Are you looking to beautify your home with intricate hand painted craftsmanship? Talavera Mexican pottery is a stunning way to adorn any room with distinct and unique hand-painted pieces that create a rustic and vibrant atmosphere. Read our guide for
Talavera pottery comes from a specific area of Mexico called Puebla, which has high quality clay occurring naturally in the region. This clay is unique to Puebla, and is the foundation for the slow and careful process of producing Talavera pottery. The technique used to make Talavera pottery has remained the same for centuries, ensuring the care and attention to detail that only hand-made pottery can attain. Historically, Talavera pottery only used cobalt blue in its finish, as a mark of prestige, much like its Chinese predecessors, however, the look and style of Talavera pottery has bloomed to incorporate its own Mexican flavor, complete with vibrant colors and detailed craftsmanship.
Talavera Mexican pottery has many influences from around the globe, namely Spanish, Chinese and even Arabic, however, it also boasts a unique style of its own. Whilst blue was its original color theme, it is now more recently characterised by bold, contrasting colors in intricate radial patterns, as well as floral themes and depictions of Mexican life. In addition to the hand painted artwork, Talavera pottery also features a pale, opaque glaze to seal the clay, and may also include a blue rim, in recognition of its cobalt blue origins.
Buying Genuine Talavera Pottery
The Mexican government is extremely protective of the tradition of making Talavera pottery, and as such, the genuine article goes through many government checks and approvals to be able to carry the name of Talavera. Each piece of Talavera pottery takes months to construct by hand, using centuries-old traditional methods of creating and firing the pottery. Genuine Talavera pottery is often more expensive than run-of-the-mill glazed pottery, but the price is all in the craftsmanship. Talavera pottery will have the maker’s details engraved on the underside (which is usually left unglazed) as a mark of true authenticity, as well as a special certification number. The details will include the maker’s name or initials as well as location, which must be within the state of Puebla for it to be considered genuine Talavera pottery. The hand-made nature of the pottery also means that the glazing and hand-painted motifs will be slightly bumpy or textured, showing the thickness of the natural pigments used for the painting process. The glaze itself goes through a very slow firing process that gives a slightly crackly effect to the glaze, which pottery made with modern methods tends to avoid. There are a few online stores that sell Talavera pottery, as well as very select outlets outside of Mexico, and of course, direct from the workshops themselves in Mexico.
As you can imagine, Talavera pottery needs a little bit of care to ensure that its beauty stays intact. It is recommended that Talavera pottery should not be used in microwaves, ovens or dishwashers, as it can crack the clay or damage the paintwork. Hand washing is the best way to keep them clean.