Sgraffito rectangle Tulips and birds

hearts and tulips sgraffito plate

Wilz Pottery

Denise Wilz
7915 Mountain Road
Macungie, PA 18062

hearts and tulips sgraffito plate

Redware Three Trees

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      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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!

*** Shows ***

December 3 - Perkasie Tree Lighting - 5:30 to 8:30pm Visit the Per Diem Space and meet the artist!  
528 W. Market Street, Perkasie, PA   website

** December 3 thru 31 - Christmas Feast Show & Sale held at the Mennonite Heritage Center 
565 Yoder Rd., Harleysville, PA  
December 3 and 4 - Opening Weekend: Joint Holiday Tour  “Christmas Market: Treasures & Traditions through Time”
on Saturday, December 3, 9:30 am-4:00 pm and Sunday, December 4, 12:00-4:00 pm
Enjoy this holiday tour that includes:
Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Rd., Harleysville
Goschenhoppen Historians Museum, Rt. 29, Green Lane
Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center, 105 Seminary St., Pennsburg

** December 9 & 10 - Home for the Holidays held at 20 West Main Street, Macungie, PA 18062 
This is the last year for this show   website

** Now thru December 31 - Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society's Pennsylvania German Folk Art Sale 
2215 Millstream Rd., Lancaster, PA 17602-1499

** A selection of my work will be available at these sites but I will not be in attendance **

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

Workshops for 2017 listed soon

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*** NEWS ***
Early American Life 2016

I am juried into the 2016 Directory of Traditional American Crafts presented by Early American Life magazine.

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.

My Work

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 collection includes plates, bowls and ornaments with original designs, some inspired by antique redware and custom pottery made just for you.

The decorating technique for many of my pieces uses the ancient art of Sgraffito, utilized by the Pennsylvania German potters - scratching through a layer of white earthenware slip to the red clay beneath to create original and traditional Pennsylvania German designs.   I make my pieces entirely by hand from red earthenware clay flattened with a rolling pin, then shaped using wood or clay molds. These pieces, which I decorate one at a time, are known as Redware.

I am a Master Artisan of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, and the current Vice President of its Lehigh Valley Chapter.  I have been included in the Directory of Traditional American Crafts presented by Early American Life magazine.  My artwork is found at shows and shops located near Allentown, Pennsylvania.  


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

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

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"

Commissions  These are a few samples made for the organizations I have worked with

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


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



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



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