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More Information about the Handicrafts

Antiqued Handicraft of the Holy Transfiguration
Antiqued Handicraft of the Holy Transiguration of Christ, seen hanging outdoors on a wall of the Monastery.

How These Items are Made

The items presented here are made of a very durable polyurethane resin. This resin is not only very strong (tensile strength is over 3,000 psi), but also shatter-proof. For all of the items except for the smaller baptismal crosses, metal powders are mixed into the polyurethane resin, which adds even more strength to the resin and allows it to acquire the positive properties of a metal casting. Please note that any items created by the Monastery before 2006 were not created with this polyurethane resin, but were casted out of a modified gypsum-based plaster. The Monastery has adapted to this new polyurethane resin system because of its improved physical properties over the modified-gypsum that we had been using in the past. The resin is poured into rubber molds handmade by the monks at the Monastery. The castings are then meticulously cleaned and prepared for the various high quality finishes applied. For the leaf finished items, the gold is 23.6 K+ German gold leaf; the silver is 100% pure French silver leaf; the copper is 100% pure German copper leaf. For the smaller baptismal crosses, which cannot be leafed because of their size, the monks use pure gold, silver, and copper powders.

Antiqued Copper Items

The items that are labeled as "Antiqued Copper" are not leafed, but rather the actual face of the craft is made out of copper and bears all of the physical characteristics of copper metal. After the mold has dried, these items are treated with a special chemical which accelerates the oxidization process of the copper. This makes the metal look aged and worn, which is the reason why they are called "antiqued". After they reach a certain level of aging the chemical is polished off, allowing the items to continue the aging process at a regular pace. When these items are newly purchased they bear the resemblance of a used copper penny, but as time goes on they slowly and beautifully shift through different shades of natural browns and greens. After many years these items will rest on a beautiful shade of green, such as can be seen on the top of copper church domes.

Other Information

Please note that every handicraft made by the Monastery has a hanger on the back-side which allows the items to be hung on a wall. If specified, items can be prepared to be placed outdoors, otherwise by default they are created for indoor use. The antiqued copper items alone are automatically capable of being placed either outdoors or indoors without modification, but it should be noted that the oxidization process is much faster when the item is exposed to outdoor weather conditions.