Last month I had the opportunity to give my first icon carving training for Hexaemeron. Hexaemeron is a travelling liturgical arts school based on the work and method of Ksenia Pokrovsky of recent memory. It was an honor to join the Hexaemeron team and to have a chance of working with a very dedicated group of students. I was even given the opportunity the present a lecture on the history of carved images in Orthodoxy.
I have taught art in many guises all my life, but it was my first time teaching icon carving, a skill which I was at first not so certain how to communicate. Unlike icon painting, the complexity of the spacial relations in a low-relief icon is one which eludes a straightforward step-by-step process. I also knew that the carved iconic expression of a face and especially of the eyes is quite difficult to render. And honestly, I had very little mercy on my students by choosing a pattern with much detail.
To my great joy, students rose to the challenge and although not everyone was able to finish, the results were spectacular. Many would stay up at night, using headlights to continue in the darkness.
Most of the students had little or no experience with either carving or the creation of icons, and you could never tell this by looking at the pictures.
I have to say it was a wonderful experience and I look forward to doing it again. Hexaemeron has just posted dates for 2014 classes, so please come join us and discover the carved icon.
Very nice. congratulation.
Beautiful work! Glory to God!
Total football coach! 😉 Beautiful work Jonathan! Any classes in Chicago soon? God bless and glory to God for your teaching and talent!
Hello Father, you are the second person to ask me this today. If you can muster enough participants…
When is your next class?
What kind of wood do you use ?
The next classes start in May of 2014 in CA, but will be given in 3 other places. For more details check: http://www.hexaemeron.org/#!carving/c18bb The wood used in classes is linden/basswood. It is the easiest to carve.
I found this site through AFR! I have been carving off and on for 18 years! Self taught also and I would love to be able to come to a class! When is the next class in the Northeast U.S.A.?
thanks…beautiful work! God Bless your hands!
Thank you for your comment. There is one training in CT, June 8th-14th, other dates can be found here: http://www.hexaemeron.org/#!carving/c18bb
This is an amazing workshop. To me, it felt more like retreat, quiet and prayerful while most participants were making Christ visible in the world.
We were blessed by having Jonathan to be our teacher and guide. His way of listening to questions was totally attentive and serious. However, he could make us all laugh.
I am looking forward to May. I am still working on my soapstone,refining it, learning about soft surfaces and sharp undercut lines. I still have polishing to go. I have to catch up on my egg tempra icons so I am slow. It is a good kind of slow.
Thank you, Jonathan, Glory to God
Thank you for your comment, Bess. I am happy to know I will see you at the next workshop, and don’t forget to send me pictures of your carving as you finish it!