Later in the 1980s and 90s, he became involved with wood firing ceramics as a collaboration with several artists, traveling to many ceramics studios to utilize different kilns for their varied effects. In 1988, he retired from the University of Wisconsin, but continued to work at his private studio in Clarkdale, Arizona.
Reitz was named on Ceramics Monthly's list of "greatest living ceramic artists worldwide" in 1988 and 2001. In 2002, he was awarded the American Craft Council's Gold Medal award.In 2007, he suffered a heart attack and underwent a series of eleven surgeries, including a valve replacement. However, he continued producing works for several more years, this time, with the help of studio assistants and collaborative artists. He would take elements they molded in cylindrical shapes, modify and assemble them into abstract sculptures, statuettes and table top pieces.Wikipedia