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Thanks for stopping in... We’re a small Mexican folk art store located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We personally choose ALL of our hand made pieces from talented artisans all over the great country of Mexico.

Zinnia Blog

What is Mexican Talavera?

Posted by Anne Damon in Guanajuato, Mexican ceramics, Talavera

Mexican Talavera-Zinnia Folk Arts


Most of the ceramics carried at Zinnia are considered either “Talavera” or “Majolica” which are terms that refer to Mexican handmade, hand painted ceramics from Puebla or Guanajuato regions. Ceramics experts differentiate between Talavera and Majolica due to slightly different processes and the type of clay and slips that are used in the making of dishes. "Majolica" is the larger category and "talavera" is a type of majolica.  At Zinnia we group all of our ceramics under the more familiar title of “talavera.” Talavera is distinguished by the natural clays that are used in its creation, the strong colorful decorations, and a type of white glaze specific to majolica pottery, a type of pottery which typically features colors applied to a white background.  Talavera ceramics are created in a style revered enough to have enjoyed specific protection of standards and regulations defined by potters’ guilds in Mexico.

Mexican Talavera-Zinnia Folk Arts


Talavera ceramics, like many Mexican artisanal crafts, have over time blended features of both their indigenous roots and their European colonial influences.  These beautiful pieces of Mexican pottery are named for the famed Talavera de la Reina pottery region in Spain, but ultimately expanded upon the Spanish traditions, incorporating use of the potters’ wheel, and then adding more colors and including motifs derived from the natural world.  They grew to be firmly linked to Puebla (oldest Talavera in Puebla is Uriarte) and Guanajuato specifically as a result of the availability of high-quality clays in those areas and the strong regional demand for tiles for the construction of new churches and monasteries. In the Guanajuato area, Gorky Gonzalez and Capelo were at the forefront of reviving a disappearing craft.

Mexican Talavera-Zinnia Folk Arts

Ceramics are indeed produced in other areas of Mexico, but they are often produced quickly, using volcanic soils which create tiles that are more fragile, and employ designs that are stamped in commercial colors, rather than hand-painted using the natural pigments which have come to define true Talavera.

Mexican Talavera-Zinnia Folk Arts

Zinnia Folk Arts is proud of its carefully sourced selection of beautiful Talavera ceramics.  Anne selects every piece individually primarily in Guanajuato with an occasional trip to Puebla. Consider how much fun our Talavera salsa dish would be to have for Cinco de Mayo, or what color you could add to your spring table with a set of our Talavera salad bowls.  Also consider a Talavera vase or baking dish as a pretty Mother’s Day gift.  Stop in to check them out and let their lively colors get you into a spring mindset.


A small portion of our collection is in our online store but we encourage you to stop in the shop for the full selection!


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