Apr 172008

The History of Majolica Ceramics

After the Moors were thrown out of Spain, Majolica potters set up small factories in Italy near the mineral rich river in the towns such as Deruta, Gubbio, and Faenza where the finest clay deposits and minerals for the glazes were found. In the 16th century luster glazes similar to those used in Valencia and Talavera, Spain were developed in Umbria.

In the 10th Century the Calif of Persia received a gift of over 2000 pieces of porcelain from the Emperor of China. Persian craftsmen were amazed at the white and blue glazes. Thought they could not unravel the secret of the Chinese glazes they were able to invent their own techniques to duplicate the effect. The potters of Baghdad exported their wares all across Northern Africa and many Islamic potters migrated to Morocco and eventually Moorish Spain, bringing with them the secrets of creating this colorful pottery. After the Moors were thrown out of Spain, Majolica potters set up small factories in Italy near the mineral rich river in the towns such as Deruta, Gubbio, and Faenza where the finest clay deposits and minerals for the glazes were found. In the 16th century luster glazes similar to those used in Valencia and Talavera, Spain were developed in Umbria.

Eventually Majolica crafters settled in many other parts of the world where the craft developed into new and distinctive styles. In Holland it became delicate blue and white Delftware, in Germany it became dainty Dresden porcelains. The French name reflected its Italian origin, faience after the city of Faenza, and in the New World it was called Talavera after the potters who immigrated to Puebla, Mexico from Talavera de la Reina, Spain between 1550 and 1570.

About Keli Sim DeRitis

Keli Sim DeRitis is an artist, designer, passionate cook, teacher, and tour guide. Keli founded Poggi Bonsi in 2001 to share her love of European travel, food, wine, and culture. Connect with me on Google+

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Keli Sim DeRitis is an artist, designer, passionate cook, teacher, and tour guide. Keli founded Poggi Bonsi in 2001 to share her love of European travel, food, wine, and culture. Connect with me on Google+