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!

*** 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 28 - Easter on the Farm - Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, Kutztown University, 22 Luckenbill Rd., Kutztown, PA  website

April 25 - Sheep and Wool Day - Springton Manor Farm. 860 Springton Rd., Glenmoore, PA 19343 

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

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

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

 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, popularized by the Pennsylvania German potters - scratching through a layer of white earthenware clay 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 also 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.  

Master Artisan of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, Lehigh Valley Chapter PGC, Reading-Berks Chapter PGC 

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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