Monday, May 27, 2013

The tale of the Talavera

Terry Grant here. I love, love, LOVE Mexican Talavera pottery. There is something so joyous and festive about it and it is gaudy and wild and usually painted with my favorite warm, rich colors. Years ago on a trip to Mexico I bought a Talavera bowl in the little town of Dolores Hidalgo. This is where they are made.

I loved my bowl for many years and then one day my husband picked it up to move it and it fell to pieces in his hands. I was heartbroken.

I wrote about it on my blog. Then I got an email from Kelley Wilkinson, someone I have never met, nor even know from blogging or email lists. She said, "I live in Dolores Hidalgo. I will send you another bowl." We corresponded. Her intent was to find one as close to the other as possible or even arrange to have one made to copy the old one. Time went by and I didn't hear from her. I assumed life had gotten in the way or that her initial generous impulse had come to its senses! But at last I got another email and she said she was sending the bowl. She said she had not been able to find one the same shape as the original, but hoped I would like the one she was sending. When it arrived I was stunned. It was beautiful.

I offered to pay Kelly for it, but she refused. It was a gift, she replied, with no strings attached.  I learned that Kelley and her family own a historic hacienda in Mexico that they have turned into an inn and spa. I sent her a small piece of my artwork as a thank you. I look at my beautiful Talavera bowl every day and think of the incredible kindness and generosity of a total stranger. The bowl holds fruit in our kitchen and brightens every day. This morning I set it on the dining room table and did a quick watercolor sketch.
BTW, I mended the broken bowl and it does light duty, holding our napkins. They are magic bowls.


  1. they are beautiful bowls, and yes, true generosity is alive and well in blogland, such treasured pieces you have and a new friend as well!

  2. Beautiful post!
    Have a nice weekend!

  3. A wonderful post that embodies the spirit of the day, the love of our fellow man which causes us to go beyond the call of duty. We celebrate those who gave the ultimate for us by freely doing all we can for others.

  4. What a truly heart warming tale and a very beautiful watercolour. Those bowls are so gorgeous! :0)

  5. The blogging world has lots of faults, but it also has some generous highs - almost like life itself.

  6. Okay, Terry, that's one MORE thing we have in common. I love Talavera, too! Love your sketches.