Q&A With Our Talavera Supplier

colourful tiles on display in a store


Clay is the oldest known ceramic material.

We have used it to create everything from pots and mugs to decorative pieces. Pottery techniques have been passed down through countless generations and people have been refining and perfecting their skills to give us the products we’re familiar with today. This includes introducing the use of paint and patterns to decorate the ceramics as well as using glazes to get that polished look.    

 One artisan from Mexico that we’re always happy to catch up with is José who has been creating beautiful pieces since he was a young adult.    

OWB: Who taught you how to make your products?

I learned here, although right now I don't remember the name of the person who taught me. Later I got in touch with people from Dolores Hidalgo and started producing.

OWB: Could you give us a brief history of Talavera La Costeñita?

"My store is 15 years old, but I have been dedicating myself to crafts, for approximately 28 years. I started selling at a small stall in the Tonalá tianguis and only after several years was I able to find a place to sell my products.    I currently have this store and two workshops in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, which is where all the products we sell here are manufactured. "  

OWB: What are some of the challenges you have faced in the last year?

 The economy, which in general was very bad. In 2020 my business was partially closed for 4 months, I only worked to attend to the special requests of my clients.   

 There’s no slowing down 

As the business grows, they rely on quite a few people to keep up everything going. His son, Fernando, and another man named Fernando (who he jokes about being his adopted son) help with the business.        

There are 22 people spread over two workshops in Guanajuato, but José only provided a few names that we’d like to share:

  • María (in charge of the first workshop)  

 • Gabino Torres Sr. (in charge of the second workshop)  

 • Gabino Torres Jr.(son of  Gabino Sr.)  

 • Gabino Alejandro (son of Gabino Sr.)   

OWB: Where do you find your inspiration?

 I'd say it's more of a mental thing, as the patterns and colours are constantly changing.          

OWB: What does the manufacturing process look like for your products?

 The first step is to form the pieces in the moulds. Then burn the pieces in the ovens. After that, trace the designs of the pieces. Then paint the pieces and burn them again.    

OWB: What is your favourite product?

The products that I sell the most are bottle holders. I don't have a favourite product as such, but I will say that my wife's favourite product is pots.      

 You can find many of their pieces at the Bazaar. The different colour schemes and patterns mean that there’s something for everyone. Which is your favourite?!