Our Tierra collection is filled with a variety of diverse and wonderful earthenwares (literally glazed and hand-painted terra-cotta). From tiles and coasters to kitchenware and pottery, all finely painted by hand using a variety of splendid artistries. Our tiles for example have Portuguese and Spanish influenced patterns that are created using a very detailed and time-consuming process called "raised painting" or "relief painting". We shared the relief painting process in our last video and again in this video, you can see within our Tierra studio a young and vibrant artist literally trace the pattern of a traditional Sugar Skull or "Alfeñique" on to the tile using a squeeze bottle which occurs before the kiln firing process. This technique is used to paint every single tile, the definition of "tedious work"! The finished tiles are truly stunning when installed as a backsplash in your kitchen they will give your bathroom that truly authentic style. These tiles are durable enough for outdoor use as well. Our Talavera and Mayolica painted ceramic wares have a similar tedious painting process yet they are completely "free hand-painted" no tracing required.
Areas of Central Mexico like where our Tierra studio is located, within the state of Guanajuato, have high-quality natural clay that is dug from the earth and used to create all of our Terra-cotta tiles.
Once the tiles are kiln-dried the artisans then use a fusion of both Talavera and Majolica painting techniques to embellish our sculptures, bowls, pots, and more with vibrantly colored geometric and floral patterns. Both Talavera and Majolica painting techniques originated in Spain but greatly expanded when brought to Mexico and have continued to grow with every new generation of artisans since the 16th century. The Tierra Collection celebrates this artisan tradition and every piece of Earthenware we create is lead-free, intended to be used, and enjoyed both indoor or outdoor.
Many of the artisan studios that Zenwaro has partnered with over the past 20 years have been led by women. More often than not, these women are mothers, which means they are also leaders by way of a set of lived experiences.
Mexico's craftsmanship and artisanal heritage date back millennia and are not limited to only pottery and earthenware making. Stone carvers, wood carvers, carpenters, blacksmiths, silversmiths, and tin workers were part of Mexico's creator economy before the Spanish conquistadors appeared in the early 16th century.