Our Lady of the Pashion

About iconspirit

Karen Blampied

Artist in Residence





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iconspirit studios


"Iconspirit Studios is in the heart of the St Lawrence countryside. The studio is found within my little cottage, so please phone before visiting, so I can put the kettle on. The main focus of my work is iconography.
An icon is a very special piece of art within the Christian tradition. Each icon is prayerfully hand crafted using traditional techniques. Since the icon is a focus of prayer both at home and in the church, it is a unique spiritual gift for special people, special places and special occasions. At Iconspirit Studios the whole process of writing icons is a theological journey from the bare wood of the Crucifixion to the luminous colours of the Resurrection.
On rare occasions I do produce and sell other pieces of my art work. This year I have managed to complete a few of these so do visit my studio. I am also working on a few major projects and an exciting exhibition for 2017."


Karen's work including prints and cards is also on display and for sale  at the Harbour Gallery at St Aubin, Jersey.gallery.


The Harbour Gallery, founded by the "Art in the Frame Foundation" is both an exhibiting and working gallery.  The gallery is excellently planned and situated in the historic "bulwarks" area of St. Aubin. An old warehouse has been tastefully converted into three floors of arts and crafts and includes a  cafe/restaurant.


To read about the writing of the icon please scroll down 

Harbour Gallery

Karen in studio
Harbour Gallery al fresco  Prints



The board


First the wood has to be chosen and worked, to determine which icon should be written on it.


A tree has to be chopped down to obtain the wood for the board, a hollow area is carved out from the centre of the board, this is the sacred place where the word of ‘scripture’  is written in paint.









The strips of cloth


These indicate the shroud in which the body of the Lord was wrapped. The cloth is steeped in size and laid down in strips. The size is made from rabbit skin glue and water , the death of the animal is a necessary sacrifice for the icon to be given life.  Water is seen in terms of the  cleansing qualities of baptism.


The gesso – The ‘levkas’ is made from mixing the size with a whiting mixture which symbolises the ‘seals of the tomb’. It forms a white stone like material, which represents the new stone on which the new icon will be written.






Strips of Cloth




Gold leaf is applied to the icon, it symbolises the presence of God, like gold it does not tarnish, does not decay, cannot be destroyed















The paint


Egg tempera is the binding medium used for the pigments. The yolk of an egg , which has the potential for life, is mixed with water and vinegar a reminder of the crucifixion. This egg and pigment mixture petrifies and becomes everlasting. The pigments have a death to life quality and are wherever possible, naturally occurring, either washed or baked clays, powdered stone and decayed metals.




The whole process of writing an icon is a theological journey, from the bare board of the crucifixion to the luminous colours of the resurrection