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Author Topic: Homemade Icons?  (Read 2658 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 03, 2011, 09:45:41 PM »

As someone who is relatively new to Orthodoxy, I do not currently have my own icons.  I also do not have a lot of money.  Since this is the case, would it be weird, wrong, or improper to make my own by printing them off and framing them?
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2011, 10:28:45 PM »

These threads might be helpful:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,35540.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,35151.0.html
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2011, 10:33:40 PM »

No, there's nothing wrong with it. I suspect most people get icons this way. Also, if you want high-quality prints, some of the companies that sell icons mounted on wood will also sell prints for a dollar or two, depending on the size.
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2011, 11:03:31 PM »


...just remember to get them blessed.

Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2011, 11:08:01 PM »

Nothing wrong with it, even saints (such as St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco) have been known to pray before paper icons.
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2011, 02:55:45 AM »

How do you get paper icons blessed? I mean, if the Priest sprinkles holy water on them their ink will run.
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2011, 05:31:31 AM »

How do you get paper icons blessed? I mean, if the Priest sprinkles holy water on them their ink will run.

No worries if they aren't blessed by a priest. Smiley  See this post and this thread for more...
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2011, 07:08:53 AM »

I mounted an icon myself.  It was a favorite from our bulletin and I cut it off from the bulletin, took a thin piece of wood and stained it with some stain I already had... used modge podge generously adhere it to the wood.  When that dried I added another layer of Modge-Podge on top, and then another.  You could even put a final layer of varnish if you want.  The only thing was it did bubble a little bit, but it's hardly noticeable.

That was it.   The only thing I had to buy was the Modge-podge, you can find that in any craft store.  There's different choices of shine... I think I used either semi-gloss or matte.
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2011, 07:44:07 AM »

How do you get paper icons blessed? I mean, if the Priest sprinkles holy water on them their ink will run.

No worries if they aren't blessed by a priest. Smiley  See this post and this thread for more...
Thanks. Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2011, 07:59:26 AM »

I mounted an icon myself.  It was a favorite from our bulletin and I cut it off from the bulletin, took a thin piece of wood and stained it with some stain I already had... used modge podge generously adhere it to the wood.  When that dried I added another layer of Modge-Podge on top, and then another.  You could even put a final layer of varnish if you want.  The only thing was it did bubble a little bit, but it's hardly noticeable.

That was it.   The only thing I had to buy was the Modge-podge, you can find that in any craft store.  There's different choices of shine... I think I used either semi-gloss or matte.

In looking back at the photos of what I did, I did apply a layer or 2-3 of varnish.
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2011, 09:19:02 AM »

There's nothing wrong with it per se, but since I know several iconographers and nuns who try to support themselves by the sale of icons, I would like to urge everyone to consider supporting your local iconographer or monastery, rather than DIY.
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2011, 09:25:47 AM »

There's nothing wrong with it per se, but since I know several iconographers and nuns who try to support themselves by the sale of icons, I would like to urge everyone to consider supporting your local iconographer or monastery, rather than DIY.

Slight problem where I live, Katherine: The only working iconographer in my neck of the woods is frequently interstate or sometimes out of the country attending to his commissions (often painting for large churches). And there are no iconographers at the two local (very small) monasteries.
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2011, 09:41:35 AM »

There's nothing wrong with it per se, but since I know several iconographers and nuns who try to support themselves by the sale of icons, I would like to urge everyone to consider supporting your local iconographer or monastery, rather than DIY.

Slight problem where I live, Katherine: The only working iconographer in my neck of the woods is frequently interstate or sometimes out of the country attending to his commissions (often painting for large churches). And there are no iconographers at the two local (very small) monasteries.

Pray allow me to assist!  Grin

http://www.imageandlikeness.com/
I know Fr. Anthony - he is a parish priest and iconographer

http://greekorthodoxmonastery.org/
And I know Gerontissa Pavlina and the nuns at the monastery
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2011, 10:45:53 AM »

There's nothing wrong with it per se, but since I know several iconographers and nuns who try to support themselves by the sale of icons, I would like to urge everyone to consider supporting your local iconographer or monastery, rather than DIY.

Slight problem where I live, Katherine: The only working iconographer in my neck of the woods is frequently interstate or sometimes out of the country attending to his commissions (often painting for large churches). And there are no iconographers at the two local (very small) monasteries.

Pray allow me to assist!  Grin

http://www.imageandlikeness.com/
I know Fr. Anthony - he is a parish priest and iconographer

http://greekorthodoxmonastery.org/
And I know Gerontissa Pavlina and the nuns at the monastery

LBK is in Australia  Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2011, 10:46:42 AM »

There's nothing wrong with it per se, but since I know several iconographers and nuns who try to support themselves by the sale of icons, I would like to urge everyone to consider supporting your local iconographer or monastery, rather than DIY.

Slight problem where I live, Katherine: The only working iconographer in my neck of the woods is frequently interstate or sometimes out of the country attending to his commissions (often painting for large churches). And there are no iconographers at the two local (very small) monasteries.

Pray allow me to assist!  Grin

http://www.imageandlikeness.com/
I know Fr. Anthony - he is a parish priest and iconographer

http://greekorthodoxmonastery.org/
And I know Gerontissa Pavlina and the nuns at the monastery

LBK is in Australia  Smiley

No mail service in Australia?
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2011, 10:58:06 AM »

There's nothing wrong with it per se, but since I know several iconographers and nuns who try to support themselves by the sale of icons, I would like to urge everyone to consider supporting your local iconographer or monastery, rather than DIY.

Slight problem where I live, Katherine: The only working iconographer in my neck of the woods is frequently interstate or sometimes out of the country attending to his commissions (often painting for large churches). And there are no iconographers at the two local (very small) monasteries.

Pray allow me to assist!  Grin

http://www.imageandlikeness.com/
I know Fr. Anthony - he is a parish priest and iconographer

http://greekorthodoxmonastery.org/
And I know Gerontissa Pavlina and the nuns at the monastery

LBK is in Australia  Smiley

No mail service in Australia?

They have it, but I hear it's a very primitive system employing wombats and emus.
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« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2011, 12:06:18 PM »

As someone who is relatively new to Orthodoxy, I do not currently have my own icons.  I also do not have a lot of money.  Since this is the case, would it be weird, wrong, or improper to make my own by printing them off and framing them?

Perfectly fine. You could even have them laminated--cheaper than framing.
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« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2011, 12:12:21 PM »

There's nothing wrong with it per se, but since I know several iconographers and nuns who try to support themselves by the sale of icons, I would like to urge everyone to consider supporting your local iconographer or monastery, rather than DIY.

Slight problem where I live, Katherine: The only working iconographer in my neck of the woods is frequently interstate or sometimes out of the country attending to his commissions (often painting for large churches). And there are no iconographers at the two local (very small) monasteries.

Pray allow me to assist!  Grin

http://www.imageandlikeness.com/
I know Fr. Anthony - he is a parish priest and iconographer

http://greekorthodoxmonastery.org/
And I know Gerontissa Pavlina and the nuns at the monastery

LBK is in Australia  Smiley

No mail service in Australia?

They have it, but I hear it's a very primitive system employing wombats and emus.

I would have thought that kangaroos would be much more suitable - with the pouches and all.
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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2011, 12:32:35 PM »

There's nothing wrong with it per se, but since I know several iconographers and nuns who try to support themselves by the sale of icons, I would like to urge everyone to consider supporting your local iconographer or monastery, rather than DIY.

Slight problem where I live, Katherine: The only working iconographer in my neck of the woods is frequently interstate or sometimes out of the country attending to his commissions (often painting for large churches). And there are no iconographers at the two local (very small) monasteries.

Pray allow me to assist!  Grin

http://www.imageandlikeness.com/
I know Fr. Anthony - he is a parish priest and iconographer

http://greekorthodoxmonastery.org/
And I know Gerontissa Pavlina and the nuns at the monastery

LBK is in Australia  Smiley

No mail service in Australia?

They have it, but I hear it's a very primitive system employing wombats and emus.

I would have thought that kangaroos would be much more suitable - with the pouches and all.

Wombats have pouches too and can crawl under fences and bushes.
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« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2011, 01:04:47 PM »

As someone who is relatively new to Orthodoxy, I do not currently have my own icons.  I also do not have a lot of money.  Since this is the case, would it be weird, wrong, or improper to make my own by printing them off and framing them?

I am all for supporting local iconographers and monasteries, however, the OP stated that he doesn't have much money. 

Most iconographers I know, charge a hefty price for their icons.  Don't get me wrong, they are well worth the price, however, when a person doesn't have that kind of money, make due with what you can get, until you can afford one from a monastery.

The spiritual benefit is the same.  God works through icons, that's what makes them special.

Just remember to pray, that's what's important! 



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« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2011, 01:11:18 PM »

As someone who is relatively new to Orthodoxy, I do not currently have my own icons.  I also do not have a lot of money.  Since this is the case, would it be weird, wrong, or improper to make my own by printing them off and framing them?

I am all for supporting local iconographers and monasteries, however, the OP stated that he doesn't have much money. 

Most iconographers I know, charge a hefty price for their icons.  Don't get me wrong, they are well worth the price, however, when a person doesn't have that kind of money, make due with what you can get, until you can afford one from a monastery.

The spiritual benefit is the same.  God works through icons, that's what makes them special.

Just remember to pray, that's what's important! 



I agree. The original post wasn't about a debate on handwritten icons.  Undecided    I imagine we all hope to have a commissioned handwritten icon someday, but we simply cannot fill our icon corners with them. 

The Myrrh streaming Iveron icon of Hawaii is a simple mounted icon which you can find anywhere online.  God can indeed work through them as He see's fit.
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« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2011, 02:04:53 PM »

As someone who is relatively new to Orthodoxy, I do not currently have my own icons.  I also do not have a lot of money.  Since this is the case, would it be weird, wrong, or improper to make my own by printing them off and framing them?

I am all for supporting local iconographers and monasteries, however, the OP stated that he doesn't have much money. 

Most iconographers I know, charge a hefty price for their icons.  Don't get me wrong, they are well worth the price, however, when a person doesn't have that kind of money, make due with what you can get, until you can afford one from a monastery.


At the two websites I mentioned in a previous post, you will see that you can obtain icons (reproductions, to be sure) from both Fr. Anthony and the nuns relatively inexpensively, thus helping to support them in their endeavors.

Don't forget your parish bookstore either - if you are fortunate to have one.
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« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2011, 02:51:37 PM »

I imagine we all hope to have a commissioned handwritten icon someday, but we simply cannot fill our icon corners with them. 

I'm I am going to go all augustin here without trying to be as clever.

Before I could care about Orthodoxy, I was dragged all over "Orthodox" countries and say how "Orthodox" people lived. They simply didn't have the elaborate and nearly parish level amount of icons I see many people here have.

Not that is wrong. But most homes I saw from the poorest (I mean poor) to not so poor, had usually one icon. And the icon corner was very modest.

I know an American convert who literally has an icon room.

I can't but wonder from my own predilections and those of my fellow Americans, if this doesn't stem from having something via owning it. Whether it is books never read or skimmed through but never given away or donated to having to hunt down the "perfect" icons.

I was counseled not to get any icons for myself. And so far I have received from others at least five. None are what I would have chosen.

Because of my general spartan-chic life, I will probably donate many of them and commission one eventually as an act to charity to support someone as you say God willing. But that would long off in the future.

Again I hope I am not coming across as "damning" just illustrating.

And although I didn't give a    about God much less the ethnic cult called Orthodoxy at the time. I was moved by the simple piety I observed.

And yes I've seen the various monks' cells filled to the brim with icons, so you can save time of posting those.

I am not arguing. Just suggesting my own nature conditioned by the marketing I've had pushed on me since I was born and the tendency I see in Americans in general to have something by owning it.

If I have offended, I truly meant not to.

FWIW.   
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« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2011, 03:29:45 PM »

I know what you're saying.  I wasn't saying "filling" as it that is what we should do...just in response to the poster who wants us to consider handwritten icons. 

Most of my icons were given to me too - probably 80%.  The others I obtained myself and those have special meaning to me.  I haven't bought an icon in several years, but my corner seems to fill up with them!  Of course, that also includes the paper icons that are given out when an special icon visits a parish.  I have 6 kids - 2-4 of whom may come to a special service sometime with me.  That means I can end up with 4 little paper icons in my corner in one evening! 
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« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2011, 03:35:12 PM »

I do think the proliferation of icons can have a kind of consumerist edge to it, but something to also consider is that printed icons, on or off wood, are much cheaper and plentifully available than the traditional painted ones. I can get an icon for $15 that would probably cost up to 100 times that amount if it were painted. If all icons were still painted then chances are most of us would be happy with just one and that would be a highly prized possession.
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« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2011, 03:55:52 PM »

I do think the proliferation of icons can have a kind of consumerist edge to it, but something to also consider is that printed icons, on or off wood, are much cheaper and plentifully available than the traditional painted ones. I can get an icon for $15 that would probably cost up to 100 times that amount if it were painted. If all icons were still painted then chances are most of us would be happy with just one and that would be a highly prized possession.

As it has been discussed here before is the proliferation of icons on all sortsa materials: flyers, handouts, book covers, t-shirts, tattoos, etc.

The love of icons and their easy reproduction has rendered them somewhat "ordinary" so to speak. I do think Fr.Thomas Hopko has some strong points in his Iconodules are the New Iconoclasts podcast.

After listening to his podcast and thinking it through (not that complicated) it made me much more aware and careful of my thoughts and treatment of my icons and icons in general.

Because I do live in a very small, while nice apartment, my icons corner is a large part of my apartment even though it is a small "corner" (not really a corner). Because of this the podcast and Fr. Thom's passion about how to handle and "behave" around them, my apartment stays much more clean and orderly.

He also raises the point about how many icons does even a parish need. If they have so many, they have to store them, what is the proper way. Unfortunately, I've witnessed some of the misuses he describes.

Not having ever venerated an icon till a little more than a year ago, listening to the podcast time to time has helped drill into my head the seriousness of their treatment and "what" they are.

I do now wince at icon bracelets.

Not sure why any legitimate Orthodox merchandiser would make such things available.

FWIW, there are some very gifted apprentice iconographers out there studying under some incredibly gifted "teachers". The man who did the icons for Iconostasis and the frescoes within and without our parish is amazing and has a student who is fantastic and does wonderful work for a reasonable price.

 



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« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2011, 03:57:56 PM »

I imagine we all hope to have a commissioned handwritten icon someday, but we simply cannot fill our icon corners with them. 

I'm I am going to go all augustin here without trying to be as clever.

Before I could care about Orthodoxy, I was dragged all over "Orthodox" countries and say how "Orthodox" people lived. They simply didn't have the elaborate and nearly parish level amount of icons I see many people here have.

Not that is wrong. But most homes I saw from the poorest (I mean poor) to not so poor, had usually one icon. And the icon corner was very modest.

I know an American convert who literally has an icon room.

I can't but wonder from my own predilections and those of my fellow Americans, if this doesn't stem from having something via owning it. Whether it is books never read or skimmed through but never given away or donated to having to hunt down the "perfect" icons.

I was counseled not to get any icons for myself. And so far I have received from others at least five. None are what I would have chosen.

Because of my general spartan-chic life, I will probably donate many of them and commission one eventually as an act to charity to support someone as you say God willing. But that would long off in the future.

Again I hope I am not coming across as "damning" just illustrating.

And although I didn't give a    about God much less the ethnic cult called Orthodoxy at the time. I was moved by the simple piety I observed.

And yes I've seen the various monks' cells filled to the brim with icons, so you can save time of posting those.

I am not arguing. Just suggesting my own nature conditioned by the marketing I've had pushed on me since I was born and the tendency I see in Americans in general to have something by owning it.

If I have offended, I truly meant not to.

FWIW.   


Orthonorm, you know more than one American with an icon room. (/me whistles and looks around)

From experience, one cannot possess something like holiness with lots of Ortho-trappings. At some point, they can become a millstone around one's neck. But, I think that there is simply a great availability now.
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« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2011, 04:03:14 PM »

I do now wince at icon bracelets.

Not sure why any legitimate Orthodox merchandiser would make such things available.


I completely agree. To me, it's like a profanation. There are wearable icons that are traditional, but they remain icons, not accessories. Russian trader-trappers used to wear a cross and an icon with them wherever they went. These they kept so they could be buried with them. It wasn't about "having a reminder" like the arguments I've heard for bracelets or even tattoos. As someone with a lot of "reminders," I can say that no amount of external reminders will work if  there is not that internal reminder in the heart. Turn that off, and even the presence of God himself will not keep you from straying.
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« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2011, 04:24:09 PM »

There is nothing wrong with  do it yourself mounting of icons, it is often done by  church school and Orthodox Vacation Bible School classes. If you are poor or very short of cash, you can frame bulletin covers, Orthodox Magazine covers with Icons on them,  some  icon postcards or prints on premade  wooden plaques stained with brown shoepolish works nice and costs you about $2 each. A little spay varnish or modgepodge will usually work (make sure that the ink does not run) to set the icon into the wood.

Some caution, avoid bright light or sunlight as it will fade many inks.

Always get your icons blessed (Holy water is not always necessary although usual especially in  Slavic Churches and when you are in a hurry but there is also  the 40 day blessing where it is sanctified on the Altar of the Temple for 40 days ---I have seen this used in Greek and Antiochian churches) .

As you grow in wealth and blessings you may wish to acquire a quality mounted icon or even  a handwritten one.
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« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2011, 01:09:55 AM »

Thanks for all the responses everyone! And yea, I'm kinda broke right now and cant buy any from a monastery. Not all the prices I saw online were outrageous, but since things are tight right now financially, I think I'll make my own for now. I just wanted to make sure it wasnt in some way degrading to put some together myself.  You guys answered it!

Also, keep in mind I'm just beginning my journey with Orthodoxy.  Thats why i ask these elementary questions.  I found a parish close to me in the Atlanta area I'm going to visit soon!
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« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2011, 01:29:28 AM »

There are also nice prints - basically the prints they use in mounted prints - that you can get sometimes too.

For example this one. The default buying option is a mounted print that is $24 but you can buy just the print for $10. IIRC, Archangelsbooks.com and skete.com also have this option.

Also if you have any habits like smoking or soda you could try to just abstain or cut back on those for a few days if you bought an icon... it would be good for you in several ways. Grin
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 01:32:34 AM by Jason.Wike » Logged
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« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2011, 08:20:53 AM »

You can get prints of all of Holy Trinity Studio's (Jordanville) icons, ranging from 2.50 for 3" by 5" to $10 by 9" by 12" (you can get bigger than that too, but I doubt you'd want to). http://iconstudio.jordanville.org/

The Convent of St. Elizabeth also has good prints which are inexpensive: http://www.conventofsaintelizabeth.org/byzicons/print/print.html
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« Reply #32 on: August 06, 2011, 09:09:55 AM »

If I am not wrong in Romania icons are done after prayer and there are some rules. As a cradle orthodox I don't remember laic people doing icons and people would go after blessed icons from churches or monasteries. You should look for blessed icons . I believe that blessed icons can perform miracles in the sense that prayers near them are listened much better? If you put a candle lamp near a blessed icon, an angel can arrive and protect the house. Since an icon is blessed an angel can probably rest there.

 Anyhow I saw on web icons with 5$ . It is not very big however it is fine. If you want to know the website send an message. I don't know if I can post the link here. Normal size icons are more expensive. The ones plated with Gold or silver are even more expensive maybe in the 4 digits.
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« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2011, 10:27:03 AM »

I do think Fr.Thomas Hopko has some strong points in his Iconodules are the New Iconoclasts podcast.

Linkity-link?
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« Reply #34 on: August 06, 2011, 11:48:10 AM »

I do think Fr.Thomas Hopko has some strong points in his Iconodules are the New Iconoclasts podcast.

Linkity-link?

Weird. Cannot find the link on AFR nor the podcast in iTunes right now. Which is bizarre.

There are a few links which came back from other websites.

I'll check into it. I cannot imagine I dreamt all this up, especially that title.
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« Reply #35 on: August 06, 2011, 12:49:38 PM »

I was going to say that I have most of his stuff, really everything I have found. If the file has been taken down and you have it, maybe you can email it to me.

Also, PM me if you're interested in his CD series on the Apocalypse, as I bought that CD set and have digitized files. I think it's out of print anyway, so I don't think it violates fair use.
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