The Mexican polychrome ceramic tradition known as “Talavera pottery” derived its name from the Spanish town of Talavera de la Reina, as the Spanish introduced pottery-making techniques such as the potter’s wheel and high-firing glazes to the Aztec and the Mixtec cultures of the Valley of Mexico in the 15th century. The Mestizo (mixed Native and Spanish heritage) potters who produce Talavera pottery today insist, however, that Talavera animal and floral designs and the color schemes were originally developed by Mesoamerican peoples, and some Mestizo potters continue to use traditional pinch, coil, hand-turning, and mold-making methods and Mesoamerican firing techniques.
Contemporary Talavera pottery designs have also been influenced by and have consciously adopted imagery from a wide variety cultures over the last five centuries, including Spanish, Italian, and Islamic motifs, as well as blue and white designs adopted from Chinese porcelain. The pottery has developed into many different forms, from vases, cups, and bowls to ceramic tiles. This small vase and ashtray are miniature pieces that copy the shape and style of large Talavera vases and Aztec Mesoamerican tripod vessels, and they use traditional Talavera imagery, but they are reduced to sizes that serve well as tourist souvenirs. Researched by Chaney Jewell and Jasmine Currey
For more information, you may contact the researcher(s) noted in the title of this exhibit entry, or Dr. Billie Follensbee, the professor of the course, at BillieFollensbee@MissouriState.edu