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Artisan Made Talavera Maker's Story: How It Is Made

 History of Talavera Pottery and its creation from Rustica Gift & Mexican Talavera Pottery

Beauty is Just the Start of the Story

Mexico's artisans have been creating the unique pottery that is known respectively as Talavera or Mayolica (Majolica is also a common spelling) for centuries.  While people love the rich glaze, vibrant colors and un-mistakably durable clay that is the characteristic of only the most authentic Talavera pottery of Mexico, the beauty is just the start of the story.

To truly appreciate our certified original, hand-crafted, artisan pottery and the centuries of history behind every piece made, we'd like give you the insider's story about how it's made, and the hours to months of expert work that goes into each and every piece.

The Maker's Story

Under the supervision of our studios master artisans, each and every piece of hand-crafted Talavera, is made through this exacting, time-intensive and hands-on process:

 Step 1:  The Clay 
Every piece of true Mexican Talavera pottery starts with the clay:  hand-harvested from the region, and purified for use on the potter's wheel and mold. Only natural, indigenous clays are used, with no chemical treating or coloration.  The clay is harvested, then hand-blended and packed into special wood pens to settle.
To help the clay achieve the needed density, studio artisans walk over the clay with bare feet, packing down the rich material into a more compact form. 

talavera pottery clay rustica gift & pottery

Step 2:  The Shaping

The rich, dense clay is then inspected for impurities, and gathered for use on the potter's wheel, or for placement in hand-crafted molds.  The artisan's hands guide each step of the process, as the clay is patiently molded and shaped into the classic tableware, serving pieces and vase designs perfected over years of artisanship.  Once shaped they are laid out to dry in the sun, then placed in the kiln for its first firing.

 

artisans working to create Talavera de la Poblana classic Mexican dinnerware

 

 

Step 3:  The Artist's Hand 
After the first firing, the artisan takes the delicate pottery and applies a milky glaze that is the characteristic base of all Talavera.  The glaze, like all of the rich colors used to create authentic Talavera pottery, are made from locally-harvested  minerals.  After the glaze sets, the artisans, under the maestro or senora's watchful eye, hand-paint the original designs on each piece.  

 

Talavera pottery from Mexico being hand painted Rustica Gift & Pottery

 

Every pottery item is painted in free-hand, making each pottery item a one-of-a-kind work of art.  After the design is applied, every piece is signed the artisan, noting the studio and region it was created in.  Only designated authentic pieces will have this inscription.



 

Step 4:  The Firing
In this final step, the pottery is fired in a kiln at temperatures reaching 1000 Celsius.  Upon removal, the pieces are inspected for defects.  A piece of Talavera or Mayolica pottery can take up to three months to be completed.

Looking at the post-fired Majoiica pottery dinnerware pieces



 

While each and every piece is unique, with no two alike, anything not meeting the studio's strict quality standards is discarded. 

Through this process, our studios creates collections of classic and original Talavera and Mayolica designs.  We are honored to both represent La Corona and Santa Rosa Mayolica, and share the story of how this time-honored pottery is created.