If you love the look of Southwestern design, Talavera tiles might be the ideal choice for your next decorating or remodel project.
Handcrafted and infused with the rich history of Mexican art, they add a creative and colorful touch to any kitchen, bathroom, patio or any other area you might use accent tile.
Best of all, Talavera tile is long-lasting and easy to maintain, so it’s great for those practical projects you’ve got on your to-do list.
The History of Talavera Tile
Talavera tile is a type of majolica pottery that originates from Puebla, Mexico. Its telltale milky-white glaze can usually distinguish it.
Authentic Talavera pottery hails from the city of Puebla and the nearby communities of Atlixco, Cholula, and Tecali. These areas are rich in high-quality natural clay. The production of the tile can be traced back as far as the 16th century.
While much of the ceramic used to create Talavera tile was traditionally blue in color, additional shades of yellow, black, green, orange and mauve have also been introduced into the design work over the centuries.
The Spanish originally brought Majolica ceramics to Mexico during the first century. However, production of this ceramic became extensively developed in Puebla due to the abundance of fine clays and the growing demand for authentic, handcrafted Mexican tile from the newly established churches and monasteries in the area.
Spanish vs. Mexican
It’s important to point out that there are actually two different types of Talavera pottery.
The tile that is produced in Puebla using the unique traditions and distinctive styles of the artisans there was actually referred to as Talavera Poblana. This helped to distinguish it from the similarly named pottery produced in Spain.
Mexican Talavera tile is created using a blend of Italian, Spanish, and other indigenous ceramic techniques.
A long journey…
Over the years, the production of traditional Mexican Talavera tile has experienced its ups and downs.
Since the Mexican War of Independence in the early 19th century, the tradition has struggled, with the number of workshops in the state of Puebla dropping to fewer than eight.
Thankfully, due to the valiant efforts of various artists and collectors to revive the craft, the late 20th century saw the introduction of new, decorative designs and the passage of the Denominación de Origen de la Talavera law.
This law was enacted to protect authentic Talavera pieces that were crafted using the original 16th-century methods.
Today’s Talavera tile is produced using a combination of the painting talents of artists in Puebla and modern glazes and bodies.
This modification has addressed the concern over the lead content used in the older methods. It also results in much more vibrant colors and superior durability, capturing the centuries-old tradition of Talavera tile and transforming it into a new, high-quality variation that can be proudly displayed as part of any home or business design project.
To view some samples of our Talavera tile collection, please visit our products page.