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Icon Cases



Icons get transported for all sorts of reasons. They are taken on trips. They are stored in closets or under the bed. They are taken to church. They are after all liturgical objects, made for use by those who love them. They are not meant to be put behind glass in a museum. So, here are the cases I have made for the icons I am currently painting. I got the idea from my friend Fr. Charles LaFond – a great lover and collector of icons.

A bit of instruction for the craftspersons among you. I made them from “fleece” that I bought at JoAnn’s. These seven cases were made from three yards. The black cotton twill tape I ordered off Amazon. It cost about $18 for 100 yards.

I am going to let the photos tell the story. If you need more information, email me.  I will tell you that I sew on the tape before I run the seams up the sides. That’s the only tricky bit.




Grey Man

Grey ManI am working on getting the drapery of the garments on the human figures in my icons just right. First, there is the matter of how the tunics and cloaks were worn by first century Middle Eastern or Roman people. They sort of wrapped these large cloaks around themselves in an artful way. That concept works until you really look at what some of the old iconographers painted.

I was thinking that if I could duplicate on an artist’s mannequin some of the drapery that is rendered in paint on on the old icons I could better understand how to paint those images myself.

Enter, Grey Man.

I made clothes for him out of an old dish towel and an old pillow case, by hand, since my sewing machines are all back in Texas. Then to get the fabric to have some semblance of proper weight, I wet it down and arranged it. All that engineering worked until I tried to duplicate drapery like the old iconographers had painted.

Then I got out a queen-sized flannel sheet and draped it on Ron–to no avail. I could not duplicate anything that looked like what the old ones had painted.

Finally, in desperation, I emailed my friend Ronnie Creyws who is a student of Aidan Hart in The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts and asked for help. She said they all struggle with the drapery and that even Aidan finds it daunting.

Ronnie did tell me that one of her follow students is doing a thesis on the drapery and when it is finished she will send me a link to the information.

Meanwhile, it’s just Grey Man and me.