The mosaics workshop was launched 15 years ago, and it has continued to maintain the old traditions of its trade, which have existed for over two millennia. Just like the old masters of the trade, we have fully exploited the properties of smalt, a type of opaque glass made using a specific smelting process adding metal oxides and colouring agents which ensure the durability of and brightness of the colour for many years to come. Smalt comes in widely diverse colours. The small colour gradients in some pieces create the effect of depth, radiance, glistening and dynamism.
The mosaics workshop was established in 2002 with the blessing from Father Andrey Lemeshonok, and presently more than 50 people. Its artisans and workmen have decorated the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral of the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent in the city of Ekaterinburg, and have completed projects at the Zverinetsky monastery of Kyiv, and the Metochion of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Timashevsk, Russia.
One of the workshop’s most prominent works was the interior decoration of the Church of the Spilled Blood in Yekaterinburg, built at the location of the martyrdom of the Russian royal family.
Work on a panel mosaic project typically starts with the design which best suits the interior of a church and the intent of the authors. The design is printed out in full size and divided among the artisans according to their skill and specialization. Some are better at laying out the details of clothing; others specialize in faces and backgrounds. The image is piloted by placing the pieces of the mosaic on cardboard covered with a thin layer of clay. This is an opportunity to preview the final look of the mosaic and make last-minute corrections.
In most cases, the mosaic is transferred to a permanent surface piece by piece, although sometimes pre-fabricated parts of the mosaic are laid out of cemented grids which are later mounted as one piece.
The workshop has an extensive portfolio of projects. Its director, Dmitry Kuntsevich, says: «We are happy to keep ourselves busy, to see that people have a need and interest in our work. The Lord has blessed us to share His beauty with others, to bring comfort and joy to the people. The people like our work, they seek is out and contact us. We find this very encouraging».
Skilled artisans work side by side with the disadvantaged residents of the monastic farmsteads.