I’ve been attracted to earthy, organic-looking pottery the last few years, but never really visualized it integrated well in my home. A visit to England last summer changed that and I’ve been obsessed with finding specific pieces ever since. I was staying at The Grand York Hotel where they served a beautiful breakfast on china and linen, both in pure white, with sterling flatware. The only color or texture introduced were in hand thrown, muddy colored clay bowls filled with berries, yogurt or the like. The strong contrast of the polished china with the rustic glazed pottery was striking. I loved the look of the perfect with the imperfect. Sadly, the bowls were unmarked and I was unable to track them down. Their look, though, stayed with me and I knew at some point, when I found something similar, I would bring them home.
Fortunately, my patience paid off and I recently found some beautiful pottery that had the look and feel I was after. Again, I was traveling, this time in Napa with friends. We were staying at The Calistoga Ranch and on the tables at their restaurant, The Lakehouse, was a single, sage green bud vase. More pottery pieces, tea cups and small bowls with various glazes were spoted at the spa, all marked by local artisan, Calistoga Pottery.
Of course, we located and made a visit to the studio. Jeff and Sally Manfredi, owners and founders of Calistoga Pottery, have been making pottery together, at the same location in Calistoga, for close to 40 years. They are adorable. He throws and shapes the pieces and she finishes with the glazes. Jeff gave us a studio tour where we observed the process from beginning to end. They are genuine artisans with a passion for their work and aesthetic. The lead-free, microwave and dishwasher safe pieces are suitable for food or decor. I bought several mottled bowls in a couple of sizes, some wine coasters and a few vases. Each is unique in color, shape and imperfections, which make them all the more appealing.
Calistoga Pottery is no secret to local wineries, restaurants and inns in Napa. Their pieces can be found at Bottega, Meadowwood, Solage, Silver Oak, and Chateau Montelena, among many more. I’m so glad we found this little jewel and were able to bring some beautiful pieces back home. I have a feeling this is just the beginning of an ongoing collection.