The Art of Talavera in our Tierra Collection
From the very beginning, approximately 20 years ago when we made our first trip to central Mexico, we were introduced to Talavera pottery. We didn't have to search because Talavera is so much a part of the culture of Mexico that not only is it sold in the bodegas in many cities and towns, but it is also used in everyday life. Numerous homes have pots or "macetas" that are overflowing with flowering plants that dot their yards and patios. Talavera suns and moons decorate the exterior and interiors walls of restaurants and hotels.
Working in clay is not a new skill for Mexico. The ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations left many artifacts behind that displayed their utilitarian and artistic skills. When the Spaniards arrived in Mexico in the 16th century they brought with them the pottery tradition from the pueblo of Talavera de la Reina, in Spain. Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards, there was very little color used in the pottery of the ancient civilizations in Mexico and the only color that came with the Spaniard's talavera was blue, but it didn't take long for the indigenous people to begin incorporating numerous natural pigments into their clay. Production of this ceramic became highly developed in the state of Puebla because of the availability of fine clays and the demand for tiles from the newly established churches and monasteries in the area, and from there it spread. Talavera pottery now displays an explosion of design and color.
Our travels did not take us initially to the state of Puebla, but we were introduced to the town of Dolores Hidalgo in the state of Guanajuato where the art of Talavera is flourishing. Over the course of the past 20 years, we have met many artisans who are skilled in the creation of Talavera, and we have been fortunate to work with and design numerous products that we are proud to offer in our Tierra Collection on our website, zenwaro.com. From 45" brightly painted cow skulls to coffee mugs and bowls designed for our animal friends, we continue to collaborate closely with 5 different artisans in their individual studios in Dolores Hidalgo where the adventure and artistry continue to grow in our Tierra Collection.
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Gift giving, no matter the time of year or occasion, can and should be a creative and thoughtful process.