There is a lot of interest over the making of religious wooden icons with the image of Christ, Virgin Mary, religious feasts or Saints and we consider wise to clarify certain issues involved, since our company works on this field for over a century.
In order to make a decent wooden icon we use a quality print on illustrated paper, for vivid colors, some expertise on how to mount the print on the wooden surface and a varnish to seal the icon and protect it from humidity, dust, mites etc.
However, what really makes an icon stand out is the application of hagiographic gold on the background (halos and inscriptions are re-written on top) and so the final result looks alike hagiography. Hagiographic gold on a flat surface is very playful; it is truly a sight to rejoice and, what is more, comes at a fairly reasonable price.
Occasionally, some additional treatments are applied so that the icon looks aged or even antique .
Although a high quality print together with the hagiographic gold application are crucial in the making of a beautiful icon, there is a certain ambiguity as to what the producer declares and to what the consumer thinks the icon actually is.
Words like “handmade” may be true (there is some hand making in the process) but by no means has it denoted hagiography.
Another misconception is that hagiographic gold does not contain karats. This could be the case, however it would not be wise to use karat gold on a paper print surface. Hagiographic gold imitates real gold, has the same exact texture and is applied the same way while staying on the economic side. Real karat gold would most probably be applied on a premium hagiography.
With the above, we believe we clarify a few basic issues as concerns the making of a wooden icon. It is a testimony supposed to protect consumers from fraudulent intentions that are common in the internet and elsewhere.