It is impossible to visit Guanajuato without falling in love with Talavera, and when you’ve seen the real thing, you will not accept an imitation.
The pottery is made from a sifted earth that is mixed and molded and sanded and fired twice — once to harden the clay, and once to develop the vibrant patterns. The technique has been refined over generations — the first Talavera was brought to Mexico from Spain in the early 1600’s.
She laughed when she saw me sketching her work —it was a generous laugh.
I watched a woman, famous for her craft, deftly outline an intricate pattern that she filled with colored glazes. The shades of blue and gold, green and red were muted; the real colors would be revealed after the piece had been fired for ten hours.
My attempts at copying her art were laughable. She made a gift of a beautiful traditional planter. Each year I display my favorite blooming cactus in it.