casa de los Azulejos, or House of Tiles, which is an 18th-century palace built by the Count del Valle de Orizaba family. What makes this palace, in the City of Palaces, distinct is that its facade on three sides is completely covered in expensive, blue-and-white tile – sensational at the time the tiles were applied.

Authentic Talavera Tiles, Pottery and Folk Art

Authentic Talavera Pottery - Fruit BowlAuthentic Talavera Tiles, Pottery and Folk Art - The art of beautifully handcrafted Talavera art has been cultivated for centuries and the extraordinary heritage of the artisans is apparent at a glance. Providing striking accents throughout your home, our wide array of Talavera pieces offer you the opportunity to draw on this legacy as you bring them into your home.

Rustic imperfections in the finish provide a special appeal and our selection of tiles and will bring the colors and allure of Mexico to your home. Accentuate bathrooms, cover the risers on a staircase, create borders and backsplashes in your, use single tiles for coasters or trivets – let your creativity shine as you place them in your home. Secondary sets of pictures are provided to show you nine-tile views, border effects, and geometric pattern options to assist you in your planning.

Alongside the unique figures, alters, and nativity scenes already offered in our collection of Religious Folk Art , several Talavera crosses have recently been added, exquisitely handmade for worship and decoration. Whether you’re searching for a special gift or a highlight for your own home, the true artistry of each piece will shine through – the only difficult part will be choosing the perfect one from among them.

Authentic Talavera Pottery From Mexico

Talavera plates made in Pueblo, MexicoTalavera Ceramic is mostly used to make utilitarian items such as plates, bowls, jars, flowerpots, sinks , religious items and decorative figures. However, a significant use of the ceramic is for Talavera Tiles .

Talavera was introduced to Mexico by Spanish guild artisans of the Colonial period. Known as “majolica” in Spain, Mexican Talavera draws its name from the 16th century Spanish pottery center, Talavera de la Reina , where imagination and persistence led to enormous strides in the world’s knowledge of fine ceramics. The tradition of Talavera production has struggled since the Mexican War of Independence in the early 19th century, during which the number of workshops were 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.

“Travel 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—but there’s also talavera. More than 300 years later, the popular style endures. The colorful ceramics are found in the form of decorative tiles adorning buildings’ exterior and interior walls (one of the most spectacular examples is the Casa de los Azulejos in Mexico City), as well as in the form of Talavera Plates , bowls, and other serving dishes found in Mexican kitchens and on dining room tables.” – The Latin Kitchen