Setting Their Place in Napa Valley
It all started with an email from the Restaurant at Meadowood, requesting to look at some prototypes from NBC Pottery, run by the husband-and-wife team of Nikki and Will Callnan in Napa Valley’s Angwin.
That email from the three-Michelin Starred restaurant, and subsequent order led to opening more doors, including the one belonging to Napa Valley’s crown jewel: The French Laundry. Soon enough, word had gotten around, and NBC Pottery had built a reputation as wine country’s ceramicists for the chefs, even selling work to Martha Stewart.
“We didn’t plan to move here to make pottery for chefs,” said Nikki Callnan. “It really just happened organically. We live in a culinary place, and the restaurants want to support local purveyors and artists because it creates a whole story and experience when you come to Napa Valley.”
“It’s amazing to see how our artwork can elevate the food and vice versa,” Will Callnan continued. “You have this amazing food, a beautiful location, great service, and impeccable tableware that brings it all together.”
Their work is in the area’s top resorts, including the newly opened Montage Healdsburg — arguably one of the biggest resort openings in California, if not the country, in 2021 — and the classic yet recently- renovated Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs in Calistoga. They’ve also completed art installations for the Four Seasons Resort & Residences Napa Valley, which recently opened after much anticipation at the end of this year.
For the Four Seasons lobby, they designed a wall of ceramic sombreros, which transition from black to white. “It’s a nod to the workers of the valley, “ said Will Callnan, “the people who essentially created the wine industry with their blood, sweat, and tears.”
Yet, for all of this success, there’s been one piece missing: a showroom. So this winter, NBC Pottery is entering an exciting, new era with the opening of a studio and gallery space that will at long last bring their art to the public. It was kismet. A 1,500-square foot space became available down the street from their home studio. Located on Circle Drive in Angwin, near PUC College and just past the fire department, the NBC Pottery Gallery & Studio will open its doors this December.
While the tiny town of Angwin doesn’t have much going on commercially, the Callnans have plans to sell their work and offer private ceramics classes and experiences. They hope it’ll be a new draw for Napa Valley tourists who typically only visit the area for Howell Mountain’s world-class wineries.
“People want to come up and do something other than wine tasting, and we’ll be able to bridge that gap of food, wine, and art and have people experience all three if they want to,” said Nikki Callnan.
“We just hope that we’re going to start something here, to give Angwin a cultural boost, and we feel like we are,” added Will Callnan. “This is the beginning, and who knows where it could go.”
The grand opening of the NBC Pottery Gallery & Studio will coincide with a studio sale, set for December 4 and 5 from 11 AM – 5 PM. On December 18, from 4-9 PM, they will host the NBC Pottery & Friends Studio Sale Pop-up, which will feature the mixed media work of other local artists. Winter hours for the new showroom are Sunday – Friday, 1-6 PM, but they are also open by appointment.
Story By: Jess Lander // Photos By: Talia Godinez Photography
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