Sensitivity to the architectural “look” of the installation is an absolute necessity when using Talavara tiles. The scale, mass, and general character of the space or object being enhanced by the use of these tiles will dictate what particular pattern, color, quantity and size of Talavera tile to use so as to maximize the aesthetic impact of this particular architectural element. For instance, certain Talavera patterns lend themselves to a single tile height linear placement where other patterns are most effectively used when 4 or more tiles are placed together, forming a larger pattern.

The Viceroy Edicts of 1653 and 1682 are no longer in effect. Thus, a wider variety of patterns, designs, and colors are now available in what is still considered Talavera tile. Many of these more contemporary patterns are of a whimsical nature and might be more appropriate in spaces where a greater informality or lighter “touch” is desired such as a child’s bathroom. Also, numbered tiles in a variety of graphic styles are now available that can be effectively used as house, building, or office numbering systems. These number tiles can be enhanced by surrounding them with solid colored tiles cut to 1 to 2 inch widths. Many studios now produce solid colored tiles that are coordinated with the standard hues found in traditional Talavera tiles.

Because of the availability of these coordinated solid colors, an exiting design possibility now exists to combine panels of traditional Talavera tile with accent bands of solid colors, cur to widths whose smaller scale gives a more elegant touch to the overall installation. I often use solid color tiles under standard sized tiles as stair risers, where riser heights vary from project to project. This allows me to use a standard size tile with the solid color cut to fit the specific riser height.

This riser tile blend is normally placed under the bull nosed handmade terracotta clay tile stair tread. This combination of two hand crafted clay products yields a rich combination and contrast of colors mentioned above.