Bird with Tulip - Sgraffito ware

three tulips - Pennsylvania German Redware

Wilz Pottery

Denise Wilz
P.O. Box 434
Macungie, PA 18062

Three Tulips in Urn - Pennsylvania German Sgraffito ware

Tree of Life - Pennsylvania Redware

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This folk art embodies a passion for life with its birds, hearts, tulips and the sense of innocence.
Perspective, proportion and perfection were not a requirement to the Pennsylvania German makers but the joy was!

New work listed on the Gallery page
My article on Pennsylvania Redware is included in the new book "Glazing Techniques" published by the American Ceramic Society

*** Upcoming Shows ***
If you are interested in viewing a piece from the Gallery please let me know before the show so I can bring it along!

March 7 & 8 - Owen J. Roberts Friends of the Arts Craft Show - Owen J. Roberts High School, 981 Ridge Road, Pottstown, PA 19465

*** Pottery Classes ***
Learn about and make your own Pennsylvania German Redware
Classes are tailored for age group and private instruction is available

Just scheduled! April 18 - Sgraffito Class at the Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville, PA 9438-1020 to register at 215-256-3020 or visit their website.

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The studio is located on the outskirts of Macungie, Pennsylvania
The original portion of this one and a half story house was built in the mid-1700's; before the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.


How to Decorate Pottery in the Pennsylvania Redware Style video featured June 13, 2012 on the Ceramics Arts Daily site 


My Youtube video using tools made by may be viewed here   

Music by Mary Kay Mann

  FUN Stuff!  
Melanie Falcon, of WFMZ Channel 69 News, visited my studio to decorate her own plate at 6:40am in 2013 while we promoted a local artisan show. Check us out!


Pennsylvania Redware by Denise Wilz  
Pennsylvania Redware is one of the oldest pottery techniques in the U.S. Denise shows how you can get the same timeless results by using up-to-date materials and techniques.  
Pottery Making Illustrated March/April 2008 issue
Photos by Lisa Short, a Fraktur artist

This article is also included in
Electric Firing: Creative Techniques published by the American Ceramic Society.  Download article 

2015 - Article is included in Glazing Techniques edited by Anderson Turner and published by the American Ceramic Society

Ceramics Arts Daily
Potters Council
available in the March/April 2008 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated

Inspired by Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Art by Wendy Komancheck
photos by Denise and Aaron Wilz

available in the April 2008 issue of Antiques and Collecting Magazine

Juried member of the Directory of Traditional American Crafts presented by Early American Life magazine for 2012

My Work

Thank you for visiting my online showroom! My name is Denise Wilz, and I founded Wilz Pottery in 2003. I craft one-of-a-kind pottery, inspired by the traditions and techniques of Pennsylvania German potters from the late 1600's to the mid 1800's. My collections include custom clay art and original pieces of decorative pottery.

The technique for many of my pieces uses the ancient art of Sgraffito, which is a form of scratching clay through layers to create custom and traditional Pennsylvania German designs. This technique is popular on home décor as well as slipware plates, cookie jars, and mugs.  I make my pieces entirely by hand from red earthenware clay. These pieces, which I decorate one at a time, are known as Redware or Terra Cotta, which means ‘baked earth’.

The plates and ornaments originate from rolled slabs of clay; I turn the cookie jars, pitchers, and bowls on a pottery wheel. I sculpt my whistles and banks by hand, making each a unique work of art.

I am a proud juried member of the Directory of Traditional American Crafts presented by Early American Life magazine, the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, the Lehigh Valley Chapter PGC and Reading/Berks Chapter PGC. My custom artwork is found at shows and shops located near Allentown, Pennsylvania.  

If you are interested in my handcrafted pottery for your home or establishment, please visit my online store! There you will find made-to-order creations. Alternatively, you can browse through the gallery of unique art that I have available for immediate shipment.  Please send an email should you have any questions or concerns about ordering.

Juried member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, Lehigh Valley Chapter PGC, Reading-Berks Chapter PGC and the Directory of Traditional American Crafts

Definitions of Redware decoration techniques

 Sgraffito ware (also spelled sgrafitto) - Slip (liquid clay) of a different color is applied to the red earthenware clay, then the slip is scratched away to reveal the clay beneath to create the design.

Slipware - Slip of a different color is drawn on the red earthenware clay in pleasing designs  

Twelve Drummers Drumming 

Purchase now


"Twelve Days of Christmas"  Limited Edition Plates
Still available through this year

Each plate is created individually and is titled and numbered.  Up to 100 plates per title will be made - the next issue number is 81.  For guaranteed December 23rd delivery orders must be placed by October 30th.  Gift boxed.  

  "Two Turtle Doves" was selected  by Early American Life to be included the 2007 Christmas issue.  This design was inspired by a 1833 fraktur house blessing by Francis D. Levan.

   "Partridge in a Pear Tree" was selected by Early American Life to be included the 2006 Christmas issue.

2006 - "Partridge in a Pear Tree" - available now
2007 - "Two Turtle Doves" and "Three French Hens" - available now
2008 - "Four Calling Birds" and "Five Golden Rings" - available now
2009 - "Six Geese a-Laying" and "Seven Swans a-Swimming"
2010 - "Eight Maids a-Milking" and "Nine Ladies Dancing"
2011 - "Ten Lords a-Leaping" and "Eleven Pipers Piping"
2012 - "Twelve Drummers Drumming"


Goschenhoppen Historians

2008 Goschenhoppen Folk Festival Redware Pie Plate

Plates may be purchased through the Goschenhoppen Historians, Inc.

email or 
call (610) 367-8286

Speaker's House Plate

"The mission of The Speaker's House is to celebrate the heritage and home of Frederick Muhlenberg, first and third Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and first signer of the Bill of Rights."

Located in Trappe, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania


Peter Wentz Farmstead Society

Commemorative sgraffito plate of the Farmstead in Worcester, Pennsylvania

Plates may be purchased in the Gift Shop

Shearer Road, Worcester, PA. 19490


Haycock Historical Society 

Commemorative sgraffito plate of the Bucks County Latvian Baptist Church in Applebachsville, PA

Plates may be purchased through the 
Haycock Historical Society, P.O. Box 715, Quakertown Pa 18951

The Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County 

Commemorative sgraffito plates of the properties they maintain.
These plates depict buildings in Morlatton Village,
 Douglassville, Pennsylvania

2004 - Mouns Jones house  
2005 - Covered Bridge Keepers house
2006 - White Horse Inn

Quakertown, Pennsylvania's Sesquicentennial celebration - 2005

Commemorative replica of a slipware plate found in Quakertown

Plates may be purchased at Lion Around Books
302 W. Broad Street,
 Quakertown, PA 18951          

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