Genuine Talavera Pottery from Puebla

Talavera Serving Bowl - Made in MexicoGenuine Talavera Pottery is only made in the Talavera Zone, in and around the city of Puebla, in the State of Puebla, Mexico. The name ‘Talavera’ is applied to a very special type of hand decorated high-fired ceramic product. Produced in Spain around the year 1500 in a town called Talavera de la Reyna and hence its name. The art producing it was influenced by Chinese, Arab, and Italian Ceramics and tiles. The end product was attractive enough for the Spanish monks to introduce is to their recently established colony.

The first workshop, a tile shop, was established in the city of Puebla, in the state of Puebla. Historians believe this to be around the year 1600. The city of Puebla is some 80 miles south east of Mexico City. This first Talavera workshop started producing tiles with a white background and blue designs. Throughout the years the art was improved by adding new patterns, designs, colors, and products such as plates, vases, jars, urns, bowls, etc.

To avoid confusion, the Mexican Government has decreed that the use of the name ‘Talavera’ be protected and limited to a geographical area in and around the city of Puebla. In 1997 the State of Puebla obtained the Denomination of Origin stating that only the pottery produced in the geographical region of the State of Puebla or Zona de Talavera (Talavera Zone), including Atlixco, Cholula, Puebla and Tecali, and that follows the standards set by the Consejo Regulador de la Talavera (Regulating Council of Talavera) can be called ‘Talavera’. In order to be certified these workshops have to pass an inspection and verification process every six months. So, just as Champagne is only produced in Champagne, France, Talavera can only be produced in Puebla, Mexico.

The process starts with the selection of the right two types of clay. These clays are washed, cleaned, kneaded and then allowed to air dry to a consistency that allows molding either by hand, on a potters wheel, or in a mold to form the desired shapes. They are then air dried for several weeks before introducing them to a first firing in a kiln at around 1500 degrees Ferinheight. The next step is to reglaze them. The pottery pieces are then painted and decorated to obtain the desired colors and patterns. The pottery must be hand painted using only the six traditional mineral pigments: blue, green, yellow, red, brown and black. By combining these colors different tones of blue are achieved as well as an orange and purple color.The pigments must be made at the workshop following long-established formulas. Finally the pottery pieces are subjected to a higher firing at around 1900 degrees Ferinheight. Thanks to the diversity and good taste of our Mexican artisans you can now own a unique, beautiful, and original piece of ‘Talavera’ Pottery that can well be considered a collectors piece.

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