Images in Cloth 16

Every important figure in an icon is named, and thus we needed to write the names onto our quilt.  We decided to do this by embroidering the letters onto the fabric.  I had the honor of doing so, and received a terrifyingly quick lesson in the basic chain stitch.  I brought St. George home and began to work.  It is rather difficult to force a needle and thread through all of the layers of the quilt.  Tonight, with stabbed and aching fingers, I completed my task. 

St. George’s name is written in English and is straightforward enough, but God’s name is traditionally represented by the Greek letters “IC XC”.  These letters are abbreviations for the Greek words for the name Jesus Christ.    As God has shown Himself through His Son, he is depicted in icons only in the Person of Jesus.  Thus His Name in the icon is always “Jesus Christ” and His visible image is that of Jesus.  The only exception to this representation is the icon of the Old Testament Trinity, where God appeared to Abraham and Sarah in the form of 3 angels.  All images of God as an old man with a long white beard are considered heresy by the Orthodox, for no one knows what God looks like, except as He has revealed Himself to us through Scripture.


About reinkat

I am an iconographer, and have been studying Russian/Greek icons since 1995. I'm married with 3 children. I love hiking, camping, animals, my family and church--and icons.
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8 Responses to Images in Cloth 16

  1. Congratulations on getting to the inscription stage! As for your poor fingers, would a thimble help? It’s invaluable when pushing through many layers…

    • reinkat says:

      At one point, that idea came to me, but alas, as a non-sewing person, I had no such device available. I now understand what they are for. Thimbles had been kind of an uninteresting mystery to me, but they are a wondrous invention in certain situations!

  2. SR says:

    What a great and informative post. Thanks so much for writing it, as I said, “I was getting reinkat withdrawal.” You got it straight from Sister’s mouth about the “thimble:>)” Now if I would have been a true friend I would have thought of that myself:>) Never even dawned on me, and I think I am so smart:>) It is always the little things isn’t it???

    Great job and am so anxiously awaiting the picture. Through you, I live the art inside of me, now that I have very little time for it. I will always be thankful to your blogging for that, as sometimes I want to do it again so badly, but it always gets buried underneath all that is going on. May God give to you special graces and blesssings for using your talents to help others. We never know how we are going to touch someone do we? Now you know what you are “getting out of blogging.” Me:>)

  3. reinkat says:

    Thank you, SR.
    I hope you find a way to make time for your art, whatever form it takes. It is the expression of what is in your soul, and it is important to let your spirit speak.

  4. SR says:

    One day I will, but until that time, I have this beautiful blog to come to.

  5. Pingback: The Images of God

    • reinkat says:

      We are in essential agreement. This is a point that has been argued for millenia, and I see no purpose in continuing with it at length here. The iconographer’s argument is this: Since God came to earth in human form as Jesus Christ, he can be depicted only in the form and appearance of Jesus.
      All else is speculation.
      Many representations are symbolic. Such as a lamb to represent Christ. Accuracy of appearance is not a consideration in icons.
      What leads you to prayer and communion with God is good. Many people are visual, and an image helps them to focus and find God. No one should mistake the artistic representation of God for God Himself. That is not what icons are about,. Thanks for your input.

  6. SR says:

    You know the “images of God” are seen with the “heart” and not the “eye.” I see God’s image in everything He created, from the sky to lowest form of insect. I am a very visual person in my heart and soul.

    As far as the “icons” go they do help me to focus, however I do not find God in the “icon” in and of itself, but I find Him through the talent of the hands who produces the “icon.” This is where to me God is, in any form of art work. If anyone thinks God does not love art, then we must ask two questions: Why is the talent there to begin with? Why did the Ark of the Covenant have art work on it, commanded by God to be put there?

    When we look at creation how can one help but see, God is an artist in and of Himself? The sky is blue, the clouds white, green trees, flowers of all different colors, birds the same, etc… All the different shapes in creation. These things are the “artwork of God’s hands” and any artist has the same abiblity only on a much smaller scale. God Bless, SR

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