What is the magic and mystery of Mexican Talavera pottery?
Why do people who discover it find themselves collecting for a lifetime, eagerly looking for ways to acquire more when they can’t actually make the trip to the small villages to meet the artisan Talavera pottery makers in person?
My belief is that, in a mass-market world, the continued creation of handmade, handpainted, quality goods that are unique, authentic and beautiful sparks a deeply personal response from many of us.
Speaking for myself, I found the beauty and quality so compelling and utterly unique, I had to launch Rustica Gift & Pottery. People yearn for human-created goods that offer quality and beauty in our lives; our gallery serves this desire.
So, I created Rustica with the simple idea that beauty, artistry and history matter - for your home, life and the world in which we live.
In so many ways, handpainted, artisan craft items like our Mexican Talavera pottery, along with our Majolica ceramics, hand-finished pewter and alpaca silver home décor items are extraordinary examples of a commitment to beauty, pride in artisan handcraft, and a pride in the use of quality, indigenous materials and techniques that far outshines any bulk-manufactured product.
We believed that beauty could not only be enjoyed, but be used for to make life better for those less fortunate, all while supporting the continued existence of original, artisan handwork. So, I grabbed some like-minded souls and hopped on a plane to start the search.
We traveled to the beautiful Colonial villages of Central Mexico. Our mission? To bring back for you the best pieces of artisan work we could discover; original, authentic, time-tested beauty with every piece made by generations of artisans. While we want to continually expand and discover artisans around the world, we were proud to be given permission by what is now our original family of family-owned artisan studios: La Corona Talavera, Santa Rosa Mayolica and the Salazar family’s JB Diseno pewter foundry. We’ve since added Ruth Cortez-Hernandez, an extraordinary creator of hand-tooled Alpaca silver treasure, jewelry and trinket boxes, to the Rustica Gift gallery.
While we love variety and selection, it is the centuries-old tradition of authentic Mexican Talavera pottery that captivates us. Its roots go back to the 15th century, when the monks from Spain’s historic Talavera de la Reina region came to Mexico, and conscripted the local population to make their signature pottery to adorn their missions. While the birth of Mexico’s Talavera pottery tradition began in inequity, Mexico’s artisans soon developed a signature style and mastery of the craft that, in our humble opinion, far outshone their unwelcomed visitors.
Across Mexico, there is now a range of Talavera pottery and Majolica ceramics that suits a range of budgets and tastes, from Talavera planters, bowls, and animal figurines (think cats, frogs and the likes) to heirloom-quality pieces such as ours that grace some of the world’s finest museums and homes.
Today, we are proud to showcase the award-winning, internationally-acknowledged work of these fine artisan studios. To further understand what goes into creating true Mexican Talavera pottery, please follow these links for more insight regarding its history, artisans and handcraft process.
We also created a partnership with a local youth home, IPODERAC, that ensures the indigenous children will have an opportunity for success through education, skill-training, a safe place to live and the opportunity to feel like a family.
Rustica Gift & Pottery contributes a portion of proceeds to IPODERAC, so that we can support their not-for-profit mission of serving the area’s in-need youth through education, food and shelter,. They have been providing safety, a sense of belonging and family to the community's youth for over 50 years. Learn More.