Commissioning a New Icon

Ordering a Hand Painted Icon
Ordering a Reproduction
Ordering a Paper Print

Commissioned icons

Commissioned icon of Christ the Pantocrator

The purpose of the Conestoga Iconographic Studio is to bless the West with new icons of Jesus Christ and his saints. This is accomplished in partnership with those individuals and churches that commission icons from the studio.

Commissioning an new Icon

The reason behind commissioning a new icon is beautifully varied. Icons from the studio have been created for the founding of a new church or worship space, moving into a new home, the birth of a child, and the desire to honour a newly canonized saint. In each case, the resulting icon represents a new revelation of that holy person made by hand and from the land.

Whatever the reason, commissioning an icon begins by making contact with the studio. When writing the studio, please be sure to include the name of the saint, reasons for the desired icon, and the event (or date) for which the work is intended. Further details can then be worked out in a followup conversation by phone or email. Given that an icon can take one to two months to finish, the studio’s calendar is often booked many months, to even a year, in advance. However, wherever possible, everything is done to have the icon ready in time to meet an event’s deadline.

While each icon needs to be individually quoted, a single figure usually take somewhere between three to four weeks to finish, while complicated festival works can take up to three months. Regardless of the time it takes, at the Conestoga Iconographic Studio, the iconographer’s eye and hand ensure that each new icon embodies a sacred beauty that repays the money invested by the patron many times over.

To begin a conversation about commissioning an icon for your home or church, please contact the studio.

Icons from the studio’s catalogue

Examples of the icons for sale from the studio. From left to right: Hand Painted, Reproductions, and Prints.

Icons from the Conestoga Iconographic Studio’s catalogue are available in three different formats—as hand painted, reproductions or paper prints.

Ordering a Hand Painted Icon

Hand painted icons from the studio’s catalogue are made entirely in a traditional manner. Everything from the hide-glue gesso to the egg tempera binder is done with the care and skill that have been used to create icons over the last millennium.

These icons are painted in egg tempera, a medium that creates beautifully bright and durable colours. It is the traditional medium used for icons, and perfect for working with the local earth pigments foraged from around the village of Conestoga.

Each icon is water-gilded with 23kt gold. This ancient method of gilding allows for the gold to be both burnished to a mirror shine or left unburnished with a deep matte finish. Usually these two are combined to create an effect which beautifully reflects the heavenly light in the icon.

Each hand painted icon is painted on a handmade linden panel which has been hollowed out to create an ark. These panels are braced in a solid manner and gessoed using traditional gesso made from hide-glue and chalk. The final varnish available for these icons is a wax finish which is durable enough for home use but leaves the icon’s paint and gold largely unchanged. When finished, each icon measure 12′′x15′′ (roughly 30cm by 38cm).

Hand painted icons from the studio’s catalogue can be ordered in the shop.

Ordering a Reproduction

Each icon reproduction from the studio is a careful copy of one of the studio’s icons. They are made using the most advanced printing methods and best traditional materials available today. The result is extremely durable, and with proper treatment will last for generations. They are also environmentally friendly.

Reproductions like these are a wonderful option for those who want to bless their home with the beauty of icons without the expense of having them hand painted. Each is created on handmade, wooden panels that are braced in a traditional way. They are individually oil-gilded with 23kt gold before being the image of the saint is printed onto the panel using ink that is lightfast. Each measures 8″x10″ (roughly 20cm by 25cm).

Reproductions from the studio’s catalogue can be ordered in the shop.

Ordering a Paper Print

Paper prints are made with three goals in mind—to be beautiful to look at, affordable to everyone, and environmentally friendly. Great care has been taken to make sure that their images are sharp and their colours are true. The gold of each icon’s halo is a metallic foil, which more closely resembles the icon’s original gold. Environmentally, the reproductions are being printed using renewable energy sources and are packaged with recyclable materials that are biodegradable.

The proceeds from each card are used to support the local environmental work done by the studio for which there is no financial reimbursement. Labour intensive work such as making ochres from the land, colours from plants, and the care of the studio’s bees and chickens are all supported by the generosity expressed by the purchaser.

Printed with vegetable inks on heavy stock paper with a gold foil halo, each card measures 4″ x 5″ (10cm by 12.5cm). Individual cards are available under a pay-what-you-want arrangement (plus postage).

Reproductions from the studio’s catalogue can be ordered in the shop.