The realization of a Byzantine Icon requires very long times and a lot of patience.
The first job begins with the search for the table. A central axis must be chosen, with concentric veins, because it has more resistance. For larger sacred icons, boards are used together and reinforced on the back by two harder wooden inserts to avoid movement. To the tables so selected and smoothed, we glue a cloth of linen or cotton that recalls the veil of Veronica, on which Jesus leave imprinted his face.
Subsequently, more and more hands of dissolved chalk with animal glues are passed. Then smooth the bottom with abrasive paper, more and more thin until you get a perfectly smooth and white surface. It is then that the iconographer begins, after a period of prayer and purification, to write the icon, faithfully copying it from an already existing one, where each pencil stroke is then engraved, with a subtle pointer, so that you do not lose the trace during laying the gold and color background. Then apply the leaf of minkey gold which then smoothes with agate stone until it gets a uniform surface.
Gold, non-color, absolute value without chromatism, symbol of eternity because icorruptible, remembers the immortality of God. After gold, you pass to the color; using only natural pigments, dissolved with egg yolk. The colors used, are complementary, are used red (carminium or purple), blue (superior, blue of Prussia), green, clear and dark ocher, white and black.
The iconographer begins to lay the dark colors, which then slowly clears, both using lighter shades and adding white to the basic color. This also has its own meaning: to realize an icon leads from darkness to light. For the iconographer, in fact, his work is prayer, a continuous prayer, also made of meditation and purification. Finally, after clearing with small white traits and applying inscriptions, the sacred icon is ready to be protected by the olifa: a set of cooked linen oil and preservatives. This operation is great for preserving the painting and also, impregnating the colors, enhancing its transparency, depth and slightly harmonizing its shades. The icon is finally covered by some layers of transparent swab varnish.