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 About Mexican Talavera

Talavera is the term used to describe faithful reproductions of the china and pottery that is made in the Spanish village of Talavera de la Reina, whose craftsmen have made tremendous contributions to the world's knowledge of fine ceramics down through the centuries.

Talavera pottery itself is a form of Majolica, which refers to all types of handmade enameled earthenware. It was first developed in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt and was further refined in China where it became very popular. The craft came into use in Spain by the Thirteenth Century, where its development was heavily influenced by centuries of Moorish domination.

Within Mexico, this style dates back to the 16th century colonial era when it was first introduced to Mexico by Spanish guild artisans. Thus today, Mexican Talavera reflects the diverse cultural heritage inherited from the Orient, the Italian Renaissance, the Moors, Spain and the indigenous people of Mexico.

In the making of Talavera, two types of clay are blended and left to soak in water to improve their quality and malleability. The potter then drains the water and filters the combined clays to remove all impurities, resulting in a loss of almost fifty percent (50%) of it's original volume. The potter then works the clay by walking on it with his feet to remove all air bubbles and to give the clay a better uniformity and consistency. He then produces different pieces on a potter's wheel or in molds, and lets them dry for eight to twelve weeks. The pieces are then baked in an oven at 850C, which turns the grayish colored clay into the well known brick colored pottery known as "jahuete". Then, one by one the pieces are dipped into an earthenware glaze, which ultimately gives them their characteristic brilliance and color. Each piece is then hand decorated using colors prepared from mineral pigments. Afterward, the pieces are once again fired in the oven for many hours, this time at 1050C, resulting in a beautiful work of art.

The city of Puebla is the home of "authentic" Mexican Talavera. It was here that the first potters guilds were formed that created standards and regulations for the production of Talavera designed to maintain uniform quality and Talavera's distinctive style and excellence. Today, the Consejo Regulador de Talavera certifies those "fabricas" that meet all such standards and regulations. At present, there are only twelve (12) "certified fabricas" in Mexico. Each such "certified fabrica" place their names and registry numbers on every piece they make.

At Mexican Connexion, we are pleased to offer fine "certified" Talavera products from the best known "certified fabrica" in Puebla, Uriarte Talavera, which was founded by Sr. Don Dimas Uriarte in 1824. Their products are without a doubt the finest offered in Mexico.

In addition, we offer fine quality products from two of the newest "fabricas" in Puebla - Armando Talavera. and Creaciones Quetzal. Although not yet a "certified fabrica", they offer fine quality pieces made in the classic colonial style of the very best fabricas in Puebla, as well as offering modern style Talavera made in many regions of the country.

But today, Majolica ceramics made in the Talavera style are produced in many different regions of the country, resulting in a variety of different modern styles and designs. Many fine fabricas exist in areas such as Dolores Hidalgo and elsewhere that produce fine quality modern Talavera style ceramics. Admittedly, the products offered by these fabricas do not meet the exacting standards established by the Consejo Regulador de Talavera. Yet, the products produced by these fabricas are fine quality modern Talavera. And even though these fabricas cannot claim to be "certified fabricas" of Talavera, we are pleased to offer the fine quality products of the very best of such fabricas, GEM Villaseca, as a part of our product catalog. Their products are among the finest quality modern Talavera produced in Mexico today.

At Mexican Connexion, we strive to bring you a broad selection of the Talavera offered from throughout Mexico while at the same time recognizing the differences in quality, price and selection of Mexican Talavera. But we leave the choice to you, our customers, as to what products you will choose.


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