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Puebla Patterned Pots

Creating a Talavera style plate

Introduction: These ceramic pots are tin-glazed earthenware. They represent a new style of pottery introduced in Puebla in late 18th and early 19th century. A wider range of colors replaced the more traditional blue and white ceramics. This style is called azul punche, a reference to the light blue background color.

Work of Art: Talavera Pots

Subject Area: Art

Time Frame: Four Classes (45 minute periods each)

Lesson Objectives:

The students will be able to:

  • identify and discuss the cultural characteristics of the tin glazed earthenware pottery of Colonial Mexico.

  • define and apply the concept of radial symmetry.

  • design and create their own Talavera style plate.

Relevant TEKS:

Knowledge and skills. Complete TEKS for 6th grade art.

1. Perception: a. and b.
2. Creative expression/performance: b..and c.
3. Historical cultural heritage: b.
4. Response/evaluation: b.

  • plastic plate
  • paper strips
  • glue
  • water
  • paint


1. Introducing the Work of Art - Talavera Pot


2. While viewing the flower pot and the chamber pot, have students discuss the repetition of pattern, the many colors including the blue background, and the many shapes and designs.

3. Discuss the floral motifs on each piece.


4. Have students explain the terms: tin-glazed, earthenware, Talavera, and symmetry.

5. Discuss symmetry and how it is used in radial design
Art Activity
Day 1:
  • After discussing and viewing the motifs found in the Talavera pottery, students shall compose a design for their plate.
  • Stress symmetry and radial design elements.
  • Students will use the papier mache process to create a plate in the Talavera design.
Day 2
  • Students will tear newspaper strips and soak in water for papier mache.
  • Mix a solution of one part Elemers glue and one part warer for the the papier mache solution.
  • Dip each piece in the solution.
  • Have students remove excess water from each piece.
  • Begin laying strips on a plastic plate.
  • Cover the plate, making sure the pieces are flat and smooth.
  • Overlap the strips around the edge of the plate. Let dry.
Day 3
  • Repeat the same process for the back of the plate.
  • Dry completely.
Day 4.
  • Brush on two coats of gesso front and back.
  • Let dry between each coat.
    • When completely dry have students use their drawings to draw their pattern on the plate.
    • Now have students paint their plate using acrylic or tempera paints.
    • They should use colors characteristic of Talavera pottery
Evaluation Procedure:
  • Papier mache should be smooth and cover late completely. Talavera designs should be clearly visible on plate.

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