Costs and Commissioning
Prices range from £500 for a simple Face of Christ, to several thousands of pounds for complex and large works. For the budget conscious we can adjust a design to be more simple to cut down costs, while for those wishing for work of the highest excellence we can provide detailed and complex works using precious materials and complex processes.
20% of the price goes to the Icon Centre, and 80% to the iconographers, who also have to pay for the materials used as well as supply their time and talents. (Packing and delivery, where necessary, are additional).
Our prices are set based around the costs of living, on the principle that a worker deserves his wages and should be able to support his family from what he earns.
- An icon order is definitively placed with us in writing and we give an estimate as to when it will be completed. (Currently running at 18 months after the order is placed).
- An iconographer is assigned to the project.
- A correspondence with the commissioner is undertaken to confirm what he/she is looking for in detail, including the subject, size and price.
- No deposit is taken, but the client will be asked to confirm they wish to continue once it is time to begin the design and it is presumed that this is a binding contract that will be honoured promptly and in full once the commission is completed. We have never been let down yet, thank God!
- In due course the iconographer researches the subject of the icon, eg. Christ in Glory, and its context, e.g. the church in which it is to be housed, in the light of the prior discussions with the client.
- A preliminary sketch is made, discussed with the icon painting team, and with the client. If the client wants to make some small changes that is included in the price, but if the client has complex ideas, wants a radical change or remains unsure as to what he/she wants, then an extra fee will be negotiated before things proceed further.
- Once all are agreed with the design a final drawing is produced and then the board is made. This may be of high quality plywood or, if preferred and suitable, of an appropriate wood. The board is prepared with a fine gesso, of between 12 and 15 layers, and polished.
- The design is transferred and if water gilding ( a highly skilled and demanding process of applying gold leaf) is to be used this will be done at this stage. This will include embossing of designs on the haloes and other decorative touches.
- Only then does the painting process commence. In our workshop we use egg tempera exclusively. This is one of the most demanding paint mediums and thousands of years old, but it produces a unique, delicate, defused interior light which is characteristic of the most noted icons.
- Egg tempera needs between 6-12 months before any varnish can be safely applied. We can apply a varnish if the client wishes before dispatch, but then delivery would be delayed or it can be done immediately but at the clients own risk. Alternatively the icon can be returned to us, or if in a country which is accessible to one of us, varnished on site. Alternatively we can advise on a suitable varnish and its application.
PLEASE NOTE: Icons are despatched by reputable international courier, and if the client wishes can be insured for transit. Alternatively clients may collect their icons in person. All taxes due are the responsibility of the client.
This gives a rough outline of what is involved in the making of an icon in our workshop, and the reason our prices are set as they are.
We hope gives you confidence in the quality of the work that we offer. All our clients are held before Christ and the saints in our prayers as the commission is undertaken, as we hope we are in the prayers of our clients too.
If you would like to begin and enquiry about commissioning an icon from us please click here.
For examples of our work please see our Gallery section.