Nearly Finished!

Dear Friends, did you ever wonder, why exactly 24? Why we only have 24 hours in one day/night session?

Icons for iconostasis of church of saint Panthaleone in Saint Petersburg
Icons for iconostasis of church of saint Panthaleone in Saint Petersburg

There are so many things to do and so little time! We often discuss, that the more we live, the more we see ways for applying the creativity, but where to get enough time for everything!

Well, the experience says: serious things take time. And now we both are stack in big projects, eagerly awaiting to finish and share the results with you… And yet there are some more efforts to make, – some more days and hours in the studio

In addition to being stack in the art, we also have some “digital stress”: – Google keeps saying we need to remodel our website and make it more accessible.

Printing on Fabric. Epitaphios for Orthodox church of Mary Magdalene in NYC
Printing on Fabric. Epitaphios for Orthodox church of Mary Magdalene in NYC

Yes, we agree that it’s very high time, to make it mobile-friendly, and we also want to change the gallery so it allows seeing images in larger sizes. It’s a long process as well, but within some months we do hope to launch the new design,  – we will keep you posted!


Well, complaining about the time we absolutely must mention, how deeply we both are grateful for all the help we receive from you! We just constantly feel kindness and friendship, radiating from you and other people around us. With your help we continue making our efforts and researches in our own work and teaching others.

As some of you may have noticed from our Instagram photos, it’s almost a year now that Olga is in the process of creating a liturgical Epitaphios. It’s a traditional liturgical object, usually made of embroidered and often richly adorned cloth.

Epitaphios. Work in progress.
Epitaphios. Work in progress.

For a number of years now Olga from time to time helps to design and craft liturgical vestments in our parish embroidery studio. At a certain point, she got inspired to do something on her own, introducing contemporary technologies into this very special world.  Instead of golden threads and embroidery, used for centuries, Olga uses pochoir and other techniques to achieve the necessary level of complexity and richness of the image with artistic means. This photograph shows one of the moments of the working process, there is also a slow-motion video, but if you like to see the action, have a look at a time-lapse video, – it squeezes some working hours into one minute.

Manuscript from Library of Vatican
Manuscript from Library of Vatican

We hope that in August the whole thing will finally come together and will finally reveal everything.


In the meantime, I wanted to share some other news and resources from our friends. First, – Todor Mitrovic gave us a couple of wonderful manuscripts. One was  published by the Vatican Library and the other one by  the British Library.


And at the bottom of the page here is some space to get little more grounded. As always we are gladly sharing our friend’s and our own practical information.

First: Our dear friend Margaret Broadbent and her Russian connection Natalia Pecherskaja invite everybody to join their “Pilgrimage of Peace” for August 3-15 August, 2020.

Visions of Beauty
Visions of Beauty

The 13-day program in MOSCOW – TVER – GREAT NOVGOROD – St. PETERSBURG and all the events are organized by the Centre for Science, Religion & Philosophy Programs (SRPh) St. Petersburg, Russia together with the Gippsland Travel, Warragul, Victoria, Australia, The Program will be in English.

in this Russian Summer Program – please contact Russian program co-ordinator: Dr. Natalia Pecherskaya: or Australian co-ordinator Sr. Margaret Broadbent margaret.broadbent@ , if you are interested.

And at the very end, I wanted to mention, that our workshops in Italy, the USA and Australia for 2019-2020 are filling up. From our side we continue discussing and preparing several new lectures on theology and practical moments, and if you ever thought of signing up for something it might be the time (maybe not?).

We used to make flyers with some brief information and ask our friends to share the printed versions, but we do not know, whether they work or they do not. Maybe yet they do, even though the whole world is digitized, we still trust more to a paper page, instead of a screen? Maybe we should think of both since there are more and more people now relying on internet?

Here it is: to show what our workshops process looks like we put together a little video footage on youtube, hope it gives an idea:

Thank you again for supporting us and for letters with questions, – they always inspire us to study and discover something new.

As one of our Russian iconographers-friends (Andrei Bodko) said, –

Nowadays, with all the light-fast means of spreading the information, we all teach each other, do we want it or not. All together we are a “soup” for each other… We all are a broth or a “bouillon” of knowledge, ideas, thoughts, and other things, enriching each other.

And if we already stay connected, I suggest we pray for a “Worldwide Community of Iconographers”, asking God’s help to be good enough to inspire our neighbors!


To be continued…

Philip (and Olga)




08 November 2018

Dear Friends,

Life is a great gift and every single day has a bunch of new opportunities, – tempting and waiting for us to explore them. Olga and I – each of us was carried away in a new direction. Olga continues her researches with fabrics (photos below) and I am inspired to combine classic ancient technique of mosaic with tumbled glass.

Mosaic image
Mosaic image by Philip Davydov

The image on the right is about 24 inches high and it was the first anthropomorphous mosaic piece. This was a totally new experience of combining traditional technique of little tesserae with larger irregular pieces of tumbled glass, but I feel that it helps to enhance the power of the image. This work itself brought me a bunch of discoveries about art principles in general. and it did not come out exactly what I expected, but it taught me a lot of new skills and drills.

The process itself – dealing with pure colors, textures, and rhythm is incredibly inspiring and we hope to continue sharing it at our website and a designated Mosaic Instagram account. The research is continued and there I am sure that the next one will be better.

A pair of khorugvi by Olga Shalamova
A pair of khorugvi by Olga Shalamova

Now it is 10 years since Olga started volunteering at our parish embroidery studio. She was invited to make drawings and to set up the integrity of the vestments, choosing appropriate fabrics, threads, stitches, and other details. After drawing, projecting and planning several vestments Olga decided to make some herself, applying a wide range of printing techniques on traditional hand-made fabric. The image on the right is a pair of orthodox banners (Khorugvi) with the central part made by Olga and frame with hanging parts produced by Yaroslav Starodubtsev’s team.

Inspired by immense possibilities Olga continues to work on other projects, similar and larger. If you wish to keep an eye on the process, it may be a reason to subscribe – the photos are posted as the work goes on.

P.S. If you feel your church or home might need a liturgical image on fabric or a mosaic, commissions are accepted with a great pleasure 😉

Advanced Icon WorkshopIcon
Advanced Icon Workshop

In August – September we have had 4 workshops: 1 in Italy and 3 the US. It’s been a challenge to set up so many different programs and to make so many trips, – but (glory to Our Lord!), all went well.

Now it’s time to choose new models for the new workshops for the next year. It’s very likely that we are going to have some iconography workshops in different locations and a new thing -a true fresco workshop in Wesley Seminary in June 2019. Planning is a hard and a long work, but we promise, – as soon as we have any news we will share them.

In the meantime, 2 of the 3 of our announced workshops in Melbourne (Australia) are full, and there are only a few spots left for the last one, which is dedicated to assist gilding.

Kremer Pigments NY
Kremer Pigments NY

As promised, I visited the Kremer store in NYC and finally publish a color chart, – scanned from my own album of charts. I hope to publish more next time and make a kind of a palette eventually, but now I only share our favorite colors, – the most complex and rich. Yes, these are the colors we used and mentioned at all of our workshops earlier this year.   These pigments for us are the most interesting now because they contain shades of different colors and therefore wonderfully “complete” other possible colors used in the image.


In CAPITAL letters I wrote the number (if any) and the name of the brand, and below – “commercial names” of the pigments.
I checked the names with online catalogs of KREMER ,    KREIDEZEIT and ZECCHI, and I was really happy to discover both Verdaccios – it’s on the list again!

It’s been a while we promised to publish a Bibliography for iconographers. It was still January when we received two lists from two very dedicated iconographers, who’s names I should probably not list for the reason of privacy. Since that time I always wanted to take my time to review and make a long list myself, but – yet did not make it. Well, let’s make it a “collective mind” project, – like the “Manual“, which is made together as well.

Therefore I hope, that this current version of Bibliography (available at ) can be taken as a little base for an extensive development.
We invite you and all our subscribers to share with us the titles of your most favorite books so we add them and share with everybody. Please consider, that these should be most decent and serious studies, as well as uncomplicated and well reasoned original books. They should help people to enter the world of Christian iconography and to see right benchmarks and values right from their very first steps.
We also plan this to be a hub for professionals to share and obtain information about the best texts, helping to understand their work in a deeper way.

Harley Golden Gospels
Harley Golden Gospels

As you probably know, I love sharing resources. This time it’s a IX century English manuscript, known as “Harley Golden Gospels”, digitized in British Library. Click the link: , click the “empty page” and use little arrows on the top right to navigate. Hope you find something for inspiration!

Wishing everybody lots of creative energy and time for it!,

With warmest regards,
Philip (and Olga)