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Author Topic: machine embroidering icons/religious items?  (Read 3537 times) Average Rating: 0
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calligraphqueen
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« on: May 09, 2007, 03:17:52 PM »

what is the consensus on this, do you think?  I want to make embroidered icon ornaments, icons, and tapestries as part of our new embroidery business.  its a continuation of an already existing business, we have been researching it for 4 years.  What is the rule about copying or digitizing icons?  This might be jurisdictional, but i love tapestries and icons in embroidered format, they are very beautiful.  I imagine others like them as well.

any takers on this topic welcome.  shouldn't be too divisive.

Rebecca
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Salpy
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2007, 01:26:31 AM »

I only know of one icon that is embroidered and that is in my church.  It is an icon of Christ done in the old style.  It is quite large and when you look at it from a distance you think it is painted.  You have to be close up to realize it is embroidered.  It wasn't done by machine, though.  It was done by hand by an elderly woman at our church who was dying of cancer.  She was an expert at embroidery and she wanted this to be the last thing she made with her hands.  She died shortly after finishing it.  People have claimed miracles after praying in front of it. 

I'm sorry, I guess that is a tangent.  I suspect there are rules that say icons should be painted.  However, you kind of wonder how closely those rules are followed.  I've seen icons done in mosaic, even though I have heard that is technically "against the rules."  On Good Friday, don't EO Churches use an embroidered cloth in the tomb?  (In the Armenian Church we put the priest's liturgical vestments in the tomb.)
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2007, 04:41:02 PM »

Salpy,

Very interesting account of the embroidered icon! Are there any photos of this potentially miracle working icon? PM me if you'd prefer!

Yes, the epitaphio ( I don't know the English equivalent) is processed through the Church. Here in B'ham, the Holy Saturday morning Liturgy was performed on the epitaphio that had been placed on the kouvouklion, that itself was resting on the soleas--so those at the Church that day had a real 'close up' view of the liturgics at the altar.
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2007, 02:45:34 AM »

Salpy,

Very interesting account of the embroidered icon! Are there any photos of this potentially miracle working icon? PM me if you'd prefer!


O.K.  This will be the thing that motivates me to finally learn how to use the digital camera I was given last Christmas.  I'll see what I can do.   Smiley
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QuoVadis
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2007, 01:53:42 AM »

Dear Rebecca,

I've heard arguments against this like, "you can't sew icons because you'd be pinpricking the Mother of God's eyes ...", and I've heard arguments for sewing icons.  So really, I don't know what the "rules" are.

Personally, I converted an icon into a cross-stitch pattern and sewed the icon below for my priest and  his wife for Christmas.  It was only a small one, and I intend on doing the same icon but in a larger pattern. 

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b118/sparrowshell/TheVirginHodegetria30-12-05Finished.jpg

Last year when I was staying at a convent for a week, I was also cross-stitching the "Holy Napkin" icon, and I didn't get disapproval from any of the nuns.  Infact, they encouraged it. 

So I'm sorry, I really don't know of the rules ... but if you find out, do tell us!  Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2007, 02:12:18 AM »

I was expecting someone else to bring this up: http://www.sestry.ru/eng

That is Novo Tikhvin, a women's monastery in Ekaterinaberg, Russia. They do embroidery (icons included), both by hand and machine. Look under the link 'Obedience', where their embroidery is show-cased under the subheading of 'Sewing'.
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2007, 08:18:02 AM »

I was expecting someone else to bring this up:...

Maybe we were all just waiting for you to bring this up!  Wink
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2007, 11:26:05 AM »

Just too much to keep up with, Father - and I know many folk who know better than me, they simply don't post on topics I'd like them to.

Either way, there are a few of us who have been admiring the work of Novo Tikhvin for a few years. As I understand it, they have revived some of the older Russian styles of embroidery as well. Personally, I have a deep love for embroidered iconography (they're proper to us Westerners as well, especially if done in gold with silk undercouching - Opus Anglicanum, along with our silver or gilt bronze icons.) The most beautiful set of Byzantine vestments I've seen was also embroidered - done for a Ukrainian Orthodox priest (EP) by parishioners who still knew the old traditional craft. They cost a few thousand to make, and a few years of labor, but from what I can tell it was worth it.

My Grandmother practiced traditional American embroidery (and quilting). All I have left is a few pieces of table linen embroidered with larkspur in blue-lavender. The quilt she made me was left at a rest stop on I-35 in North Texas back in '73 - '77. That's always been a grievous loss.
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2007, 02:00:06 PM »

In many  very old churches in the old country and also in monasteries on Mount Athos one can find many  examples of the embroidery and weaving arts used to beautify the Temples of the Lord and the  vestments of the clergy.  It is really only a recent situation that  there has been a decline in embroidery and  eavings as those arts themselves have fallen out of common practice (how many girls in the US and Canada  have even sewn an embriodery sampler like our relatives in the 19th century used to do annually? Not many I would guess). It is exciting that some Orthodox are willing to utilize modern as well as ancient techniques to produce some beautiful handings, tapestries, shrouds, and vestments utilizing the ancient and modern techniques available to them. Thanks be to God! It is about time!

Thomas
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2007, 05:45:19 PM »

One thing that is difficult to find online is Cross-stich kits for Orthodox Icons. I have an Aunt who is an avid cross-sticher, and whenever I go to Greece, I always have to bring her back some cross-stich patterns for Orthodox Icons. If you started selling Cross-stich kits online for Orthodox Icons, I would be eternally grateful!
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calligraphqueen
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2007, 01:30:39 PM »

thank you so much for this link.  I so want to do this, just trying to make it happen is a long drawn out process.  I spoke with a friend that is an antiochian Priest's wife, and she said there is some level of rules that would require all materials be natural in form. (ie, gold thread, cotton backing, etc) nothing synthetic.

Rebecca
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