Little Boy Lost and Dorothy,
My name is Fr Jonah Campbell and I am one of the owners of Damascene Gallery, the company you’re referring to in your post. A fellow priest friend of mine found this thread and forwarded it to me, so I thought I would reply.
First of all, thank you for your comments, especially regarding the lack of finished product photos on the website. We are taking that observation seriously and are currently working very hard to overhaul both the main website as well as the store website. We will soon have several thousand additional icons available for ordering as mounted icons from our own Damascus Collection, as well as hand carved crosses, full iconostasis quotations, church-sized icons, etc. available from the storefront.
In the meantime, however, I wanted to give you a few links to our Picasa page which features some sample product photos, as well as an example of a recently completed iconostasis we did. Unfortunately, the overhaul of the website will likely take another month or so to complete, and I didn’t want you to have to wait that long.
One comment about our concept for mounted icons… they aren’t distressed or made to “look like antique icons”. The comparison to antique icons is really based on the fact that we use premium materials to construct our icons rather than plywood (or particle board/mdf) and paper. In particular, the 1" thick solid-wood boards we use coupled support slats give the icons a look and feel very different from the plywood and paper icons that have become so common. Concerning the texture of the canvas, we trialled many different types of artist grade canvas before settling on our final choice, which is a canvas with a very unobtrusive weave. We even think it looks nice on very small icons (6" and less) even though we aren’t currently offering sizes less than 9" on the storefront.
The boards we are using currently do not have kovcheg (a recessed area on the front)… they are flat, solid-wood poplar boards. The channels for the slats are routed out and solid oak slats are inserted. Larger icons consist of glued up, drum sanded boards to create panels up to 4’ in width. The edges and backs of the icons are painted, and there is a small painted border on the front of icons. Reproductions of antique icon images generally have no painted border on the front of the icon as we find it to be a bit distracting on the majority of such images.
At any rate, here are the links to the relevant pages on Picasa:
In the first link, you’ll notice that there are several icons (both small and large format) featuring gold leafed backgrounds and/or halos. We are also working very hard to add this as a configurable option on our icons on the storefront.
Thank you for your interest in Damascene Gallery! If I can be of further help in any way, do not hesitate to let me know.
In Christ God, the Divine Word made flesh,
Fr Jonah Campbell
PS: If there is a certain icon you are looking for that you can’t find on the website, please let us know… we probably already have it or a similar icon in the collection of icons we are working to list on the storefront.