WRITING THE EMMAUS ICON
1. The Panel is timber
2. The Timber is sized with rabbit skin glue and 11 coats if Italian Gesso applied which is sanded to a very smooth stone like finish.
3. Gilders Bole (9 coats) is applied to areas to be gilded. This in turn is sanded to a glasslike finish to receive the gold.
4. 23.5 kt gold leaf applied to areas required. Wet Gilding Method.
5. The image is then written using egg tempera paint.
6. Final image is lacquered using shellac.
There are lots of trade secrets hidden in the above, which has taken years to perfect and adapt especially to our New Zealand climate. These techniques pre-date modern art methods and can seem mysterious to the uninitiated but in fact they are far superior to modern methods and not difficult to master with practise.
HE SECOND COMPANION ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS
In commissioning the Emmaus icon for the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton, the iconographer produced a series of sketches to help Bishop Steve and his pastoral team discern how the icon would be written. Scripture (Luke 24:13-35) names one of the companions on the road to Emmaus as Cleopas, but the identify of the other is unclear. The colouring-in sheets provided for the children are in fact one of the early sketches that the iconographer produced and portrays the second companion as a man. This is part of the mystery of the Emmaus Account. The purpose of the icon is to draw us closer to the divine God and as we read His Word (the Scriptures), we wonder... was the second companion perhaps a woman?