By Suzanne Barbezat | about.com
Talavera is a tin-enameled earthenware (Majolica) made in Puebla. Talavera pottery comes in various forms, including both functional and decorative items such as plates, serving dishes, vases and tiles. Puebla is sometimes called “The City of Tiles” because of the Talavera tiles used on the buildings.
Cielo terra cotta talavera tile. (Picture courtesy of lafuente.com)
Pottery in Puebla:
The native people of Mexico had a long tradition of making pottery. With the arrival of the Spaniards the contact between these two traditions resulted in exquisite new styles, the Spaniards introducing the wheel and tin-based glaze and the native Mexicans providing skilled labor and ingenuity. It is believed that the particular techniques for making this type of Majolica pottery were introduced in Puebla by immigrants from Talavera de la Reina, Spain.
In 1653 a potter’s guild was formed and ordinances were laid down regulating the production of Talavera. Between 1650 and 1750 the production of Talavera was at its height. Originally, Talavera was white and blue. In the 18th Century new colors were introduced and green, orange and yellow began to be used.
How Talavera is Made:
The basic process for making Talavera has remained the same since the 16th Century, though there have been changes in the shapes of pottery made and the style of decoration. Talavera pottery is made with two kinds of clay, a dark clay and a light, slightly rose-colored clay. Both of these clays come from the state of Puebla.
These two clays are mixed together, strained and kneaded. Each item is modeled by hand, turned on the wheel or pressed in a mold. The pieces are then left to dry from 50 to 90 days. Once dry, the pieces go through a first firing and then are hand-dipped in a glaze which will form the white background of the design. Then, stencil designs are dusted onto the pieces with charcoal powder. Each piece is hand-painted and then fired for a second time at a higher temperature.
Authentic talavera can be distinguished from imitations by the raised design and high gloss of the surface finish. In 1998 the Mexican Government set up the Mexican Talavera Regulatory Council (Consejo Regulador de Talavera) which regulates the production of Talavera and limits the use of the term to pieces created within the designated region of Puebla which includes the districts of Puebla, Cholula, Tecali and Atlixco. There are fewer than 20 workshops producing authentic Talavera. In order to be certified these workshops have to pass an inspection and verification process every six months.
Authentic Talavera is pricey, as every piece is unique and of excellent quality. There are imitations. Original Talavera will have the name of the workshop signed at the base of the piece and will come with a DO4 certification number.
To get additional information about talavera pottery mexico, and talavera ceramics, please visit our talavera pottery informational site.
To get additional information about talavera tile mexico, and talavera ceramics, please visit our talavera tile informational site.
By May Herz | inside-mexico.com
When we speak about Puebla we inevitably think about the imposing volcanoes that guard her, the Popocateptl and Iztaccíhuatl, the culinary delicacies that were created in this state, such as Mole Poblano, its baroque architecture, and of course, Talavera ceramics, that adorns practically every building, every patio, every square and even kitchens.
Talavera kitchen canister. (Picture courtesy of lafuente.com)
Talavera is a type of majolica earthenware, a white and glazed type of ceramic. Although the Spaniards introduced the Talavera pottery, ironically the term Talavera is used much more in Mexico than in Talavera de la Reina, Spain.
In fact, Talavera is the oldest tin-glazed ceramic in America and it is still being manufactured with the same techniques as in the 16th Century.
Puebla not only was the second most important city in Mexico, after the country’s capital Mexico City, it was the most important earthenware center of the Nueva España, which was the name of Mexico in Colonial times.
The production of Talavera tile and ceramic ware in Puebla, started almost immediately the city was established in 1531. Thanks to the abundance of quality clay in the region and to the splendor of the arts at that time in Puebla, in a short time the Talavera Poblana achieved such quality and beauty that it was soon exported to the rest of the continent.
There are several theories about its origin in Mexico, but the most accepted explanation is that Spanish monks from the Santo Domingo monastery in Puebla, sent for craftsmen from Talavera de la Reina to teach the indigenous people of the region how to work the clay so they could create pieces similar to the ones produced in Spain. They wanted to decorate with tiles and religious sculptures their monastery and church.
The indigenous people of Mexico were very accomplished potters and already had a very long tradition producing earthenware. But they did not know how to use the potters wheel or tin-glaze their pottery, which is one of the main characteristics of the majolica ceramic.
Other versions state that the Dominican friars were the ones that knew how to produce this type of ceramic and that they were the ones that taught the Indians how to do it.
The truth is there are documents that record the presence of several craftsmen from Talavera de la Reina in Puebla during the 16th Century, which established their workshops to produce tiles and ceramic wares. It was a very profitable business since there were so many churches and monasteries being built.
In time, a potter’s gild was formed and Ordinances were laid down, that all of the potters that wished to produce Talavera had to follow. This was done so that the quality of the ceramics called Talavera was uniform and that this earthenware had a distinctive style and excellence.
Some of the rules established by the Ordinances were:
When we look at the plates, jars, vases, and tiles, we can detect the confluence of several extraordinary cultures in this type of art. We can easily observe distinctive characteristics of Spanish, Arabic, Italian and Chinese origin, and of course the magnificent creativity of the Mestizos and Indigenous people of Mexico.
It was during the 18th Century that Talavera “dresses up” with colors: green, mauve, yellow, in addition to the blue tones so popular in the 16th and 17th Centuries.
Talavera was not limited to the production of pots, plates, jars and religious figures. It reached other spheres of life in Puebla. The azulejos, tiles, decorated splendidly cupolas, façades of monasteries and buildings, and was the quintessential element of Puebla’s baroque architecture. They were splendidly used in kitchens, this fantastic culinary “laboratories” from which so many dishes were created.
Talavera tile. (Picture courtesy of lafuente.com)
It is a real esthetical treat to stroll through the colonial streets of Puebla and be able to see this splendid architecture, the marvelous creativity that reached all spheres of this city’s life.
The use of azulejos denoted the prosperity of the owners of a particular house or building. So much so, that a popular saying at that time stated that someone that wouldn’t amount to anything in life would never have a Casa de Azulejos or a house of tiles.
Now a days, Talavera is still very popular, and pieces of extraordinary quality that are very expensive are still being produced. Unfortunately there are also many poor imitations. When you buy an authentic Talavera piece, it must be signed at the base by the workshop that produces it, and it must state that it is from Puebla.
Talavera is the name given only to the earthenware produced in Puebla.
If you have a chance to go to Puebla, don’t miss the opportunity to learn and admire this centuries old tradition.
emilia brown / hb.amazines.com
Handmade ceramics are beautiful works of art and can be used for many decorative purposes. Tin glazed, hand painted ceramics are eco-friendly pieces of art that are durable and have great insulative properties. It is resistance to wear and corrosion and can last you a lifetime if kept properly and used safely.
Ceramic pots can be used for cooking as well as serving dishes since they are heat resistant and look beautiful at the same time. It takes a lot of skill and effort for a person to personally make the ceramic piece and paint it. This gives the ceramic piece a great sense of style and uniqueness. Ceramic crafting requires geometrical accuracy for a good piece to be made and the painting of the piece requires great accuracy.
There are companies that do make ceramics on a large scale, but these ceramics are made using different techniques like selective laser sintering. But production of ceramics on a large scale does not allow the pieces made to be unique. A genuine ceramic piece is made using traditional methods and the painting on the piece has a lot more detail and is a lot more unique.
Ceramics can be used for different purposes such as cooking, storing and serving food. There are also knives, cups, lamps and other different things that are made of ceramics. Ceramics are also used for the sole purpose of design because a handmade ceramic piece is considered a work of art.
The ceramics that are used for cooking or serving and storing food must be safe to use and must not contain any mineral that can cause damage to the human body. Most ceramic pieces contain lead, which can be deadly if a lot of it is consumed. If you are planning to buy kitchen utensils or knives which are ceramic pieces, you must check with the retailer to make sure there is no lead in the pieces. The ceramics that are used for cooking purposes must be FDA approved to ensure the safety of you and your family.
You can also find ceramic items that are used for other purposes other than cooking and storing food. You can get jewelry boxes, soap dishes, spoon rests and many more ceramic products which are all handmade and painted. If you want to gift ideas, ceramics are considered great gifts as they are very good looking and can be used as showpieces. So the next time you want to buy ceramics, make sure they are hand made since handmade ceramics have a lot more detail to them and look a lot more classier than ceramics that are mass produced.
Click here to get more information on talavera pottery.
Click here to get more information on talavera pottery mexico.
Click here to get more information on talavera tile.
Click here to get more information on talavera tile mexico.
by emilia brown / hb.amazines.com
Ceramics in Greek means Pottery, which is the use of clay and other minerals to make pots. But today ceramics can be defined as inorganic materials made from minerals in the earth. In ancient history decorative ceramics was a great part of many cultures including the Greeks, Arabs, Mayans, Chinese and places around the Mediterranean. Ceramics are widely used in the industrial world as well because of its heat resistant properties and also other properties. Compared to many other metals, ceramics are much lighter and are therefore used for many industrial purposes.
Hand Painted ceramics were used for a lot of things in the ancient times as well but were mainly used for decorative purposes. The ancient Chinese Emperors used to give ceramics as gifts to other kings for diplomatic purposes. Pottery was always a great part of the ancient culture and was used to make things like utensils, knives, storage jars and many other household items. But glazed pottery only came into existence much later, around the time of the ancient Mesopotamian civilization.
In the Ancient Mediterranean, making decorative hand painted ceramics was also a widely practiced activity by many of the people. Ancient Egyptian pottery dates back to 3000BC and ceramics were produced on a wide scale, where they used moulds to produce pots and later on, used the wheel.
Tin-glazed pottery came out much later and once this was spread throughout many different civilizations it was used a lot because the people found it to be a lot more durable than normal pottery. The process of glazing is done by heating the clay to about 2000 degrees and then dipping it in a glaze made from tin, calcium and other minerals. This made the pots resistant to high temperatures and helped making the decorating part of the ceramic a lot easier.
Since every ceramic is handmade and hand painted it takes a lot of effort to make one and it requires a lot of skill as well. The process involves a lot of techniques since some ceramics are geometrically and figuratively painted and every culture had different styles of painting the ceramics.
Nowadays ceramics are widely used for decorating a place and can be used as the center piece of a room. The hand painted ceramics, which is still very widely practiced in parts of the world, are of great value and must be well kept. Thanks to the glazing of these ceramics, they do not have any problem of corrosion and are therefore extremely long lasting if kept well.
Ceramics and pottery in Mexico date far back before the Pre-Columbian period for thousands of years, when the ceramic arts and pottery crafts developed with the first advanced civilizations and cultures of Mesoamerica. With one exception, pre-Hispanic wares were not glazed, but rather burnished and painted with colored fine clay slips. The potter’s wheel was unknown as well, with pieces being shaped by molding, coiling and other methods.
After the Spanish Invasion and Conquest, European techniques and designs were introduced, nearly wiping out the native traditions. Indigenous traditions survive in a few pottery items such as comals, and the addition of indigenous design elements into mostly European motifs. Today, ceramics are still produced from traditional items such as dishes, kitchen utensils to new items such as sculptures and folk art. Despite the fame of the prior, the bulk of ceramic items produced in the country are floor and wall tiles along with bathroom fixtures.
Mexico has a number of well-known artisan ceramic traditions, most of which are in the center and south of the country. Examples are the Talavera of Puebla, the majolica of Guanajuato, the various wares of the Guadalajara area, and barro negro of Oaxaca. A more recent addition is the production of Mata Ortiz or Pakimé wares in Chihuahua. While the number of artisans has been dropping due to completion from mass produced items, the production of folk art and fine ware still has an important role in the Mexican economy and the production of pottery in general is still important to Mexican culture.
The making of earthenware began to replace stone utensils in Mexico began around the Purrón period (2300-1500 BCE). Many of these first ceramics were gourd or squash shaped, a carry over from when these vegetables were used to carry liquids. This earthenware developed into a pottery tradition which was mostly made in natural clay and thinly coated with a fine clay slip. Most clays in Mexico need temper to regulate water absorption, with one significant exception being the clay used in the Fine Orangeware of the Gulf Coast.
Pre-hispanic vessels were shaped by modeling, coiling or molding. Except for a proto wheel used by the Zapotecs, the potter’s wheel was unknown until the Spanish Conquest. Simple pinch pots or coiled pots were usually made by the family, with larger molded pieces made by craftsmen. The earliest molded pieces were simply clay pressed against a pre-existing bowl, but double molds and slip casting came to be use to make bowls with relief decorations. Famous examples of this type exist in Tlaxcala and Puebla states. Many figurines were also made using molds. Sometimes vessels were made with several molded pieces with the upper part finished by coiling.
Tequila is North America’s first distilled spirit, and has been produced in México since shortly after the Spanish conquered the country in the early 1500s.
To be classified as tequila, it must be made from no less than 51% Weber blue agave. Better and high-end tequilas are made from 100% Weber blue agave. Today’s fine tequilas are highly coveted by collectors worldwide—for both the smooth aromatic liquor and the handcrafted decorative bottle.
México’s tequila producers, almost all located in a one hundred-mile radius of the town of Tequila in Jalisco State, distill hundreds of brands, some the old way – in small lots in tiny family-run fabricas – most in ultra-modern distilleries. As of January 31, 2011, there are 142 registered tequila distilleries producing 1,155 certified brands. These producers are often using artisans to create unique hand-blown glass, crystal, ceramic, and Talavera pottery bottles that savvy collectors are snapping up like fine vintages of wine.
Gracia studio have completed an interesting architecture project located in Todos Santos, Mexico made up of two houses, one available for rent and the other one as a vacation home for the owners. Two basic materials were used for the finishing touch of the project’s facade: “talavera” tiles, a typical materials in México since the Spanish conquest and exposed concrete walls. These make the residence embed perfectly in its natural environment.
All the rooms in the house are open towards the pool and terrace which provides easy access to the outdoors. The focal point of this home however remains its beautiful semi-covered pool, a perfect space for socializing and relaxation. We found out that the residence was built with a relatively small budget, despite its highly intriguing appearance.
Since ancient times, tile has been used for both construction and decorative purposes. It’s been an essential component throughout the history of building and design.
As early as 4000 BC, glazed tiles were used for decoration in Egypt and ancient Mesopotamia. From China and the Far East, to the Near East and throughout Europe, tile became a prominent art form as well as a beautiful and durable building material.
Tile fabrication methods and patterns have long had meaning to different regions of the world, and varied designs from different countries are now easily recognizable. Consider for example Delft from the Netherlands, Majolica from Italy, or Mexico’s intricate, decorative Talavera tiles. In each region, fabrication and decorative techniques have been carefully guarded and passed down through generations.
While handmade tile is still available, machine-made tile dominates the industry today. With the wide range of tile types available, guides and ratings for porcelain versus non-porcelain ceramic and natural stone tiles can be very helpful and informative, for both designers and consumers alike. The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) website offers an an excellent summary for the beginner.
Knowledge about different grout types and applications is critical, and can help one avoid last minute confusion that arises all too often during installations. Grout can be a blended background color that allows the tile to shine, or it can become part of the overall design, creating a pronounced grid and strong graphic effect. The Tile Doctor website is an excellent resource for learning about installation techniques such as surface preparation, joint types, and grout types and uses for flooring, shower and bath, countertops, and more.
From natural materials to high-tech innovations in tile, the range of options has expanded greatly in recent years. Glass tile, metal tile, tumbled natural stone tile, and even light-emitting tiles have all hit the market and are widely popular today. Mixing and matching different tile types has become popular recently. One such example involves the incorporation of metal tiles in stone or other natural tile designs.
The huge assortment of tile types and materials available today enables designers and their clients to create unique and personalized bathrooms, kitchens, sunrooms, floor designs, and more while carrying on the tradition begun many thousands of years ago.
Click here to get more information on talavera tile mexico
Travertine tiles is known today as commonly used and most popular flooring material utilised in a large number of household and commercial areas. They can be seen in a huge range of qualities, colours patterns, shades, styles and textures. Being a hard material, these tiles can hold against freezing and thawing conditions. The maintenance of these tiles is very easy and hassle-free.
The attribute that play an important role in becoming travertine tiles widely-recognised and widely available is their unmatched durability and cheap availability. These tiles are obtained from the earth’s crust applying the procedure of quarrying. Following this process, later these tiles are honed, polished and brushed to provide them with the desired finish. Hones tiles can go well with your choice if you are going to provide the particular place of your living area a rugged effect. Each finished tile encompasses an extraordinary and crystal-clear look that helps to add an unmatched elegance to your house.
You can also opt for the simple off-colour tiles, if you are trying for making the place simple yet fashionable. Due to their affordability, travertine tiles have emerged as a most in-demand flooring material that offers a refined and new-fashioned appearance to your household and commercial projects. They come in a wide array of varieties that has several vibrant styles that meet your needs suiting distinct tastes.
Travertine tiles are available in various textures and formats. The main characteristic that helps in becoming more famous is their adaptability. With the help of new technologies and methods, you can give a fascinating finish to the tiles that enable them to include a better overall appearance. This feature has been playing a vital role in boosting up the sales of these sorts of tiles for a long period.
Travertine tiles can be used as a décor item in the different areas of your homes and offices. There are numerous people who prefer to adopt these tiles in the floor and walls of their bathrooms. On the other hand some employ them in their kitchen areas giving it a fragile and marvellous look under the spot lights. They can also be utilised in the garden. The utilisation of these tiles can make the garden exceptional providing it a fragile yet classy look.
It is very simple to clean and maintain these tiles. Working with a mild non-acidic soap, household bleach, sponge, rubber gloves and a bucket, you can protect the beauty of these tiles. Always make sure the utilisation of a soft sponge for their cleaning. The usage of a hard sponge can cause some scratches and stains on the surface of these tiles. With the help of home-made bleach solution, you can efficiently eliminate the marks and blemishes noticed on the surface of these tiles. If you clean it in a regular interval, it will not only add life to the tiles, but also keep their elegance intact.
About the Author
Santa Closen is a renowned writer in the field of tile installations.
The Barcelona cement floor tile may be installed in all indoors residential and commercial vertical and horizontal applications, such as floors, walls, back splashes, and counters in lobbies, main entrances, kitchens, and bathrooms.
Outdoor vertical and horizontal applications of the Barcelona mosaic cement tile are subject to climate, and must be sealed with a high quality penetrating sealer containing U.V. protection. The U.V. protection will help the tile preserve its color and natural patina.
Note: These tiles are not frost proof.
To install in an outdoor or indoors swimming pool use a high quality penetrating sealer with U.V. protection; and additionally apply a acrylic concrete surface sealer on top.