I’m dreaming of a Talavera Awning


Does the current state of the world have you dreaming about crazy stuff? Has lock-down fever finally got the best of you? Well, I know I’m getting a bit stir-crazy when I start dreaming about a Talavera Awning. 

I know that sounds a little crazy. And no, I don’t literally want an awning made from Talavera pottery. (That would be more than over the top!) But the patterns in Talavera pottery? Now that has some serious potential.

By the way, if you’re not familiar with Talavera Pottery, you can click over to this post on the Blog.

Before we go further, a little background is in order for new readers here at Cedar Canyon.  

We live in an unusual house in Chapala, Jalisco. Even for Mexico, this is an unusual house. It’s not particularly large, but it’s in the shape of a small castle. Nothing in the house is square. I have round rooms and loads and loads of curved walls.

And in the back, I have a quarter-circle patio. (Sorry about the clutter… Jack’s working on a project on the front patio.)

At the moment, the patio has no awning. And we need to fix that –– preferably before the hot weather arrives in April.

The metal worker that is going to do the work suggested that we make a frame from five wedge-shaped pieces. The wedges would be 15 to 16 feet long, and a little less than 5 feet wide at the curved end.

My husband Jack, being the engineer and “Mr. Practical,” wants a plain, simple grid with canvas stretched over the top. 

I, on the other hand, am not thrilled with that. Or perhaps I should say that half of me is not thrilled with that. Engineer Brain says “yup, that works.” But Art Brain? Let’s just say that Art Brain has other ideas!

Art Brain would be much happier with iron work that looks more like one of her stitched paintings…

…Or perhaps more like some of the lovely Talavera plates that came with the house. That’s much more like it! Don’t you agree?


Talavera Awning Elements 

Long story short, Art Brain and Engineer Brain had to call a truce and get down to work. So we did. (Should that be “they” did?) 

Given the parameters from the iron worker, I set up a very long wedge shape in the Silhouette Studio software and started filling it up with shapes that make me happy. 

All of the shapes were inspired by images on the Talavera Plates shown above, or pulled from my stitched painting designs. 

The shapes had to get narrower as I moved toward the top of the wedge. 

It felt a bit strange at times, but I just kept adding shapes to fill the space.

Near the top, the shapes started looking pretty small, but at full scale, this last pair of shapes would be 2 ½ feet tall. 

And when I put it all together? Oh my goodness! Art Brain is very, very happy! Wouldn’t this be amazing?

I have no idea whether my Talavera Awning dream will come true. A lot will depend on the price quotes I get from the iron workers. I know it CAN be done. The iron workers here are amazing, and the cost of labor here is a fraction of what it would be in the US.

The next big step is to send the design out for quotes and hope for the best. And while I’m waiting for answers, I’ll enjoy my dream.


Thanks for reading

Thanks for reading. I appreciate the invitation to be a small part of your creative world and hope you enjoy this post.

If you’d like to join the conversation, leave a comment below.


  1. Ann Thompson on January 21, 2021 at 6:55 am

    Would that be painted on canvas and stretched over the frame or more like a wrought iron piece?

    • ShellyStokes on January 21, 2021 at 10:11 am

      Definitely a piece of iron work, Ann. I’m not up for painting something that big!

  2. Jules on January 21, 2021 at 8:34 am

    I love your awning! Until I got to the end, I thought you would be painting canvas in glorious colors to go over the frame. They do beautiful ironwork down here. Good luck on your project. Hope to see you after the Covid!

    • ShellyStokes on January 21, 2021 at 10:12 am

      Gracias! It would be lovely to paint the awning, but I don’t think I’m up to a project that size. 🙂 It’s hard enough to “think” about 15’foot lengths. Painting them? Not without a totallyt different process!

  3. Lucia Santos on January 21, 2021 at 10:34 am

    That would be amazing! Good luck with your dream. Lucia

    • ShellyStokes on January 21, 2021 at 11:10 am

      Gracias! I gave the drawings to the iron worker yesterday. We’ll see…

  4. Sue Szczotka on January 21, 2021 at 10:42 am

    Your awning design is gorgeous (I love Talavera pottery!) I am concerned that with that much iron work, the awning will be AWFULLY heavy. Might you need extra supports at the outer edge which would obstruct the view? Not to be a bubble burster, but I just thought I would bring it up…
    Good luck and I look forward to seeing the end product!

    • ShellyStokes on January 21, 2021 at 11:12 am

      Ah yes, there will be plenty of support! That was the first thing we talked about — whether we had the ability to anchor the awning to the walls properly. There are many gauges of iron that can be used for the filler shapes, so I think we will be able to some up with something that’s not ungodly heavy.

  5. susan a pfettscher on January 21, 2021 at 11:19 am

    Have you considered painting the ironwork?

    • ShellyStokes on January 21, 2021 at 12:33 pm

      Now that’s an idea, Susan! Having just got through the design stage, I had not considered anything further. But painting the ironwork would definitely be an option.

  6. Rebecca Muir MacKellar on January 21, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    This going to be magnificent. I am sure that you will post pics when it is done.
    We are still well and hope to stay covid free! I recently painted a Christmas stocking. Our dog ate part of my hand knitted one. I thought of paint sticks right away. I will need to quilt it and will send a pic. Other projects must be done first. Stay well.

    • ShellyStokes on January 21, 2021 at 12:34 pm

      There will definitely be photos, Rebecca. I’m glad to know you are well. Now for everyone to stay that way!

  7. Nelly on January 22, 2021 at 7:55 am

    That is a wonderful design for your Awning, you might have to repeat it on a railing, a trellis or something else. Can;t wait to see the finished product.

    • ShellyStokes on January 22, 2021 at 11:43 am

      Thanks, Nelly. It will be interesting to see what comes back from the metal worker.

      I agree that it would be fun to see this repeated in a trellis. And I know just the place for one next to the patio. 😁