The Making of the Washing

During the months of April, May, and June, this icon of the Washing of the Disciples’ Feet was created at the Conestoga Iconographic Studio. Since the patron, David, lives in California, he couldn’t visit the studio to see the progress for himself. Instead of that, regular photos were sent to him as the icon progressed.

With the drawing already finished, and the wooden panel made and gessoed, these images begin with the gilding process. Layers of red bole-clay were applied where the gold leaf would be and then polished. After that, two layers of pure gold leaf were laid and burnished in a unique technique developed by the studio. The painting began with a monochromatic undercoat. The eyes of all thirteen figures were painted, then their robes. After this, coats of pure local colour pigments were applied over the whole work, leaving only an impression of the figures. Finally, one by one, Jesus and each of his disciples were painted, and then the icon was completed by its naming.

In celebration of the icon’s completion, these images have been put together into a short video. It is hoped that those interested will enjoy seeing the icon’s development as it is gilded and painted.

5 thoughts on “The Making of the Washing”

  1. Symeon, such a blessing to receive this announcement and the icon, magnify’s the ‘way’ Jesus showed us to treat one another. It is radiant.
    I am having my own journey with cancer right now and i am amazed at the love and care that has shown up for me.
    It was such a blessing to attend last summer’s Icon workshop not knowing what was ahead personalty with cancer and world wide with covid.
    May the giver of life have mercy on us all.
    Peace, Mariann Dunsmore

    • I’m glad to read that the icon of the Washing is so meaningful to you during this difficult time, Mariann. And, I hope that you continue to be blessed in the days ahead.

  2. Thanks for the wonderful newsletter: an insightful meditation on life and art. Great to get in these trying times. And fascinating work on your woad blue/ green pigment! Happiness and health to you and your family.


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