Testimonials"The art of iconography or icon-painting (originating in the ancient Byzantine religious tradition of painting) is an essential of Eastern Christian churches. Interest in this art is growing worldwide. Especially in the United States, even people outside of the Eastern Christian tradition are becoming interested and involved in painting icons. However, there are only a few authentic artists carrying out the art. This letter is to confirm the value of Traditional Icon Boards. His work is invaluable for Orthodox Christian churches and individuals practicing iconography. In America, there are very few specialists who know how to prepare the wooden boards on which icons are painted. It is a craft that requires special skills and techniques. What Traditional Icon Boards does is therefore invaluable to iconographers and beneficial for the cultural life in America."
Iconographer & Teacher
Founder of the Prosopon School of Iconology
Under the blessing of Archbisop Peter of New York and New Jersey
The Prosopon School of Iconology
2332 West Main Street
Whitney Point, NY 13862
"Since 1997, I have been familiar with Traditional Icon Boards' excellent craftsmanship, nearly unique in this country, in fabricating beautiful white boards covered with smooth white natural gesso for use as a base for egg tempera paint, the medium of the Old Masters.
Boards of this type (rather than paper or canvas) are the very best base for egg tempera painting, which requires an absorbent but dimensionally stable surface. These boards are traditionally used for icons, the sacred images of the Orthodox Christian tradition. Gessoed boards make a beautiful base for landscape and still life painting as well.
The fabrication of these boards is an art form in itself, requiring 11 or 12 precise and carefully timed applications of warmed natural gesso (a liquid concoction of chalk dust, marble dust, and animal-skin glue). The gesso must be smoothed as it dries to remove bubbles, and also sanded between coats for a perfectly even surface. Mr. Solovyev is one of the few masters of this demanding craft now living in the United States.
In recent years, icon painting has attracted increased attention and many new practitioners from a variety of faith traditions. Several teachers tour the country to offer workshops, which are often filled to capacity with adult students, several months in advance. I serve as a coordinator for the annual week-long intensive San Francisco icon workshop."
Coordinator, San Francisco Icon Works
3815 Lincoln Avenue,
Oakland, CA 94602
"I am a watermedia artist and an active member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral in Jackson, Mississippi. Iconography is an important part of my spiritual life. I have participated in workshops to learn the egg tempera technique of iconography as practiced in the 13th and 14th centuries in Russia.
In order to paint my icons, I purchase the gessoed wooden boards from Traditional Icon Boards - I am not skilled enough to prepare my own boards. It is an art to prepare these boards, the special surface takes skill and time to be done correctly. If the gessoed boards are not prepared to exact specifications, the egg tempera will not adhere to the surface evenly and the detailed artwork applied to the boards will be ruined by cracks or bubbles on the surface. Traditional Icon Boards' craft is very much appreciated by all of us who paint icons together. Gessoed boards make a beautiful base for landscape and still life painting as well."
Anne K. Perry
2455 Sandridge Drive
Jackson, MS 39211
"The religious art of iconography or icon painting (originating in the ancient Byzantine religious tradition) is an essential aspect of Eastern Christian Churches. Interest in this art is growing worldwide. Especially in the United States, even people outside Eastern Christian tradition, such as Catholics and Protestants, are becoming interested and involved in painting Icons. I am a life long member of the Episcopal Church, which is a branch of the Anglican Communion. I have been interested in icons since I was very young, and had the opportunity several years ago to study iconography with master iconographer Vladislav Andrejev of the Prosopon School of Iconography, using an icon board crafted by Traditional Icon Boards. After the class I continued my study and painting of icons, and have been very grateful for the opportunity to purchase icon boards from Traditional Icon Boards. In America, there are very few specialists who know how to prepare the wooden boards on which icons are painted. It is a craft that requires special skills and techniques, that are passed from generation to generation of specially prepared and trained craftsmen."
Mrs. Judith P. Kaestner
M.S. The Rev.Canon
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
"This letter is to confirm the great value of Traditional Icon Boards; he provides a very high quality product that I could never hope to make myself. In addition his business practices are of the highest caliber. He is prompt in responding to me and shipping my orders. I am presently receiving a growing number of commissions for my icons and hope Mr. Solovyev will be able to provide icon boards for me for a long time to come."
James A. Kaestner
Nashotah House Seminary