Carving New Materials

A few months ago I posted a piece introducing our readers to Branislav Derkovic, a Serbian carver of exceptional quality.  Branislav had asked me to send him some of the stone I use to carve icons, commonly called steatite.  This stone was traditionally used in Constantinople for carving small miniatures but also portable icons.  In exchange for the stone,…

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A Byzantine-Style Diskos and Asterisk

It is well known that the early Byzantine church used very large patens and loaves of bread in the Divine Liturgy. Surviving examples of patens from the 6th-century are frequently two feet or more in diameter, compared to the six inch diskos typical today. Interestingly, the Melkite church still uses larger patens, and I recently…

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Contemporary Georgian Art

There is a facebook page called “Contemporary Christian Art” but most people would not notice because it is all in Georgian script.  Although boasting hundreds of pictures of early art from all of Christendom, the most remarkable aspect to those of us who are not in Georgia is how it prominently features contemporary Georgian liturgical…

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Carving a Reliquary

There are certain Medieval forms which have always been with me, seeming to affect an almost hypnotic attraction.  The casket reliquary or “chasse” is one of these.  Shaped like a tomb, but also suggesting a basilica church, these reliquaries most probably originate in early insular (Gaelic/Celtic/Pictish/Saxon) art. Most of us know this shape primarily from…

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The Unusual Glass-Bead Icons of Angelika Artemenko

Icon by Angelika Artemenko

I have just learned of a most unusual iconographer from Ukraine whose medium is primarily glass beads. Her name is Angelika Artemenko, 26 years old. Despite her unconventional technique, she works with great care and piety, emphasizing the blessing of her bishop in all she does. Ms. Artemenko begins by painting the hands and faces on canvas.…

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Designing a Syrian Orthodox Panagia

I was recently asked by a young student of St-Vladimir’s Seminary to make a Panagia which he wanted to give to his bishop.  This student is of Indian background and a Syrian Orthodox.  I have always been fascinated by Orthodoxy in India,  the stories of St-Thomas, the link with Nestorian Christianity and also their long…

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Medieval Art from Catalonia

The utmost french speaking resource website for Orthodoxy, www.orthodoxie.com, has a very beautiful Flickr stream of the National Museum of Catalonia.  It is an amazing showcase of Western icons, liturgical objects, frescoes and furniture from the Early Middle Ages. When looking at the images, what strikes me the most is the boldness in color bringing about a…

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Branislav Đerković : Surgical Miniature

  A few weeks ago, I introduced you to a Serbian miniaturist named George Bilak.  Here is yet another Serbian miniaturist who has recently grabbed my attention.  His name is Branislav Derkovic and he lives in Northern Kosovo, in a town called Leposavić. What struck me most of his carvings is the astounding perfection in detail, the…

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