Conestoga Icons
Fall 2020

Dear [subscriber:firstname | default:reader]—

Reflecting back on this summer, there's a lot to be thankful for. It's been full of painting new icons, having the chance to write an article for a great magazine, and seeing a community of supporters form to address some of the studio's buildings' needs. And, that really doesn't begin to name everything wonderful that's been happening (there have also been adventures with wildlife and the best woad-harvest ever, for example ...).

I'm grateful for the many friends, both new and old, who continue to demonstrate their belief that what's happening here in Conestoga matters through their conversations, prayers, and support. —Symeon

The Conestoga Iconographic Studio
"A Local Vision of God's Salvation"


One of the icons painted this summer was Noah the Just. As a saint chosen to be part of the studio's Icons at Home Project, and as an icon that I was planning to highlight in an article for Mortise & Tenon, it was one that I looked forward to on many different levels. What I didn't foresee was that I would have the chance to paint in a little "ark" full of animals.

Read more ...


Mortise & Tenon Issue Nine
Without a doubt, my favourite woodworking magazine is Mortise & Tenon. It is a publication that always has exceptional and profound articles, along with photos that are beautiful and inspiring. Last year the editors and I spoke about the possibility of writing for them on the topic of making an icon panel, and I’m delighted to share that that piece has just been published in Issue Nine of Mortise & Tenon.

Read more ...


A new roof for the studio.
As some of you know, this spring, the roof of the studio began leaking. While carefully placing out buckets when it rains worked as a temporary measure, we had hoped it might be possible to purchase shingles and repair the roof ourselves before winter.
However, a local church (that wishes to remain anonymous) generously stepped in and paid for My Three Sons Roofing to come out and do a professional job. Now, every time it rains, I listen to its wonderful sound and enjoy a new sense of gratitude for the shelter provided in the studio.
The new roof is finished.
But this story of support for the studio doesn't end here. One of the studio's long term supporters decided to share some of the studio's other working needs (like repairs to its stove, insulation for its attic, and repairs to its old barn-board). The hope was that others might help defray the cost of the materials needed in time for the cold months. I'm humbled to share that the Refurbish the Conestoga Iconographic Studio fundraiser has raised over $7500 so far, and if all goes well, there will be much warmer working conditions in the studio this winter than there has been over the last decade.
The wood arrives for repairing the studio's attic.
Installing new, safe stairs.
Sweeping up after moving the stove.
If you wanted to read more about this campaign, you can do so here:


Kittens and kids.
One of the many things that I'm especially thankful for this summer was the discovery of a litter of kittens in the studio's basement. After bringing them into the gallery space, the children learned to bottle feed and care for them. Over the summer we watched as they first tumbled out of their basket, and eventually engaged in rambunctious games of hunting and pouncing.

About of month ago, four of the five kittens found good homes without our community, but the runt (dubbed, "Tiger" but the children) has been adopted by the studio and we hope he'll enjoy his life with us.


Elise holding a jar of Elise's Green.
Congratulations to Benjamin von Bredow for winning the pigment naming contest of the new green pigment created this summer. Thank you to everyone who posted or emailed ideas—it was a delight to receive so many great suggestions. I look forward to the next opportunity to name one of the studio's colours with you all.


The studio's calendar is more than half booked for next year, but there's still time to receive an icon for your home or church in 2021. To find out more about the process of commissioning an icon, click here:
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