Sgraffito artist Marilyn Stoltzfus White was honored by being
featured on the cover of COUNTRY WOMAN magazine.
The springtime edition article by Betty Ann Heidecker of
Coopersburg, Pennsylvania was entitled "Marilyn's Plates
are Heaped with Springtime ... Year Round!," referring
to the many Pennsylvania Dutch flowers that Marilyn uses to
decorate her plates. And indeed they are.
The tulip for example, stands for love. Marilyn incorporates
this in most of her wedding and anniversary plates. She also
includes the famous Distelfink, for which her Clay Distelfink
Shop is named, on many wedding plates. This is the "German
bird of happiness that wishes the newlyweds a long lasting
marriage," says Marilyn.
Other symbolic figures include the seed-filled pomegranate,
which intends to help bring the farmers a good harvest, and
a pelican's nest on baby's plates, since that bird is well-known
for its maternal instincts.
While many of the designs on the front of these plates are
universally symbolic, they are all hand designed and personalized
for the individual. The back of each plate is created especially
for each customer and reflects the history of the couple being
married, the family a new baby is born into, or any other
special occasion. Marilyn even creates a "Tree of Life"
plate that measures 22 by 13 inches and, depending upon the
number of generations in the family for which it is being
made, can take up to eight hours to decorate.
Republished by permission
of the Intercourse News.