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Talavera? Maybe, maybe not. Talavera? Maybe, maybe not.

Pottery makers’ certification sought to combat fake talavera

Association wants makers of the fake product to take workshops and become certified

An artisans’ association will seek government assistance in Puebla and Tlaxcala to combat the sale of fake Talavera pottery.

The Talavera Regulatory Council (CRT) will ask authorities in the municipality of Puebla as well as those in San Pablo del Monte and San Miguel Tenancingo in Tlaxcala to provide training to pottery workshops so that they can become certified Talavera makers.

Fernanda Gamboa Serdán, secretary of the organization that represents nine certified Talavera producers, said there are 70 businesses in those three municipalities that make and sell imitation products at cheaper prices, sometimes without telling their customers that they are not buying an authentic piece.

Such businesses represent unfair competition for certified Talavera makers but for decades municipal authorities have done nothing to stop them attempting to pass off their products as the real deal.

Gamboa stressed that the aim of the CRT is not to have the uncertified workshops shut down but rather to help them improve their practices so that they are aligned with formal Talavera production requirements.

She said the only way that can be achieved is with the support of the municipal governments, adding that if the CRT approached the workshops to offer training, it would be rejected.

Talavera pottery with designation of origin status must be produced following strict stipulations that date back 500 years.

Gamboa explained that the certification process takes a year and includes education about things such as appropriate kiln temperatures and which colors are permitted for decorating the pottery.

She said Talavera must be fired at 900 C and can only be painted with six natural pigment colors: blue, yellow, black, green, orange and mauve.

“The Official Mexican Standard [NOM] is clear about the certification process, it can’t be flexible in its requirements but we’re going to support whoever is interested in achieving it so it’s a question of will,” Gamboa said.

Following certification, potters receive holographic stickers that serve as proof of their products’ authenticity, she explained.

The CRT secretary said that accrediting pottery workshops – even if as few as 15 agree to undergo certification – will be an important step forward for the Talavera industry but added that for the initiative to be a success local authorities must support it.

Authorities in Tlaxcala have already indicated that they will support the CRT proposal while talks with the Puebla government will take place after the June 2 state election, Gamboa said.

Source: El Economista (sp) 

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