Talavera

The magic of the talavera

 

You only have to pay a little attention to notice all the places that the talavera has beautified, from a small vase to the huge walls of a home or a church.

Talavera is the fusion of different artisan techniques, such as Andalusian and Moroccan pottery and Arab glazing, which in Mexico have formed a unique proposal.

Technically, it is ceramic, made of clay and formed by a ceramic body covered with a stanniferous glaze, decorated with metallic colors and worked manually on site.

 

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Due to its delicate manufacturing it is considered one of the most distinguished craft traditions in Latin America.

It currently has a designation of origin, which includes artisanal ceramics that are traditionally manufactured in different regions of Puebla and Tlaxcala.

It is mainly used for utensils such as dishes, vases, vases, religious items and decorative figures.

Although it is worth mentioning that it also serves as decoration of houses, churches or even buildings, such as the Casa de los Azulejos in Mexico City, which is an 18th century palace and now houses one of the most iconic restaurants in this city.

How is talavera made?

Each workshop, and even each craftsman who works with the talavera, embodies his own personality in his pieces.

There are those who specialize in some of the production processes, either with better techniques of extraction of raw materials, material processing, decoration or cooking.

In general, to make a piece of talavera you need six steps.

Step 1: Prepare the clay. Combine black and white clay.

Step 2: The desired shape is given and the drying process is taken care of to give the piece firmness.

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Step 3: A temperature greater than 800 degrees Celsius for approximately 8 or 10 hours is first measured. This process in Mexico is known as “jahuete”, while in Spain it is called “sancocho”.

Step 4: The pieces are left to dry, either a day or up to six weeks, depending on their size, and when they begin to take on a white color you begin to put a special enamel with fine hair brushes, usually mule.

Step 5: We proceed to the decoration, which has two main slopes, the feathering in which only the cobalt blue color is used and there is no pattern to follow and the decoration in color that uses preset patterns.

The paints used to decorate the pieces are made with mineral or industrial products. For example, cobalt blue is made with tequesquite and grit. Yellow is obtained with antimony, grit and mullet; orange with kidney stone and tequesquite; and green with ground glass and copper dander.

Step 6: A second baking is done. It is in this process that it acquires its brilliant tonality. In addition, as the pieces are made with high temperatures it is difficult to break them.

And so you have a beautiful piece, which with proper care can last more than four centuries.

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