- This was the first Mexican artisanal product to obtain a Designation of Origin.
- The name comes from the Spanish town Talavera de la Reina, where there is a long tradition of handmade tiles.
This type of glazed ceramics includes dinnerware, large vases, bowls, flower pots, boxes, fruit bowls, candlesticks, and tiles decorated with geometrical designs and motifs, birds, and flowers, produced in workshops mainly in the State of Puebla.
The principal raw materials are black, rose, and natural-colored clay, kaolin, mineral pigments, and tin and lead or lead-free glaze. The utensils needed to work the clay are clay or plaster molds, paintbrushes, manual and electric potters’ wheels, and wood or gas kilns.
The piece is prepared, shaped in a mold, set aside to dry. A first firing or ojagüetetakes place in the kiln, a glaze is applied, and then it is decorated with a paintbrush. Finally, it goes through a second firing at an average temperature of 1050°C.
Production is influenced by Asian ceramics, the style of which was transformed first by Middle East cultures, then by the Spanish, and eventually, following the conquest, it was adapted to Mexican mestizo tastes during the viceregal period. At first only utilitarian pieces were made, such as wall tiles and kitchen utensils. Nowadays, famous artisans, designers, artists, and potters are involved in its manufacture, which has taken it to the creation of exclusive pieces of artistic value.
- The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York is one of the places this marvel of Mexican art has been displayed.
- Talavera de Puebla is a Designation of Origin protecting its originality and the preservation of its principal techniques and materials.
- Some of the best known workshops in Puebla are Talavera Celia, Talavera Santa Catarina, Talavera Uriarte, Talavera La Reyna, Talavera Armando, Talavera de la Nueva España, Talavera de la Luz, Talavera de las Américas, and Talavera Virgilio Pérez.
- Only six colors that are obtained from natural pigments may be used to decorate Puebla Talavera ware: blue, yellow, black, green, orange, and pale violet.