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Talavera pottery is a unique blend of Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Moorish, Chinese and Mexican traditions. The fundamental process was brought to Mexico in the 16th century by Dominican monks from Talavera de la Reina, Spain.
The local artisans embraced the Talavera and made the art-form their own. Blending centuries old techniques and local resources with the Talavera concept has resulted in the spectacular pottery produced in central Mexico today.
Handcrafted, hand painted and fired in special kilns on special occasion, it is not uncommon for an authentic Talavera pottery to be 3-4 months in the making.
Wiki provides some insight into the making of Talavera.
"The process to create Talavera pottery is elaborate and it has basically not changed since the early colonial period when the craft was first introduced.
The first step is to mix black sand from Amozoc and white sand from Tecali. It is then washed and filtered to keep only the finest particles. This can reduce the volume by fifty percent. Next the piece is shaped by hand on a potter's wheel, then left to dry for a number of days. Then comes the first firing, done at 850 °C (1,560 °F). The piece is tested to see if there are any cracks in it.
The initial glazing, which creates the milky-white background, is applied. After this, the design is hand painted. Finally, a second firing is applied to harden the glaze. This process takes about three months for most pieces, but some pieces can take up to six months.
This process is so complicated and plagued with the possibility of irreparable damage that during colonial times, artisans prayed special prayers, especially during the firing process."
Now that is dedication to tradition!!!!
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