Local sculptor displays work at Philly flower show

Artist Greg Leavitt

Greg Leavitt, Earl Township, considers it an honor to do something he truly loves as his life’s work.

Leavitt, and his wife Tiana, collaborate on large-scale sculptures in their Earl Township home. Leavitt works with copper, steel, forged bronze and some stainless steel.

“The blacksmithing process, using the four natural elements of earth, wind, fire and water, is a gorgeous process,” Leavitt said.

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Leavitt said he was living in Colorado when he was introduced to sculpting and he fell in love with the blacksmithing process and what could be done with it.

Most of Leavitt’s work is done through commissions and they are often functional pieces inspired by nature.

Leavitt’s commissioned pieces include the entrance gate at Mount Cuba Horticultural center, a wall sculpture for the garden at the Governor’s Mansion in Harrisburg and the arch at the front of Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo.

This year, some of Leavitt’s work is on display at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Leavitt’s work is a part of Michael Petries’ “Handmade Gardens” exhibit which won Best in Show and a rose gate is on display in Jack Blandy’s “Hicote Holiday” exhibit.

This is not Leavitt’s first flower show. In the last 36 years, Leavitt estimates he has participated in the show 25 times.

In 2010, the theme of the show was New Zealand and Leavitt created a 17 foot-long lizard water element. Water ran down the center of the lizard and out of the mouth.

Along with the rose gate this year, Leavitt also displayed large, standing daffodils that a customer commissioned from him.

“It was nice of them to loan it to us,” he said. The piece weighs close to a ton and had to be moved with a boom truck.

Leavitt said that the work is very labor intensive but he enjoys being able to have his passion and his hobby also be his livelihood.

When a client comes to his workshop, Leavitt likes to give them a demonstration. He said it is gratifying because clients get to experience what goes into making a piece and that helps them understand the process.

His daughter Camille is also a sculptor and has worked with her father on many projects.

“It gives me pleasure to give other people pleasure through my work,” Leavitt said.

The flower show is at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and runs until March 10.