The Story Behind Mexican Talavera

The Story Behind Mexican Talavera
Growing up in the 80's our parents would take us to Mexico during our summer breaks. We would pay a visit to my grandma living in a small ranch called El Llano Grande. Our abuelita was a kind and sweet lil lady, she had a house made out of adobe with an opening in the middle of the building, sorta like a courtyard. She would invite us  into her kitchen where she had an old time stove where you put 'leña' or wood to fire up the stove. Something I noticed around her kitchen was this beautiful blue and white tile surrounding her kitchen, later finding out it was called Talavera.

So, I dug into the backstory. Talavera pottery started in Spain, landed in Mexico in the 16th century, facing near extinction during Mexico's War of Independence.

Legend goes, Spanish monks brought Talavera to Mexico, and Puebla became its HQ, creating what we now know as Talavera Poblana. The Golden Age from 1650 to 1750 was its peak.

The 20th century saw a comeback, thanks to folks like Enrique Luis Ventosa and Ysauro Uriarte Martinez. But by the '80s, it faced hurdles – cheap imports and cheesy designs. In the 21st century, only certified workshops would be able to call their stuff "Talavera."

Now, Talavera pottery is all about lively colors and beautiful designs, showing up in everyday stuff like bowls and tiles. It's more than just pretty – it's a comeback story with a rich culture that inspires designers everywhere.

It’s good to understand the history of certain elements that somehow were part of a special moments in our childhood. I will always associate Talavera with a nostalgic time in my life where I would eat delicious home-made tortillas at my grandmas kitchen.

1 comment

  • Jackie R

    Hi, where is the talavera in the picture from? And what state is your family from? My family is from Zacatecas, and there is a rancho called El Llano. Thanks for sharing.


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