Our shop produces some of the finest icon boards in the United States. They are hand-made to order by experienced craftsmen. The skills necessary for producing the best icon boards include carpentry and plaster work, but additionally years of experience to handle the multitude of complications that can arise over the course of making an icon board.
North American Linden Wood
We put tremendous care into our true gesso boards even before the first coat of gesso is applied. Northern linden- preferred for it's tight grain, light weight, and stability is cut and sawn into rough planks. After the lumber is kiln-dried, we edge glue boards to the necessary width and finish them at their final thickness. We select as purely vertical grain boards as possible- adding even a higher level of stability.
Vertical Grain Braces
As an extra preventative against warping, we insert vertical grain red oak braces into dovetailed slots in the backs of the boards. Due to their vertical grain, the braces are more stable and will not shrink in width as much as if they are flat-sawn.
True Gesso Finish
Customers comment on the beautiful, smooth surface of our gesso. To begin the process of applying gesso, we seal the board with shellac. Next, we apply a pure linen cloth by soaking it in the rabbit hide glue and smoothing it over the surface of the board. Once the cloth is dried crisp over the board, we trim off the edges and begin the application of many coats of true gesso: a mixture of rabbit hide glue, chalk, and marble, suitable for egg tempera, oil, acrylic, encaustic, and more.
True Gesso Boards Hand-made with Care
The process of finishing the board at this point requires us to give much time and attention to detail. We've made the process our own and employ several techniques that are difficult to master, but give brilliant results. The finished white surface is porcelain-smooth. The back is finished with shellac to seal the wood. If you are looking for the finest true gesso boards available, then look no further.