Real leaf mural complete at Lehigh Gap Nature Center
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Steve de Perrot holds a bag used to grout tiles forming a mural outside the Osprey House at Lehigh Gap Nature Center.
They are real leaf impressions on red stoneware said Steve de Perrot. He made the tiles and now was grouting them in place. The tiles of different sizes were made as a fundraiser and to give people an opportunity to honor or memorialize someone at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center. On Oct. 27 the final tiles were being placed.
After a leaf gets rolled into the clay, it is sprayed with green, brown and blue colors.
The grouting is added with a bag much like that used for cake decorating but larger, It is spread with a striking tool. He does not use any water and the excess grouting will be wiped off with a cloth.
Eleven years ago de Perrot made his first leaf tiles for the Lititz Library which was doing a Woodlands project. However, he had been a potter since 1985.
He took art classes - whatever was available at Juniata College, and earned a business degree. De Perrot quickly found business was not his forte.
Once he found his artistic ability was where he was strongest, he found its best outlet in pottery and wanted to do tile.
Ed Newcomb of Secor Associates, capital campaign consultant for the Osprey House expansion, suggested de Perrot could make the tiles and took Kunkle to see the Lititz Library. The leaves were given to him by Director Dan Kunkle who picked them at the center.
"It's a really unique feature. I'm very proud of it. It is a work of art, provides recognition for donors and is an educational tool," said Kunkle. He plans to make a curriculum for using the leaves to study, even if it has to be done inside due to rain.
De Perrot owns Pots by de Perrot in Lititz.