Immanuel Icons

an orthodox christian iconography studio
in pittsburgh, pennsylvania

Egg tempera and gold leaf on wood
example of a solid gold background and concave center ("ark").
Example of a 5X7 GLASS icon.
small icon of a patron saint commissioned for a baby on the day of her baptism. Ideally, the icon is at the altar during the baptism or wedding on which it is presented.
This handmaiden of God is venerating her glass icon.
This family icon was commissioned for a couple getting married. The patron saints of each are inclined towards a central image of the Theotokos (Mary) enthroned.
Commissioning a Traditional Byzantine Icon

Scroll down for information about commissioning a GLASS icon.

One cannot enter the deeper meaning of iconography without immersing oneself in their spiritual meaning in the liturgical context of the Church.  As Frederica Mathews-Green writes of icons, "They are companions in prayer and won't make sense outside the context of a surrendered and seeking life" (The Open Door:  Entering the Sanctuary of Icons and Prayer, p. 23).  As a result, icons are more accurately called windows or signposts to God, or even "theology in color."

This is one of the reasons iconographers refer to "writing" rather than painting icons (though either term is correct).  Writing an icon is a spiritual process akin to participating in liturgy, and to commission an icon is to consent to and even participate in this process.  The financial portion of the agreement, usually ranging from $100 to $1000 for a portable icon, covers only the materials and makes a small contribution towards the iconographer's expenses.

If you would like to commission an icon, I am honored to discuss this with you!  Typically I ask for 50% down after I have my instructions and before I begin.  You may pay the remaining 50% upon completion of the icon.   I can show you my drawing before I begin to build the board and paint the icon if there are any remaining issues to discuss relating to the inscription or other details.

If you don't have a specific icon in mind or if you need an icon soon, you may look at what is available for immediate purchase in the Gallery.  If you value a hand-painted icon but don't have the budget for one right now, scroll down to read about GLASS ICONS, which are less expensive. 

The price of traditional byzantine icons (egg tempera and gold leaf on wood) is based on size as follows :

c. 24 square inches (e.g. 4"X6") = $220

c. 32 square inches (e.g. 4.75" X 6.75") = $315

c. 80 square inches (e.g. 8"X10", 4"X20") = $350

c. 224 square inches = (e.g. 13.5" x 16.5") = $500

c. 440 suare inches = $650 

c. 728 square inches = $800

c. 1088 square inches = $950

These prices are based on a simple bust figure on a flat painted (not gilded) board;  Added elements (gold background, gold on the clothing, or raised borders) and scenes of greater complexity entail more time and therefore a higher price.  

Please contact me if you would like to explore an idea!

Mrs. Randi Sider-Rose


Commissioning a Glass Icon

These icons are painted in a folk tradition which, by definition, take less time and therefore I can offer them for less.  See the example to the left and the  glass icon Gallery

Any icon that can be commissioned in wood can be commissioned in glass, but/and they will have the vividness and immediacy of folk art, while still being icons in the aid of prayer.  The  sizes are not custom, they are exactly as listed, and the drawings are not worked over--this is part of what makes them a folk tradition!  The price, of course, does not affect whether or not an icon can be a gateway to heaven, by God's grace!  These are still icons and therefore liturgical objects which should be blessed. 

(size indicates image, not including frame, which is black or white)

4" X 6" = $55 ($5.50 shipping, if not picked up)

5" X 7" = $75 ($7.50 shipping)

7 3/4" X 9 3/4" = $95 ($10 shipping)

11 3/4" X 15 3/4" = $150  ($12.50 shipping)

19 3/4 X 19 3/4" = $175  ($18 shipping)

As with traditional icons, the complexity adds $20-70 to the price.  Real gold leaf instead of gold craft paper, if you choose it, also adds to the cost.

If you wish to contact me to commission an icon, I am at:

Mrs. Randi Sider-Rose