About The Talavera Tile
The history behind the Mexican Talavera tiles illustrates the evolution of international pottery, so Mexico is now acknowledged as the pottery capital of the world. Talavera craft was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2019.
Talavera pottery consists of much more than just tiles. This beautiful craft has given way to the creation of hand-painted earthenware, transformed from tiles to plates, dishes, vases, and bowls by local artists in the last few centuries.
Just a decade after the conquest of the Aztec Empire, Puebla, Mexico was established in 1531. The abundance of quality clay and a long tradition of crafting earthenware, without the help of a potters wheel, prehispanic cultures didn't know about tin-glazing. That changed when the Spaniards came. Hence changing their methods of making, painting, and glazing pottery with Talavera's now-trademark milky white glaze.
The Talavera technique was inherited by the people of Puebla during the construction of the Church of Santo Domingo, in 1571 when Spanish monks requested craftsmen across the Atlantic from Talavera de la Reina, to create the tiles required for the church.
The Santo Domingo was completed in 1611, and its interior is considered one of the world's most impressive examples of Mexican baroque.
Others say Dominican friars produced these tiles themselves and taught locals how to make them.
It's impossible to say exactly how or why the Spanish craftsmen arrived in Puebla, It was a flourishing trade center in the 16th century and due to their workshops being established during the creation of many churches and monasteries, the Puebla region has become heart of colonial era buildings covered in Talavera tiles that can be seen throughout the city.