the sketch of the whole dome program directly on the plaster back in August of 2004
The dome, as originally built back in 1996, always leaked badly and had to be replaced. It was rebuilt earlier that summer of 2004. We had to supervise the plastering of the new dome, since it would be done with our special plaster for fresco painting. While we were up there with the plasterers, we thought of doing some design work, and Fr. Lawrence and the parish decided that we could have the plasterer's scaffold remain an extra month, so we go to work rather unexpectedly.
For this project, we got into the dome by climbing up an outside scaffolding and across the roof. The reconstruction of the original dome required scaffold inside and out. Here we are hoisting stuff up. That's Fr. Moses up there. The view was great.
Fr. Moses measuring with a big compass
There was a lot more math than we expected. Lots of measuring and proportions. We worked from original small sketches which we transferred onto the ceiling with the use of graphs.
Ladder up the middle.
The Prophet Habakuk
Late night work
We photographed the Sinopia Sketch of the Dome, seeing it for the last time.
Every hour, the scaffold was taking shape though out that day. It was rather exciting.
Geoffry Lake (parishioner of St Seraphim's) was on hand, and was able to lend a great deal of professional advice with regard to the numerous options which came up during the building of the scaffold.
Final sketches
Serge Anderson made us another pile of stacking plywood boxes. We can stack the three sizes to be any size that we need, and they are in constant use. With them, we can fine tune the height of the scaffold floor, and build supporting structures to climb on. This is a big help to my injured shoulder.
Finding ourselves back up in the dome for the first time in many years, after completing the scaffold work, we traced the entire composition, making record of our sketches and texts. This sketch will mostly be lost as we wet and scratch the plaster in preparation for the final plaster layers. It was very difficult to hold tracing paper upside down over our heads. Fr. Moses built these adjustable poles which we could use to wedge against the curved ceiling, and hold pieces of tracing paper in place. We traced the Pantocrator sketch piece by piece for further work and development and to use for the transfer of the sketch onto the fresh plaster.
Here Fr. Moses is tracing the text that surrounds the icon of the Saviour. It is taken from the Book of Psalms, Psalm 101: HE HATH LOOKED OUT FROM HIS HOLY HEIGHT, THE LORD FROM HEAVEN HATH LOOKED UPON THE EARTH, TO HEARE THE GROANING OF THEM THAT BE IN FETTERS.
A new cartoon was put in place for examination and criticism. We used the Sinopia Sketch that we made 9 years ago, but changed several details. The sketch for the face of the Saviour we used is similar, but not identical to the one we have been looking at these several years.
The Sinopia sketch is lost as we wet and scrub the plaster. This allows for better adhesion of the next layer of plaster. Below you see the first section of the fresco outlined. Just the Saviour's face. We thought that to try to paint the hair and halo at the same time would be too much for one painting session.
On Tuesday, the 6th of August, we were ready to start painting. Fr. Moses plasters the 1st section, starting at about 9pm
It was the first of many evening Vigils for Fr. Moses.
9 PM
Tracing put in place
And scratched into the plaster.
First colors laid down, 10:30 AM
12:30 PM
Lines and details. 11 PM.
11 AM the next morning
8 PM the next day