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The Handcrafting Process

 Rustica Gift & Pottery Pottery Making Process

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.  

 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.

talavera pottery artisan craftman rustica gift & pottery

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.  

 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.

mayolica talavera pottery hand painting

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.

kiln for talavera pottery firing rustica gift & pottery

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.