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Uriarte Talavera Polanco

Uriarte Talavera Polanco
All photos on this page ©2022 Arte en Talavera Casas y Uriarte S.A. de C.V.

The Uriarte Talavera shop in Polanco is one of the great highlights to any trip to Masaryk Avenue, and possibly to all of Polanco. Mexico City is lucky to have first-hand representation from one of the few remaining Talavera workshops left in Puebla, to the City’s southeast.

  • Talavera pottery is originally from a town called Talavera de la Reina, in Spain. The quality of natural clay around five towns on the Puebla-Tlaxcala border means that production today is limited to that area. The tradition of making pottery in this area dates to the 16th century when most of it was blue on white background. Demand, especially from Churches, meant that the industry developed rapidly. By the mid-17th century, the quality was so advanced that the city of Puebla is said to have experienced a “golden age of Talavera pottery” from 1650 to 1750. The finest examples of tile in Mexico City are nearly all from this region and production tradition.

Uriarte Talavera is one of the largest exporters of Talavera style pottery anywhere in the world. Today, the process of making Talavera is protected by a “Denomination of Origin,” and that’s led to a renewal of interest in the craft, tradition, and art. The Uriarte workshop, in Puebla, still relies on some designs from the 16th and 17th centuries. But they’ve also innovated and worked with artists from around the world to renew styles, shapes, colors, and individual products, too.

The process of production, the techniques of elaboration, enameling, and decoration, are all the same as in the 16th century. The results are luscious. In practical terms, they’re not well captured in photographs, and need to be seen in person.

The Uriarte Talavera company has done tiling projects within the Basilica de Guadalupe, in Mexico City. But the work can be seen in churches all over the country. Even better, in the Polanco shop, one can really see the art and skill that goes into such work.

Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., weekends, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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