Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I have to wait for my order?
As soon as you have finalized an icon to be painted it is marked in the log book in the order in which it was received. I begin work as soon as it becomes your turn. So, if I have two months of icon orders ahead of yours, I will not begin your icon[s] for two months. After that, time of completion and arrival to you is approximate.
Are the icons original?
All icons are original. If you order an icon of Saint Katherine of Alexandria [for example] it will be started from scratch, and hand painted.This is what makes each icon unique. I do not have a number of them already painted that I can just send you the same day you order. All icons are started in turn at the point of commission.
You sent my order two weeks ago, but I have not received my icon[s]. What can be done?
You can contact me and I will get the tracking number from place of departure and contact you immediately afterwards with the necessary information.
Under what conditions may I return my order?
Under no conditions may an icon be returned other than severe damage. Your damaged icon will then need to be returned for inspection and if the icon can not be repaired I will replace your icon by painting the same one again for you with no extra charge except for shipping and handling, but there is no guarantee of when the icon will be completed. With your phone number and/or email address, I can keep you up to date on its progress.
About how much is sales tax?
The current U.P.S depends on the wait, size and the distance to your town from Chicago Illinois.
How long will the icons last?
All icons are given the same care, regardless of whether the icon[s] are painted on wood for a panel or on canvas for a large wall of a home or church, so lasting ability is indefinite and will last from one generation to the next.
How do you expect to be paid?
I give you two choices. Primarily I request that a customer make and immediate payment of half [50%] the total cost of the order as soon as the order is finalized, and the other half upon reception of the order. Or you may pay me all at once. This is your choice.
How long does my order take once it is shipped?
Once I have your order in the mail it takes approximately 3-5 days, and sometimes but not often, a week for delivery.
What if I want an obscure [little known] Saint painted. Can you do this for me?
If it is at all possible, I try never to say no to a customer. It is good business. Often I have customers who wish an icon such as Saint Conan, or Saint Agathaggelos of the Holy Mountain, or Saint Hermagones the Patriarch of all Russia, Saint Gouflac of Crowland, etc. Research has to be done on little known saints, so depending on the amount of research there might or might not be an extra charge. The more information you can provide the less research is necessary and the possibility of a lesser charge may be possible.
Do icons need to be blessed?
No. Why? Because no where in the tradition of the Orthodox Church, whether by the Ecumenical Councils, Holy Father’s or Canons is there to be found a requirement to bless icons, it would be redundant. They are holy unto themselves simply because of what they are. The Spirit of the Saints live in them and they are a dwelling place for the persons represented. The Ecumenical Councils tell us that the Spirit of the Hioly images become present as soon as the name is written onto the icon. Also, it is important to understand that, only through the Spirit-guided hands of an iconographer can this be so. Iconography is a mystery of the Church, for which reason the iconographer is expected to be a member of the Church and pray and fast.
Who then may paint icons?
Iconography is a “calling”, not a chosen profession. It is a special office of the Church. Not everyone may paint icons. No more than just anyone may be a priest. It is a privilege, not a right. The iconographer has the Grace to do what God has called the iconographer to do. In other words, what brings the icon to life is the Grace of God through the iconographer. The icon then need not be blessed by a priest, it is superfluous. Once the name of the Saint is written on the icon the spirit of the saint enters into it. Therefore, neither does the icon need to be placed on the altar for 40 days. The icon is sanctified by and only through the iconographer.
Lastly, you must ask yourself, if the “icon” is not actually an icon, and does not possess the Grace given to it until it is blessed by a priest, or set upon the alter for 40 days, then what is it before a priest blesses it?