About us

How We Became Potters

In 1967 a budding potter from Danville, Va and a country boy from Maple Hill, located in the coastal region of North Carolina, met in Wilson at Atlantic Christian College. The country boy was so smitten with the potter that he changed his major to art. The eventual union of Jenny Tate and Allen Walton created two art professionals who both became  public school teachers and potters. Their teaching careers led them to the Danville area but found them living outside Reidsville in the small community of Ruffin. Pottery was done in the basement of their house and Sand Creek Pottery was established in 1974. In 1979 and 1981 Jenny served brief apprenticeships at Jugtown under Vernon Owens. In 1983 both potters continued their traditional pottery education with courses at Montgomery Community College under the guidance of Bob Armfield. In 1980 the pottery name was changed to Tate-Walton pottery and their focus shifted to the production of more utilitarian wares. At the continued request of Rachel Newnam Allen created Rachel’s Blue, the deep-specked blue glaze that became the standard color of the pottery for many years. The basement pottery finally gave way to a separate studio in 1988, formed from log tobacco barns with cedar siding with a traditional tin roof. In 2002 experimentations with cream and green glazes resulted in the glaze combination called Mountain. At present both Jenny and Allen have retired from teaching and an expansion of forms and glazes is planned. An effort is also being made to place the pottery in more retail stores.