Author Topic: Damascene Gallery Icons Review?  (Read 1726 times)

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Offline Cognomen

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Damascene Gallery Icons Review?
« on: April 20, 2011, 06:36:41 PM »
I was wondering if anyone has purchased Icons from Damascene Gallery (http://shop.damascenegallery.com/) and, if so, could you provide a quick review of their products?

I'm curious, because they use a heavier board, and the image itself is made of canvas (they give an explanation of the process on their website).  Additionally, they have some Icons that don't appear to be available elsewhere, and I had not heard/read anything about them. 

Any information would be appreciated.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Damascene Gallery Icons Review?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2011, 09:43:32 PM »
It seems to me that most of the images are available mounted on wood from skete.com (check out their custom icons) or Jordanville's icon mounting studio. The main difference would probably be the quality of the print and the canvas/ wood it's mounted on.

Offline Cognomen

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Re: Damascene Gallery Icons Review?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2011, 10:01:24 PM »
The main difference would probably be the quality of the print and the canvas/ wood it's mounted on.

Have you seen canvas Icon prints before?  I initially thought it a bit odd, but perhaps they have advantages.
North American Eastern Orthodox Parish Council Delegate for the Canonization of Saints Twin Towers and Pentagon, as well as the Propagation of the Doctrine of the Assumption of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 (NAEOPCDCSTTPPDAMAFM®).

Offline silouancampbell

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Re: Damascene Gallery Icons Review?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2012, 05:49:16 PM »
the main difference with damascene gallery is their entire approach to making reproduction icons.  the images are printed on an artist grade canvas with a very unobtrusive weave and natural pigment based inks are used in the printing process.  the panels are made from 4/4 solid poplar boards with oak splines dovetailed through on the reverse  - in the same fashion which panels of antiquity were made.  the overall product has a very clean fit and finish and feeling of hand made quality.  there is no mass produced approach in damascene gallery's thinking of how to create a reproduction icon.  you may visit their recently updated website for more details and photos.

Offline Timon

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Re: Damascene Gallery Icons Review?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2014, 09:58:38 AM »
I havent been on here in a while, but was googling something and stumbled across this thread. I just want to share my experience with this site.

It was very good!

I ordered an icon from them and it took about 3 weeks to arrive, which I thought was the standard since these are usually hand made in monasteries that may not have a post office close by. When it shipped, Fr. Jonah Campbell who I guess runs the place emailed me personally apologizing for the delay. He also gave me a $10 store credit for my next purchase. I was very impressed with the customer service and will definitely be ordering from them again.

The icons themselves are beautiful as well. The wood is a bit thicker than some of my others, so they feel well made, durable, etc. As someone mentioned, its not a print lamented to a piece of wood. Its a smooth finish that almost appears as if it was actually painted on.

I dont write reviews like this often, but was really impressed with them all around. I would definitely recommend them!
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Damascene Gallery Icons Review?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2014, 08:36:39 AM »
^Sounds good.  I will get my next icon from them.
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Offline KShaft

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Re: Damascene Gallery Icons Review?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2014, 01:16:38 AM »
I have one from Damascene and 3 from Legacy. The Legacy Icons are of a higher quality. The wood is denser and the colors are much more vivid and resolution is much superior. I was somewhat disapointed in the Damascene but Legacy did not have the Hilandare PantoCrantor but Damascene did. The Sinai Icon looks too real for me, its too much (which is Legacy's highest selling Icon I think). 

Offline Peacemaker

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Re: Damascene Gallery Icons Review?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2015, 03:25:02 PM »
Here is an introduction video Damascene Gallery did on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uepXX-09krw

I like that they are tided to the monastery of Holy Cross. I have only seen their thin board icons in person and not the thick traditional icons so I can't really talk much about them. The only thing I would suggest is to watch the video, if you still aren't convinced, buy one from them and one from legacy and see which you like best.

As for canvas, it is a much quality. It's thick and will last a long time with little fading. However canvas can look odd up close because you see all the little indents in the canvas.



EDIT: Legacy Icons has a lot of videos to watch online, including customer reviews  https://www.youtube.com/user/legacyicons/videos
« Last Edit: January 28, 2015, 03:27:59 PM by Peacemaker »

Offline FrJonah

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Re: Damascene Gallery Icons Review?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2015, 06:21:23 PM »
I have one from Damascene and 3 from Legacy. The Legacy Icons are of a higher quality. The wood is denser and the colors are much more vivid and resolution is much superior. I was somewhat disapointed in the Damascene but Legacy did not have the Hilandare PantoCrantor but Damascene did. The Sinai Icon looks too real for me, its too much (which is Legacy's highest selling Icon I think).

Christ is Risen!

I wanted to chime in on this topic since I happen to be the owner of Damascene Gallery :)  This thread was recently brought to my attention and I was asked by some supporters to address some of the comments above.  First of all, thanks all of you who have supported Damascene Gallery since our inception in 2010… I can say from experience that it can be quite difficult to make ends meet as a parish priest and God has truly been kind to me by blessing our endeavor and allowing me to spend my time outside of services surrounded by the beauty of Divine Images.  God is truly merciful and His mercy has been manifest through your support!

Without going into infomercial mode, I'll just say that our inspiration for doing what we do is specifically to "raise the bar" on what we all consider to be acceptable when it comes to reproduction icons.  Many of the icons I acquired early on in my Orthodox experience were simply inferior to what would be considered as merely "acceptable" in the larger Graphic Arts field and our objective from the beginning was to bring a much higher level of quality to the area of mounted icons in terms of resolution, color accuracy and, very importantly, color longevity than anything we were aware of when we began the process of forming Damascene Gallery in 2009.  An additional area of importance to us has always been to capture a traditional Orthodox aesthetic or "feel", and this was precisely our inspiration in creating our High Quality line of icons, which consist of the thicker solid wood (poplar) panels with support slats with the canvas prints (these were all we offered for the first 2 years).  In that context, it's rather interesting that the post above compares us to Legacy Icons given that their "Legacy" series boards are, in fact, patterned after our original design.  I remember well when the order came in in 2010 from the future co-owner of Legacy and only realized afterwards that it was being purchased for evaluation and prototyping purposes.  Don't get me wrong: I really don't mind at all that they chose to make icons based on our original concept because I truly believe it's a great concept and our objective was never to own the market but, rather, to promote and elevate a traditional Orthodox aesthetic in America.  It seems in this we have been successful :)

Ironically, though, the comment about wood density is rather hard to understand since my understanding is that we both use exactly the same type and thickness of wood (solid poplar with oak support slats).

Concerning the question of vivid colors and resolution, it's worth pointing out that this point really comes down to the individual image in question.  A fairer comparison would be to have the same icon from both producers side-by-side and then make such an evaluation.  By its nature, comparing the Hilandar Christ icon (which is an ancient icon with much damage to begin with) to a more modern icon would not be a valid comparison.  And the Hilandar icon is, of course, not an icon that we did the capture on ourselves, which is one of the areas that we've heavily invested in concerning both time and technology.  The vast majority of icons in our collection are icons that we have professionally captured in ultra high resolution ourselves and, as far as we know, the resolution of such are icons is unparalleled even today. It's also important to bear in mind that characteristics such as "vividness" can also be affected by the finish of the icon.  The standard finish on our High Quality icons is a matte finish, for example, but it can also be finished in Semi-Gloss or Gloss based on what the customer prefers.  One customer might consider a matte finish to appear "less vivid" than a glossy finish without it having anything to do with the underlying print quality.  We, like all professional Graphic Arts level shops, print our icons on archival quality media using state-of-the-art archival quality pigment based printers.  Our workflow is a totally color managed workflow from start to finish, which, again, makes me think that the differences described above might come down to personal preferences rather than objective observations.

All of this is to say: thank you KShaft (and others) for ordering from us.  In comparing us to Legacy Icons, however, I think it would be helpful to understand our history and to do a fair side-by-side comparison.

I wish all of you a blessed Ascension and ask all of your holy prayers that our efforts might be pleasing to Christ our God.

Fr. Jonah Campbell
Owner, Damascene Gallery Icons
Rector, Christ the Savior Church, Wayne, WV
www.damascenegallery.com
www.christthesavior.net

Offline biro

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Re: Damascene Gallery Icons Review?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2015, 06:49:22 PM »
Welcome to the board, Father.
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Offline FrJonah

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Re: Damascene Gallery Icons Review?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2015, 07:21:56 PM »
Welcome to the board, Father.

Thank you, biro! Christos Anesti!

Offline biro

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Re: Damascene Gallery Icons Review?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2015, 07:30:13 PM »
Welcome to the board, Father.

Thank you, biro! Christos Anesti!

Alithos anesti!
He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will have no end.

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Offline IXOYE

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Re: Damascene Gallery Icons Review?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2015, 10:53:40 PM »
Welcome to the forum, Fr. Jonah!