“Puebla’s most coveted export” is how The New York Times describes Talavera pottery. (It inspired our new Azulete line, made by Pueblan company Uriarte Talavera). This iconic style of tableware came to Mexico after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire.
A type of majolica (tin-based earthenware) made all over Mexico, Talavera is especially prominent in Puebla, where craftsmen and craftswomen employ the fine local clays. A traditional Talavera glaze is off-white to slightly yellow. Decorations are solely cobalt blue, blue, yellow, green, black and occasionally deep-rose. Authentic Talavera still employs the same 16th-century methods that it did in the colonial period.
We’re thrilled to launch Azulete, a selection of classic Uriarte Talavera pieces from their Regina line. The oldest continuously running Talavera company in Mexico, they have mastered this style since 1824. Every stunning piece is hand-painted, FDA-compliant and fired twice at very high temperatures for durability and vibrancy.
This is the collectible tableware in high demand around the globe. You might find a collection in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In Mexico City, German Franz Mayer started a museum featuring his own gorgeous collection—the largest in the world.
In 1824, the Uriarte workshop began under the aegis of Dimas Uriarte. Until the end of the 19th century, it remained in the family, with production limited to plates, cups and tiles.
In 1897, Catalan artist Enrique Luis Ventosa arrived in Puebla. In that moment, the craft was on the verge of vanishing, and the Uriarte workshop was one of half a dozen in Puebla. Under Ventosa, the workshop began to amp up production.
In the early 1900s, Ventosa began to work with Ysauro Uriarte Martinez. Ventosa was in charge of decoration; Uriarte formed the vessels. They began to introduce pre-Columbian art into the motifs, with a touch of Art Nouveau.
By the early 1920s, Uriarte was one of only four workshops to survive the Mexican Revolution. Operated by the family until the early 1990s, it then sold to a group of businessmen. The craft remains of the highest quality: About six weeks are required to craft one plate.
The Talavera tradition continues to stretch its tentacles into the world of tableware. Our Maravilla line took inspiration from it, but employs melamine for outdoor dining.