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Talavera Pottery and Majolica Pottery: The Gorgeous Difference

August 05, 2017

Talavera Pottery and Majolica Pottery:  The Gorgeous Difference



If you've had a chance to look at the extraordinary artisan-created Mexican pottery we showcase here at Rustica Gift, you may wonder why we make the distinction between Talavera pottery and its close, cousin, Majolica?

Are we trying to make life difficult for ourselves, as we already have committed ourselves to only the finest quality Talavera (no offense to the colorful and inexpensive Talavera planters, frogs, cats and other fun tourist and patio ware you can readily find).  Is it just another fussy distinction in a world in which distinctions don't matter?

The short answer is 'no.'  And I can't wait to tell you why.

Committing to the Finest Talavera Handcraft

The first thing we have to come clean on is - yes, carrying such fine quality, artisan handcraft is more difficult.  It takes a long time to make each piece (up to three months!), it is more expensive, and our artisans rightly require a close working relationship.

But it is is soooo worth it.  For those of you who, like us, love artisan Talavera, you join us in our appreciation for the beauty, craftsmanship and vivid colors this Mexican pottery-making tradition is known for.  Excellence is evident in each gorgeously-crafted piece, and sometimes, you simply need to opt for excellence.

The answer, quite honestly, resides in the gloriously global history of this amazing Mexican dinnerware and pottery tradition, and the fact that we’re more than a little obsessed with all things Talavera and related, or "Talavera Poblana" to make a further distinction between the historic Mexican pottery-making tradition and that of its forebear, Talavera de la Reina of Spain.


If you had a chance to read our brief history of Talavera pottery, (and if you haven’t, we invite to do so here), then you know this artisan craft spans centuries and the world.

With influences from Spain’s Talavera de la Reina, Italy, China, and more,  Mexico's Talavera Poblana pottery of Mexico is a 500-year overnight sensation in the world of quality home decor, tableware and dining sets.  With that mix of influence, it would be easy to simply look at any beautiful Mexican dinnerware or pottery set and designate it as authentic Talavera pottery.

Mexican Talavera de la Poblana artisans at work Rustica Gift

Mexico's pottery-making tradition is a highly-skilled, time and talent-intensive process.  Learn more.

Denominación de Origin de la Talavera:  Mexico Launches a Rating System

Mexico saw the exceptional treasure of its artisans’ handcraft in the 20th century/  In 1997 the country created a stringent quality and classification system, designating only the finest and most authentic Talavera as the Denominación de Origin de la Talavera.  To date, only nine studios throughout Mexico have earned this honor in recognition of their use of only locally-sourced clays, hand-crafted paints from indigenous minerals, stringent production quality and time-honored designs and colors.  These studios are all clustered around the city of Puebla, and we are very proud that we represent one of the finest of these Talavera pottery studios, La Corona.

Mexico's Majolica pottery often features lush painting similar to Italian ceramics

 Our Majolica Pottery Collection is stunning, handmade art.

Mexico's Mayolica Pottery is Majolica Beauty Beyond Borders

The introduction of the Denominacion de Origina de la Talavera was transformative for this artisan craft industry, codifying standards for the Mexican pottery industry.   

But what about the extraordinary artisans who make beautiful, first-quality pottery, tableware and more that aren’t located in the villages around Puebla, or wish to experiment with more styles?

For these studios, the concept of Majolica works so well.  Majolica, also known as Maiolica or Mayolica depending where you are in the world, it translates simply to a style of glazed pottery.  So Talavera is really from the family of Majolica, if you follow the line of reasoning.

There are just designations of certain geographic requirements, indigenous clay and design styles that dictate the awarding of this rigorous designation.  However, there are outstanding artisan studios in Mexico doing award-winning work, and earning a place in the finest private collections and museums, yet do not have this designation due to location or design direction.  We are beyond proud to also represent one of these as part of our Rustica Gift & Pottery design family: 

The Woman-Owned Studio Behind Some of the Best Majolica

We are proud to feature the pottery of Santa Rosa Mayolica, from the village of Santa Rosa in the state of Guanajuato.  Like its sister studio outside of Puebla, Santa Rosa uses only locally-sourced clay and mineral glazes, hand-painting and turning each and every pottery piece.

Lushly Italian Ceramic Style, this Pottery is made in Mexico

These pieces also feature a different design sensibility, a more romantic take on the traditional pottery designs.

The Santa Rosa collection of Majolica pottery highlights rich color and a Renaissance-design style.  Many of our Rustica family and fans have compared the craftsmanship and feel to Italy's finest ceramics:  Beautiful flowers, nature, still life and flourishes of designare the hallmarks of this Mexican pottery collection of tableware, plates, bowls, mugs and servingware.

In the end, our highly-curated collection of fine Mexican pottery is an extraordinary grouping of design and color; created for the collector wishing to have original art that can be used in everyday life and dining.

 See our Collection here.

 Majolica and Talavera pottery collection Rustica Gift's authentic Mexican pottery



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