Are you interested in Iconography, have you ever wondered abouticon_ab how an icon is written / painted ? what is the meaning behind them? What is the history of them? Where do you start well, Dom Anselm OSB, is running a number of Iconography schools in 2015, where all your questions will be answered. You will be taught how to write icons and leave with a completed icon, blessed.

What is Gesso
“Gesso”, also known “glue gesso” or “Italian gesso” is a traditional imagesmix of an animal glue binder (usually rabbit-skin glue), chalk, and white pigment, used to coat rigid surfaces such as wooden painting panels as an absorbent primer coat substrate for painting. The colour of gesso was usually white or off-white. Its absorbency makes it work with all painting media, including water-based media, different types of tempera, and oil paint. It is also used as a base on three-dimensional surfaces for the application of paint or gold leaf. Mixing and applying it is an art form in itself since it is usually applied in 10 or more extremely thin layers. It is a permanent and brilliant white substrate used on wood, masonite and other surfaces. The standard hide glue mixture is rather brittle and susceptible to cracking, thus making it suitable for rigid surfaces only. For priming flexible canvas, an emulsion of gesso and linseed oil, also called “half-chalk ground”, is used. In geology, the Italian “gesso” corresponds to the English “gypsum”, as it is a calcium sulphate mineral (CaSO4•2H2O)

What is Gilding
The term gilding covers a number of decorative techniques for applying fine gold leaf or powder to solid surfaces such as wood, stone, or metal to give a thin coating of gold. A gilded object is 17509638-closeup-of-gilding-of-christian-icon-with-leaf-gold-in-workshopdescribed as “gilt”. In Orthodox icons, as in sacred arts of many other religions, gold symbolizes divine presence, glory, spiritual light. Gold is not a colour as such, as are the other elements of the icon; it is of a different order of existence. That is, it represents the divine order, which creates and sustains the created order. This being the case the role of gold is not mere decoration. One sign of decadence in the majority of eighteenth and nineteenth century Russian icons is that gold’s symbolic role was compromised; overly fine gold lines are used as mere ornament, especially on garments.

The dates for 2015 Iconography weeks led by Dom Anselm OSB have now been finalised and are as follows –
Iconography 1 – 16.00 Sunday 10th May 2015 / 14.00 Friday 15th May 2015
Gesso weekend – 16.00 Friday 19th June 2015 / 14.00 Sunday 21st June 2015
Iconography 2 – 16.00 Sunday 21st June 2015 / 14.00 Friday 26th June 2015
Iconography 3 – 16.00 Sunday 16th August 2015 / 14.00 Friday 21st  August 2015
Gilding Weekend – 16.00 Friday 4th September 2015 / 14.00 Sunday 6th September 2015
Iconography 4 – 16.00 Sunday 6th September 2015 / 14.00 Friday 11th September 2015

Iconography week – £300.00
Gesso weekend – £120.00
Gilding Weekend – £150.00