about talavera

About Talavera

Talavera Style, Four Centuries of a Mexican Ceramic Tradition

The early production of Talavera was primarily influenced by Old World traditions brought over by immigrant ceramists from various parts of Spain.

Talavera pottery became the Mexican variation of the Spanish majolica ware originally produced in Talavera de la Reina and other Spanish cities. In 1565, when trade opened with Asia via the Philippines and Mexico, Spain began importing Chinese porcelain in large quantities, and by the mid-17th century, New Spain ceramists had succumbed to the fashion for Chinese blue-on-white porcelain.

Despite the prevailing influence of Chinese porcelain throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, Talavera maintained a unique style of its own, combining motifs and surface decorations from various cultural traditions. At the height of the Spanish Empire, Talavera enjoyed the widest distribution of any ceramic ware in the New World. Around the time of Mexican independence, however, the once highly formalized Talavera ceramic tradition experienced a collapse. It was not until the early twentieth century that this tradition experienced a revival and a climate was created for its resurgence.

 

The Process

Talavera is a process that begins when two types of clay are mixed, strained, and left partially to dry. Next, the mixed clay is kneaded by foot and sent to the workshop. Each piece is individually molded into a Sink or one of our other products and left to dry for eight to twelve weeks.

A first firing heats the clay to 850°C. The items are then individually decorated with lead free paints and glazed to give them a unique shine and texture that no screened item can duplicate.

The items are fired again at an even higher temperature of 1050°C to reach their final brilliance and luster.