The Conestoga Iconographic Studio creates sacred icons from local colours collected from across Canada. The resulting orthodox icons are available for homes and churches around the world.

News from the Studio

Local Colour in Icons

June 15th, 2017 | 0 Comments

Yesterday an article of mine appeared in the Orthodox Arts Journal entitled, “Local Color in Icons”. The piece is a reflection of how living in Conestoga for the last 15 years has shaped my iconographic work, and is ultimately about how much I’ve found that the material world (especially its local colour pigments) can inspire sacred artwork. As…

Read More ...

Saint Andrew: Membrane

April 20th, 2017 | 0 Comments

A new icon of Saint Andrew is underway. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve researched, and worked out the drawing. With the board made and the gilding done, the under-painting was finished last week and I’ve now applied the membrane colours on the icon. The local colours from this icon are mostly from Conestoga, but the green…

Read More ...

Iconography Workshop in Waterloo

February 6th, 2017 | 0 Comments

Weekly from Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 until Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 Doors open at 6:30pm, class runs from 7:00pm to 9:00pm in St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church’s Hall. The Waterloo Workshop is now full! Please contact Symeon if you wish to be notified when another is offered. Symeon will be instructing 8-12 participants in a 10 week series of…

Read More ...

Subscribe to the Conestoga Iconographic Studio Newsletter

Why do Orthodox use icons?

For Orthodox Christians, icons represent a window into heaven and are a way to connect with the person or event depicted through prayer. Portrait icons bring us into the presence of Christ and his saints while festival icons are created to enter a timeless event in the Church.

The use of icons in the Orthodox church goes far back in its history. It is understood that even before the Bible’s canon was finalized, images were playing an important role in the church’s liturgy. The only significant disruption in the use of icons for the Orthodox happened during the 8th century, when many icons were destroyed and iconographers were persecuted. It was during this time that the Orthodox understanding of the icon as Christ’s fulfillment of the Old Testament’s prohibition against images was contemplated. It took almost a century for icons to be restored in the Church, an event which is still celebrated each year within Eastern Orthodoxy by the parish’s icons being processed around the building.

Icons also are a significant way in which the Orthodox celebrate their understanding of the Church’s cultural mandate. The many unique styles of iconography that have come out of specific nations present the rich diversity of different peoples present within Orthodoxy. Because of this, new styles of iconography are celebrated as the working of the Holy Spirit in the ongoing life of the church. The variety of modern and historic stylizations present in the iconographic canon demonstrate the many ways that Christ has been experienced and witnesses to this ongoing work of the Holy Spirit.

How are Orthodox icons made?