Talavera Pottery HistoryFrances Osborne Austin TxBy Michael Rassel | Submitted On January 05, 2010

Talavera pottery, or Majolica, was exported to Mexico in the 16th Century. The Italian word Majolica refers to a production process of applying or brushing pigments on raw or unfired glaze. Talavera pottery was created from Majolica, which was used by Italians in the 14th Century.

History claims that Spanish monks colonizing Mexico employed and immigrated pottery crafstmen from Talavera de La Reina, Spain, to train the indigenous pottery artists residing in Puebla, Mexico how to create Talavera pottery with the same high quality of that produced in Spain. Mexico was alreaday home to many native potters that skilled in producing pottery for everyday use in addition to religious and cultural uses. The Spaniards introduced production tools and materials such as the potter's wheel and tin-glazed pottery. The beautiful glaze work was the primary characteristic of majolica.

Originating in Spain among the Arab culture, Arab potters settled eight centuries ago in an area now known as Talavera de la Reina, Spain. The Spanish potters developed techniques and practices to produce the material known as Majolica. Mexican pottery craftsmen combined the traditional Spanish majolica talavera pottery production with native pottery techniques of the Puebla region to produce Talavera Pottery. The Puebla, Mexico artistic culture and community became the new foundery.

Talavera pottery is made in several parts of Mexico, however officially is produced exclusively in Puebla. It When created in the workshops of Puebla it is officially recognized by the Government of Mexico. The Mexican government has designated it with special trade protections. Puebla manufacturers are regulated and required to adhere to specific fabrication processes dating used in the original 16th Century items. Clay to produce it must be acquiired from the few approved clay sites in the Puebla, Mexico region.

Originally, buyers used color to differentiate the quality of fine pottery from lesser quality pottery. Mineral pigments required to create the color blue were quite expensive, and therefore the color blue was reserved for only the hiqhest quality Talavera pottery. 18th Century the artists began using more colors, like green, mauve and yellow, in addition to the traditional blue tones popularized in the 16th and 17th Centuries.

Puebla, Mexico was home to skilled pottery artists and high quality clay, hence, Mexican Talavera pottery achieved profound quality and beauty. Wealthy Mexican families displayed extensive collections in dinner ware and wall decorations. It has since experienced a surge of appreciation by collectors and interior designers in Mexico and the USA. Many retailers stock various items such as planters, window boxes, bowls, vases, animal figurines, garden decoration, wall decorations and more.

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