There is no art form that has its roots more deeply embedded in multi-cultural history, nor is there one that holds a richer, more diverse heritage than Talavera pottery. To understand its artistic ancestry, we must look back to creative influences that flowed from ancient Egypt, China, Persia, Africa, Moorish Spain, Italy and Mexico. In spite of this remarkably complex and impressive pedigree, Talavera pottery is renowned for its lyrical simplicity and straightforward style.
Over the centuries, ceramic artists constantly refined their work through seeing the very best qualities attained by those who had preceded them. Passed from artist to artist through the language of the pottery itself, the evolution of these highly decorative designs and shapes was handed down from the earliest masters. Beneath the ancient snow-capped volcanoes that surround Puebla, Mexico, Talavera pottery took residence in the 16th century.
Milky-white glazes and cobalt blues brought echoes of cherished Chinese porcelains and Moorish tiles. Natural pigments of yellow, green, orange and mauve blended in balanced fashion, as they were painted on the special clay that settled below the sun-washed hillsides around Puebla. After being pulled from The Valley of the Angels, this unique clay was delicately thrown on the potter’s wheel and carefully dried. As a sign of its quality, each piece was required to ring like a bell when gently tapped after the first firing. Perhaps it was simply singing both encouragement and praise to the master potters who perfected this art form. There is no other earthen ware like it in the world.
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