Rescuing the Art of Ecclesial Embroidery

Editor’s Note: Our readers may remember the piece we published previewing the Hexaemeron Inc. workshop on ecclesial embroidery. This piece is a follow-up, now that the course has been completed.   “And all the women that were wise-hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of…

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The Carved Miniatures of George Bilak

George Bilak is a Serbian carver who now lives in the United States.  He carves miniature icons, pectoral crosses, blessing crosses and eggs that will take your breath away.  I can say without hesitating that he has been one of the biggest influences in how I carve miniatures.  My very first miniature commission, of which…

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Wooden Vessels

Recently I had the chance of making a wooden chalice and diskos set for a priest.  It was quite an interesting undertaking as it required a woodturner, a silversmith and myself to bring the whole thing together.   Interestingly enough, the order for this set came as I was working on another wooden chalice, making stone roundels…

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Opus Sectile Icons

There is a relatively famous image of St. Eudocia from the 10th or 11th century from Constantinople that has recently caught my attention.  It is done in a technique called Opus Sectile.  Unlike Mosaic which is the assembly of similarly shaped squares forming a pattern, Opus Sectile is when stone is cut in different shapes…

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The Mystery of Ethiopian Iconography

Ethiopian Christianity presents many mysteries to us, their unique use of Old Testament typology, their concentric churches, their claim of having the Ark of the Covenent and its use in liturgy – these all create an obscure but fascinating question.  I went to Ethiopia in 2009 to discover more about their liturgical arts.  I would…

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OAJ at Work

I would like to draw the readers’ attention to this video. It features OAJ contributor and icon carver Jonathan Pageau in action, and some of his finished works. The Gospel cover and the pectoral crosses were collaborative efforts with OAJ founder, Andrew Gould. The music is Psalm 103, Valaam Chant, by the St. Tikhon’s Mission…

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Towards Indigenous and Mature Liturgical Arts

We often hear it said that traditional Orthodox liturgical arts are reviving. But how far advanced is this revival, how mature is it, and what in fact are we reviving? In this article I would like to stimulate discussion by briefly considering three related subjects: indigenous iconography, maturity, and features of a healthy climate that…

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Embroidery for the Modern Church

In 1995, a small unused room in the Icon Painting School at the Moscow Orthodox Theological Academy was converted into a studio for a single student interested in the lost art of church embroidery. This became the Pictorial Embroidery Department of the Icon Painting School housed in a larger facility within the famous Trinity-St. Sergius…

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