When a tourist is visiting, He always looks for, besides the pleasant moments during his stay, to take souvenirs, which are usually represented in an object, whose characteristics are typical of the place visited, and durable over time. These objects are of craft, with history before and after the arrival of Spanish conquistadors. Following you will find a brief account of some typical handicrafts of Puebla.
The Talavera Poblana
The ceramic tile or glazed, has its origin in the Islamic occupation of the Iberian Peninsula, where the coexistence between the Muslim and Jewish Christians, led to the flowering of a new art called “Mudejar”, which took a strong boom in Spain for several centuries of occupation.
When the Spaniards came to America, they brought as a part of their culture to the new world, their knowledge in the design and making of traditional pottery.
In the eleventh century, with the founding of Puebla City, the colonists found in this new land, the conditions for, through workshops for pottery, make decorative and utilitarian objects, and with their experience in the techniques, make new proposals very characteristic of the new world.
Talavera pottery is now recognized as world heritage.
Since the mixture of mud and water, a material special material is obtained, and with the maturation process, it takes the characteristic of malleability. This means that it is perfectly moldable to be formed by hand, obtained the most elaborated designs from around formed and shaped, depending on the piece. Once, it is finished, it is left to be dried under special conditions for a specific time, in order to get the piece completely dry; The next step is baking, until the piece is turned to the characteristic red-orange color. At this step, the product is called "jahuete”.
Enamel is prepared from a mixture called "Alarca," this is an amalgam of lead and tin that is ground and melted with sand. The objects in question are covered by immersion or runoff, cleaning the edges of the base; these are known as "relez," leaving them uncovered and look the color of mud.
The decorations, in which the used colors are made of mineral and processed in the same workshop, are: big blue, thin blue, green, yellow, orange and black. They are applied on dry enamel, by hand using two techniques: pen and blured used for unique designs, and the stencil, that is not limited for replicating the creative designs.
Once the decoration process is finished, the piece is subjected to a second firing in a kiln at a very high temperature, which gives the finishing of glass in brilliant colors, which cannot be seen during the previous process.
Due to the rise of this art in the area of Puebla during the colonial period, the artisans union requested the viceroy to develop a series of ordinances to regulate the processes and product quality. Thus the tradition was preserved until, with the independence of Mexico in 1810, these ordinances lost validity. However, making processes could survive, always with the risk of being lost in time. Some workshops, due to increased demand, left behind the traditions and focused on mass production and large sales volumes, until in the 1990s, they began a struggle for the preservation of tradition and created a Board of Talavera, which maintains controlled manufacturing processes and quality, and the designation of origin.
It is important to note that many other workshops, while not certified, have not lost the tradition that for generations has continued; however, it has also emerged those imitation that, being industrialized, have led to doubt about the authenticity, and incur the deception that can be done to those who enjoy art without being experts.
Authentic Talavera Poblana:
Denomination of Origin
Imagine yourself walking through the "El Parian" market, located in the historic downtown and the oldest part of the city of Puebla. We can see all kinds of regional handicrafts, many tourists and residents walking trough.
You may realize that what is more in the business premises is Talavera Poblana; you can see all sorts of decorations and finishes, and what we can choose something to your appearance, colors, beauty, and so on. Everybody call it Talavera but, how can we know that what we are buying is authentic talavera?
We should bear in mind first, that the talavera items are handmade, which means they are 100% made and painted by hand. There is no other piece exactly the same as other.
Secondly, the real talavera poblana is produced under a process that was used in the sixteenth century, during the Cologne, and remained because potters then were careful to keep this tradition alive, and by orders by the viceroy remained for nearly 3 centuries, and when they lost validity with the independence of Mexico, the potters who produced then continued doing the same for generations, until in the 90s, it was sought to regulate the development by of a Mexican Official Regulation (Norma Oficial Mexicana: NOM).
When we see an article by "Talavera Poblana," which can give us an indication that it is authentic, it is made of red mud, second, that is hand painted with traditional colors, fine blue, and fat blue, yellow, orange, green and black. These colors are bright and have a very special highlight, not usually on the thin blue on white surface, which is an enamel that are handmade on site, can not be absolute, but a white-yellow hue, or grayish-white. If the enamel is pure white, it means that colors used are industrial, and if the pieces are too perfect, there may be involvement of machinery. If this is used, all this is to produce large volumes at low cost.
Another particularity of talavera pieces, is that its base, called reliez, is not covered with enamel. It looks red.
From all the manufacturers in the area of Talavera, only 8 are certified by the "Consejo Regulador de Talavera" (Talavera Regulation Council), who is responsible for monitoring and regulating the development in accordance with the ordinances that were used in colonial times.
According to NOM-132-SCFI-1998, the old Ministry of Trade and Industry, now Ministry of Economy, "it states that Talavera must be made 100% ceramic, hand made with traditional materials and craftsmanship."
Because of this, you can be sure that if the company i manufacturer of talavera s certified and your product has a DO4 hologram adhered, which certifies the authenticity and denomination of origin, do not worry, but prices are considerably higher than with non-certified manufacturers, whose products are in the market to everyone. If you decide to buy a non-certified manufacturer, we must ensure that the design is traditional, and to our knowledge this is the best help.
Not all in Puebla is Talavera ceramics; there are a great variety of crafting styles that in the same way beautify spaces, depending on the decoration of each place.
Another well-known regional handicrafts, is the onyx, that stone quarry of marble that has been used to manufacture many different items on hand, ranging from rustic and modern furniture to table decorations and personal items. It is so much variety, that there are shops that specialize in developing all kinds of objects located in regions where there is material to the preparation course, as in Tecali de Herrera, located 42 kilometers from the city of Puebla, and whose name comes from the words "TETLI" meaning "stone" and "Calli" which means "House." Then translated to English, the meaning is "stone houses." Herrera's surname comes from one of Illustrious Men, Coronet Ambrose Herrera, who on August 25th 1861 ordered the attack on the Conservatives in Reforma war.
The onyx is also known as onyx marble or onyx limestone. It comes from quarries near volcanic areas, and is formed by the accumulation of gases. It is considered a mineral gemstone and is categorized into four varieties:
Green, with shades of color, translucent and usually has brown veins.
San Martín Onyx is opaque, reddish brown color with bands of different shades. This is the hardest, allowing being polished, capable of a perfect brightness and smoothness.
The onixtin has characteristics of both varieties, green and San Martin, in a mixture.
The whitish color onyx, one of the most popular, is known as aragonite. It also comes in gray.
Onyx is generally used for jewelry and decorative items. In Tecali, where the most important regional quarry is used for handicrafts that includes jewelry such as necklaces, rings, key chains, earrings, which are very colorful and different colors, produced by the local artisans. Something very distinctive are the chess boards, known as regional crafts and it is offered in all parts of the population, regional fairs like Puebla, Tlaxcala and surrounding populations.
The population is a major manufacturer that produces all kinds of articles in a variety of designs and whose products are also exported to various countries.
Tourism can visit the town and its facilities. Among its products for decoration items, among which we find a great variety as coffee tables and side rooms, with bright and highly polished finishes, lamps, candlesticks, plates, floors, tiles, bathroom sets, blinds, vases and pots, dining room furniture such as tables and chairs.
It's a whole industry that allows the region to stay and grow with a special award: Offering unique items and features.