Cerámica y Cultura
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The Story of Spanish and Mexican Mayólica

The Traditional Potter's Workshop
3D Taller (Workshop) DiagramTechnique

The traditional Spanish potter’s workshop (taller) was usually a family-run operation headed by a master potter or maestro.

Trade Tile / Azulejo de oficios
Trade Tile / Azulejo de oficios
1750-1800, Barcelona, Spain
Museu de Ceràmica, Barcelona
Photo by Guillém Fernández
In small talleres, one or two family members might do all tasks; in larger workshops the work was divided: one person to throw or construct the pots, one to glaze, one to paint, someone to monitor the kiln, and someone to bring the fuel. The maestro might take on an apprentice, agreeing to feed and clothe him and take care of medical expenses for a number of years until he was ready to take the exam to become a journeyman and then a maestro.

Beginning in the 17th century in both Spain and Mexico, mayólica potters were regulated by guilds (gremios). The guild was a formal organization with regulations whose purpose was to provide quality control and to protect potters against inferior imitations of their work as well as price gouging. The regulations specified who could become a master potter, what his training should be, how long one must apprentice before having his own workshop and store, and what materials, designs and colors he could use.

Origins of Mayólica

Trade & Transformation


Daily Life

The Traditional Potter's Workshop

Contemporary Showcase