Mexican ceramics date back thousands of years before the Pre-Columbian period, when ceramic arts and pottery crafts developed with the first advanced civilizations and cultures of Mesoamerica. With one exception, pre-Hispanic wares were not glazed, but rather burnished and painted with colored fine clay slips. The potter’s wheel was unknown as well; pieces were shaped by molding, coiling and other methods.
After the Spanish Invasion and Conquest, European techniques and designs were introduced, nearly wiping out the native traditions. Indigenous traditions survive in a few pottery items such as comals, and the addition of indigenous design elements into mostly European motifs.
Today, ceramics are still produced from traditional items such as dishes, kitchen utensils to new items such as sculptures and folk art. Despite the fame of the prior, the bulk of ceramic items produced in the country are floor and wall tiles along with bathroom fixtures.
Mexico has a number of well-known artisan ceramic traditions, most of which are in the center and south of the country. Examples are the Talavera of Puebla, the majolica of Guanajuato, the various wares of the Guadalajara area, and barro negro of Oaxaca.
A more recent addition is the production of Mata Ortiz or Pakimé wares in Chihuahua. While the number of artisans has been dropping due to competition from mass-produced items, the production of folk art and fine ware still has an important role in the Mexican economy and the production of pottery in general is still important to Mexican culture.
NOTE: Items shown throughout the web site are samples of the vast inventory that we carry.
As almost all items are unique pieces of art, not all pieces are always available or exactly as shown.