Navigating the process of creating magic with Artisans, Part 1
by Marianne FreemanDecember 09, 2020
The history behind our Talavera pet bowls is a long one. We did not just happen to discover the 3 perfectly accommodating sizes and 4 authentic hand-painted Talavera patterns wondering through some "Feria" (Spanish for "open air market", farmer's market / artisan's market) in Mexico. Quite the opposite, the process was more of a mission that required a lot of searching, trial then error, and negotiating with various artisans. Talavera is a cultural artistry from Central Mexico, with the most traditional and detailed form of Talavera is found in the state of Puebla. The style we incorporate in our products created in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato is a more decorative artistry and the paints that are used do not contain lead. We along with our accomplished artisans of Guanajuato Mexico have adapted the vibrantly colored geometric, floral, and cultural patterns expressed through Talavera artistry into these simplistic yet perfectly molded ceramic bowls.
The story of their creation and the thoughtful design process follows as we experienced it.
Dogs and sometimes cats have been involved in our family operation since day 1. On any given day more than a few furry companions can be found roaming our offices and work spaces. Our ambition to create these Talavera Pet Bowls was born out of the love and appreciation we have for our pets.
Several years ago when we first set out on the journey to create these wonderful pet-friendly vessels we knew, as with all of our signature creations, that it would not be easy, nor would we be successful with the first samples. But we did not expect to receive the push back and outright lack of interest from the warm and greatly gifted community of Talavera artisans whom our family had been creating with for over a decade. We still had much to learn about the culture and attitudes of some of these artisans. They are very proud of the work they have created, as they rightfully should be, but accompanying this pride, using their creations to feed pets, particularly dogs, was not something they would consider. So, our journey continued to find an artisan who was willing to work with us to develop and create our vision for our pet bowls.
Stay tuned for the continuation of this story that we will be posting in the coming week. This story is part of a 3 part series which will share our exploration of different artisan cultures.
On our recent trip to areas in Central Mexico and on numerous adventures over the past 20 years, we have encountered many women who are the directors of their family businesses. Often these businesses are generational. The women who are running the show were actually raised in the very artisan craft that they are now administrating. Some actually carry their babies on their backs while moving the business forward and keeping their eye on the day to day operations
Death, should not be taken lightly. The opposite side of this yin/yang metaphor, and the more valuable perception is that life should be taken more seriously and with far greater appreciation than we are currently affording. Specifically the struggles, sadness, joys, and beauty that life affords should not be ascertained through morbid innuendos of death.