The icon board was cut to size and the animal glue soaked overnight. Next day this is warmed through, and used to adhere the cloth to the board. Once the glue on the linen cloth has cured it is trimmed; and the application of the prepared gesso can begin. (above right) The aim of this process is to produce a smooth pristine surface to receive the paint. It is built up over a couple of days using around seven to ten layers of gesso. This is carefully cured and sanded to present an area which represents the perfection of heaven. When executed properly, these gesso layers can last centuries; sometimes when the board has decayed, the gesso layer and "Pavaloka" can be removed to conserve the artwork, and re- mounted onto another board.
Good relationships are built on Trust
This area (the Kovtcheg) represents a transitional space between heaven and earth - and as life on earth can be pretty imperfect; I guess on this project it is acceptable to allow a space which is physically distressed.
The icon will be rendered in oils and include gold leafing. The finished icon will take several months to complete, because of the long period oils take to cure. (I have now added the Finished Icon to the intro of this post.)
Liturgical artist/restorer. Bachelor of Art and Design, Catholic Blogger
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