The Commissioning Process:
The process for commissioning an icon usually starts with an idea in the mind of the commissioner. That idea may be a particular saint(s), or feast from the life of the Church; or it may be a gift for a specific person, with an expected budget or completion date; or again, it may be for a specific location the commissioner has in mind. Each project is unique, and involves a collaborative process that is a blessing for me to participate in.
If you are interested in commissioning an icon, let me know what ideas/expectations you have. Then I will respond with my thoughts and a suggestion for how the work might be done. Once we agree on a path forward I will send you a formal proposal for the project.
It will then take me a good while to complete the icon, depending on a number of factors, such as the complexity of the project, and my current waiting list of prior commissions.
I always subject my work to other iconographers' scrutiny at various stages of development so that my mentors and colleagues can point out anything that needs improvement.
I ask the commissioner to pray for me as I work, and I will pray for you as well, so that the Lord will make this icon minister to you and your loved ones, as He alone knows the needs of each.
Stages of an Icon:
Technique & Terms:
For panel icons I use the traditional egg tempera painting technique using natural pigments that won't fade over time. Some icons are gilded, others have a painted background only – this is decided with the commissioner beforehand.
I paint on the finest gessoed wood icon boards, which I either make myself or get from St. John's Worskhop in Blue River, WI.
I base my icon designs on only the best prototypes, and each icon is a custom adaptation, not merely a copy.
I do not offer a warranty or money-back guarantee for my icons, as I do not run a sufficient overhead cost on each commission to support such a policy. However, every icon is made using materials and methods that are time-tested, and that, barring any intentional violence (pirates, vandals, etc.), I expect to endure for 1,000 years.
At the outset of a project I typically request a 25% non-refundable down payment. Full payment will be due only when the icon is completed, and you can come pick it up from me in Austin, Texas, or pay to have me ship it.