Nature in itself holds marvelous lessons and if you are lucky, an artist of natural talent may take a huge chunk out of his day to show you in detail how he creates. That’s exactly what happened today in the natural habitat of one friendly former music-teaching colleague who has thoroughly synchronized hobby and sales in a unique art form. He and his partner produce time-intensive house and garden products called Leaf-‘crete. They showcase the products in many unusually creative ways and locations throughout the extensive landscaping and on building exteriors.
I had assumed we were going there just to deliver a few fresh fig leaves from which specific items are to be created. But to my delight, we got up-close viewing, details of the creative process, and actually handled all manner of items like patio tables (set on metal stands of varying heights)–permanent duplications of Elephant Ears–bright green. Burdock, we were reminded, was a traditional Italian food–staple or treat, I’m not sure, but I had heard of it through in-laws. I will display one now even though my only personal knowledge of burdock was in the dried stage when outside pets encountered the burrs that clung painfully to their coats.
On every Leaf-‘crete tag we could read the name of the plant leaf from which it was designed. We tried on pendants, one of which I identified as a geranium leaf ‘though the color is an iridescent autumn rust. That beauty on a black cord currently hangs around my neck. Other petite leaves–magnet style–will find their way into Christmas ’13 stockings. Among the unexpected gems, we discovered irresistible leaf oil lamps. We paid attention to suggestions for safety and wick adjustment and can hardly wait to see them lighted and gracing little tables inside or out as the season dictates.
This is Pennsylvania’s time of year to shine big-time and parts of route 80 are already decked out in royal bright color contrasted with green. Days later, the reverse drive to the east should be even more of an eyeful. However, what artists and creative genius can do with leaves has been an unexpected discovery. One of lasting beauty.


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