Wayne Hajos delivered his lecture on the various considerations prior to beginning the icon; who is the icon for? Why Saints names are never abbreviated? Why size, kerning and weight matter but most importantly–without the lettering to identify the Saint the icon is just an image, while naming the icon enables one to venerate the image.
Margins, counting the letters and division of words affect the overall appearance of the finished icon. Several examples of confusing lettering were shown and then samples of proportionately balanced styles were shown–the difference is amazing as lettering does absolutely affect the image, pulling the eye away from the Saint are icons with helter skelter lettering while balanced lettering is subtle in the field, allowing the person to focus on prayers.
A folder filled with sample styles was placed before each student, then onto practice spacing, tucking, and stacking within the confines a book or a scroll. We could spend a lifetime just on measuring out spacing, and we will! “A practice becomes a skill” to quote Dmitri Andreyev and practice brings near perfection. Devote thirty minutes each day practicing your lettering, line work and tension of the letters and you will see a major difference in the appearance of your icon.
After Wayne’s lecture and a lunch break, we continued work on the icons we have in progress and discussing the discernment of colors along with perfection of rosykrysh and its importance in the development of the icon. Though we try to be quiet, the door to the Kolbe Room is always left open as an invitation for visitors to the Shrine to experience the call of the icon; we enjoyed a visit by Steven, a seminary student who is currently working with watercolors with his 91 year old instructor. Smitten with the icon process and filled with questions on this practice, Steven stayed with us for awhile watching everyone work and getting more excited with each step he observed. Fr. Dennis came by to watch the progress and others in the Shrine for a retreat popped their heads in to have a look. We finished up around 8:30 to get home before the rains and hailstorms heading our direction. Our next meeting is Saturday, March 25, 2017 where we will explore the aspects, practice and application of wax and dye for the Psanky workshop!