Handcrafted Talavera style ceramics in Mexico
"My dream is for our workshop to grow. I want it to be a place where artisans can work together in a safe and pleasant setting... and to help preserve our traditional ceramic art.""I am Luis Armenta and I consider myself to be creative and hardworking ceramist. In 1999, I began helping in a small workshop where I learned to shape clay on the potter's wheel. I really enjoyed my work and decided to keep learning on my own.
"I've enjoyed these years of effort in which I've used up hundreds of kilograms of materials in my designs and experiments, which have gradually helped me develop a small workshop where I work alongside my family. I've become adept at solving problems as they arise and we've always tried to overcome the obstacles that have come up along the way.
"Over time, I've become skilled in creating Talavera style ceramics and my family supports me. My wife designs, my brother-in-law creates pieces for jewelry and dishes while my mother and mother-in-law help glaze them. I'm very happy and appreciate the stability this work has brought to the family.
"Our ceramic workshop has been a personal challenge — from creating to selling pieces — but, thank God, I believe I have a way to solve the problems that arise.
"We use clay, kaolin, mineral pigments and glazes, which we transform through a lengthy process to create beautiful and high quality ceramics.
"We especially enjoy the fun-filled moments in craft shows across the country where we meet many people, learn about their customs and get to know artisans from different places. It's been a real privilege to exchange experiences and ideas.
"We want to promote the use of non-hazardous materials in our workshop and innovate new techniques that will lower costs without reducing quality. We foster healthy competition that will allow us to improve the quality of our ceramics.
"My dream is for our workshop to grow. I want it to be a place where artisans can work together in a safe and pleasant setting. I want to provide good salaries so that my team can benefit through better education and family development and, at the same time, I want to help preserve our traditional ceramic art."