A World of Hand-Crafted Beauty: Talavera Pottery

Authentic Mexican Talavera Pottery is a one-of-a-kind artisan pottery tradition, one that reflects centuries of handcrafted artisan mastery, and quality, locally-sourced materials. While many chain retailers offer (admittedly beautiful) reproductions, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to the original craft, and the incredibly painstaking, beautiful origins of these pieces, created by generations of master craftsmen.

After all, although there are many gorgeously hand-painted pieces of Mexican pottery to be had, true Talavera pottery is only produced within the region around the city of Puebla, in Mexico’s richly historic colonial region. Mexican pottery that is known as Mayolica (also spelled Majolica or Maoilica, depending on the part of the world you hail from), is a pottery that can be found throughout Mexico and indeed the world, and is equally beautiful and well-crafted. Majolica essentially refers to the glaze on the pottery, beautiful, but not always unique to the artisan’s area. However, true Talavera from Puebla, Mexico, is designated the only authentic artisan Talavera pottery, much in the way that you can only get authentic champagne from Champagne, France.

maxico pottery

The Creation of Mexican Talavera Pottery

The materials used to hand-create Mexican Talavera Pottery are equally important factors in its authenticity. True, and truly beautiful, Talavera pottery is only made from clay harvested in the region around Puebla, Mexico. If any different clay is employed, then the pottery isn’t thought of authentic; it is only Talavera-style.  Beautiful, but not a true piece of Talavera pottery made by the master craftsmen of the region.

In addition, only natural mineral pigments, harvested locally and hand-made into paints and glazes, will be used to create the beautiful, hand-crafted artisan Talavera pottery. If commercially-manufactured paints are used, the Talavera is not an authentic original!  Many of the craftspeople within these studios have been painting for generations, and their artistry is truly stunning.

When forming an authentic piece of Mexican Talavera Pottery, the clay can only d be turned on a potter’s wheel, molded by hand, or hand-pressed into a mold. It is never machined or assembly-line produced. This may sound amazingly detailed, but the finished piece, whether for gift, tableware or home decor, is stunningly beautiful and one-of-a-kind.

hand painted crafted pottery

Hand-Painted Styles and Vibrant Color

Because of the firing method and the classic hand-painted finish, authentic Mexican Talavera Pottery will often feature slightly raised borders. If it is too flat, too perfect or the designs don’t have those tell-tale brush-strokes of the artist, it likely has been machine-produced. Very often you’ll see classic white Talavera pottery, sometimes with the very traditional cobalt blue and white pottery pattern of the Talavera de la Reina tradition, and it often shows some crackling.  However, it is very durable, lead-free, and microwave safe!

Ornamental Talavera Pottery for Home Decoration

For a stunning ornamental Mexican Talavera Pottery that can add instant charm to home, true Talavera Pottery is a highly-sought after collectible.   Originating from the sixteenth century, and hailing from its original home in Spain, today’s Mexican pottery in this style is very popular, primarily due to the depth of its rich color, the luxurious hand-crafted glazes, and their ability to add design and color to home decor themes ranging from sleekly contemporary to very eclectic.

Ornamental Talavera Pottery

Why only Mexican Talavera Pottery

Once again, it cannot be over-stated how much Mexican Talavera Pottery is hand-painted, hand crafted, making each and every Mexican Talavera Pottery unique. They work incredibly well on their own as an accent piece, or paired with tableware, place settings, and decor that are simple and classically-designed.

Against understated backgrounds, the beauty and attractiveness of these pieces truly stand out. Mexican Talavera Pottery, the truly authentic pieces, are un-mistakable.  You simply cannot get such a beautiful and original result from a machine, or even hand-painted materials that do not possess the quality and originality of this artisan handcraft.  While it’s not always possible to travel to Mexico and fill your suitcase with these beauties, some exclusive galleries will carry these items, or online boutiques such as Rustica Gift & Pottery have been authorized to represent the artisan studio’s work.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction into the color, quality, creation and home decoration ideas from that underscore the history of Mexican Talavera pottery.  If you’re now a fan (like me!) please share with your friends and followers on Facebook, Google plus, or any other social site.  Thanks again, and please stay tuned with us for more insight into original, authentic and quality home decor ideas and tips.