Along the main state highway 120, just outside of Tequis, is a small community called Bordo Blanco. Its streets are lined with the shops of local artisans and distributors who bring craft items from other areas in Mexico. Intermingled are the local “tiendas” that provide food, supplies, groceries, and hardware. You can find just about anything here.
You will also find a row of shops selling hand crafted ceramics and pottery. We stumbled into “Tino” or “Artesanías” as we were browsing the various shops. What made this shop different was the person that greeted us, Faustino Martinez, or “Tino”. He has such a friendly aire with his customers. You can tell he loves his work.
His shop is one of the first you come to on the right as you travel into Bordo Blanco and away from Tequis at #73 Nogales Avenue (State Highway 120). You cannot miss the brightly colored pottery and wall art. The stores stock is stacked both outside and in, and I always seem to want the item on the bottom of a stack.
Martinez began his business in March of 2015, and became a distributor of “Talavera of Puntillo”. He explains that Talavera is a ceramic made of a unique mixture of clay and mud. Objects are fired twice at 800c and then after painting a second firing at 1200c to give them their unique finish and strength. The colors that can be used to paint the ceramics are restricted as are the designs.
As Spanish colonization in Mexico got underway, Spanish monks and artisians from Talevera de la Reina, Spain began sharing techniques and designs with local artisians in the new city of Puebla. The production of Mexican Talavera began in order to supply Spanish builders the tiles needed to construct the town’s churches and buildings, and by 1580 Puebla had become the center of Talavera production in Mexico.
Martinez tells us that “In Talavera, you must observe the stroke that is well defined, as if it is in paste or terracotta clay. Also if it is embossed or smooth.” The shop carries a wide variety of these designs, and can take special orders as well.
Artesanías sells other handcrafted items, such as the punched tin and metal art. Beautiful hand crafted mirrors and wall lamps can be had for very reasonable prices. They also have a large selection of decoupage items. There is so much variety of merchandise there, it is difficult to list everything.
Martinez grew up in Tequisquiapan. He describes it as “a wonderful place with friendly people and where every tourist is welcome. We have much to offer you… beautiful places, wine cellars, cheese made from the region and beautiful hotels as well as spas.” He says that his dedication to keeping the prices down for the best quality pieces has been his biggest challenge. But his greatest reward has been the many good friends he has made from his many clients over time, and in having items they love in his shop. Asked what he thought makes Tequis unique, he says “The hospitality of the people as well as the tranquility to walk and tour the tourist corridors.” Like most of the locals we have met, he exhibits great pride in his town, and a great willingness to share that with others.
Martinez says he enjoys meeting people from all over Mexico and the world that have come here to visit. He speaks English very well after having spent some time in the U.S. In the future, he explains he would like to “export to other countries so that they know the Mexican craftsmanship. And still continue to offer them quality products and good prices.”
When given a last opportunity to tell readers anything he’d like, he said about Tequis, “Everybody who has the opportunity, visit us to enjoy the tranquility, food, wines, cheeses and our craftsmanship that is beautiful.” I could not have put it better myself!
We highly recommend Artesanias for variety, good prices and a good shopping experience. You can contact the store at:
Nogales Avenue # 73