Sgraffito rectangle Tulips and birds

Birds with Flower Plate Sgraffito technique Pennsylvania German Redware Pottery Sg504

Wilz Pottery

Denise Wilz
7915 Mountain Road
Macungie, PA 18062


Peacock Plate Pennsylvania German Folk Art Pottery SG505

Redware Three Trees

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

*** News  ***
My sgraffito bowl is featured in the August issue

*** Shows  ***

July 9 - Sunday - Heritage Day in Easton from 11am to 4pm in the Centre Square Area. 
Visitors may try their hands at the sgraffito technique of scratching on clay

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

October 21 at the Landis Valley Museum, 2451 Kissel Hill Road, Lancaster, PA 17601
For more information call 717.569.0401        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.

My Work

I craft one-of-a-kind redware, 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. 

This pottery begins with earthenware clays and replicas of hands tools used by the Pennsylvania German potters.  A rolling pin to flatten the red clay, wood and clay molds to shape the clay into plates and bowls, a coggle wheel to crimp the edges, white clay slip, sgraffito tools to scratch and slip cups to decorate the clay to transform it into a work of art.  I use food safe glazes fired in an electric kiln to finish my pottery.  This pottery is meant to be touched, used gently and placed on display for all to see.

I am a Master Artisan of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, and the  President of its Lehigh Valley Chapter.  I am included in the Directory of Traditional American Crafts presented by Early American Life magazine and my work has been featured in the August 2017 issue.   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



Low fire glazes and special projects 

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 

2016 - Sgraffito and Slip-trailing articles are included in Low-fire Glazes and Special Projects edited by Holly Goring and published by the American Ceramic Society

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

Ceramics Arts Daily
Potters Council

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  

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


Hivel Und Dahl Preservation Society

Hivel Und Dahl Preservation Society
for 2017

Commemorative sgraffito plate

P.O. Box 416
Old Zionsville, PA 18068




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



Copyright 2017 Wilz Pottery All Rights Reserved.  Contact Denise(at)


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