Unique Workshop: Images of Stone

One will have to whisper if he wants to demonstrate what the atmosphere at the stone workshop is like. This is not because it is extremely quiet here, and not because it might interfere with the determination and concentration which are essential for the artists.

Helena, an artist in this workshop, told us that sometimes they had to start an icon all over again practically from scratch because someone would slap shut a book nearby: the slap would lead to an air wave, which would blow away the scrupulous work of several hours in just a couple of seconds. This happens due to the fact that the icons in this workshop are "painted" with fine ground rock, so any vibration might lead to the destruction of this exquisite work of art. The fine ground particles are very light and therefore they tend to be unpredictable, to fly all over the place, not exactly to the place where they are supposed to be.

The artists in this workshop have their secret techniques acquired in the many years of practice but the main secret is to be able to "feel the stone", Helena said. Trying to understand the craft and its technologies may turn to be meaningless until one tries to "paint with stone" himself. Even a good icon painter will not necessarily be able to work in the stone workshop because there is more to it than skill: the ability to feel the nuances is not a craft that one can learn by practising principles and ways to do things. This may be the reason why I did not see male artists in the stone workshop...

You can learn more about the crushed stone workshop o St. Elisabeth Convent here.

You can also find the icons created by the crushed stone workshop in our catalog