Talavera decorative tiles: the second skin of Mexicans

Decorative tiles of blue and white: the beginnings of Talavera

Among Talavera ceramics, traditional decorative tiles are the most prevalent. These are applied in a rich and tasteful way in all areas of Mexican interior design, and they also embellish all kinds of public places. The writer, Alberto Ruy Sanchez Lacy summed up the significance of the tiles when he called these the second, “chosen skin” of Mexican people. The first two centuries of Talavera brought about the dominance of the color white and blue, mainly because the mineral pigments needed to produce the color blue were the most expensive to procure. Therefore, this color was also used to indicate the high quality and exclusivity of the given products. The fact that the blue-white “azulejo” ceramic tiles were regarded as status symbol is well-described by a popular saying from that time in New Spain (NB: this is Mexico!). According to this, those who wouldn’t amount to anything in life would never have a “Casa de Azulejos”, i.e. a house of decorative tiles.

Bright colours, rich patterns: the Mexican (r)evolution of decorative tiles

Starting from the 1800s, bright colors and a great variety of forms were introduced in the production of Talavera, evolving it to the style known even today. Apart from maintaining the highest possible quality, these changes added another fundamental element to Mexican folk art and culture. Some of the most prevalent figures used in the decoration of Talavera products are snakes and frogs, whereas peacock feathers, sunflowers, sun and moon motifs and Calla lilies are also used in abundance.

Find your original Mexican decorative tile at La Tienda!

If you have a chance to go to Mexico, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the beautiful city of Puebla, the center of Talavera production, where you can admire the colorful products of this centuries old tradition, as well as the masterpieces of Spanish colonial architecture. Nevertheless, should you decide to postpone your visit Mexico, we are glad to be of your service with our webstore that offers – among others – a large selection of original Mexican decorative tiles made by pottery masters from Puebla.