Scriptural references for Ophir can be found here. One passage that I particularly like is this one: "Daughters of kings are among your honored women; at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir" with translations varying. You get an idea of the pageantry and elegance of a royal wedding where the very best is on display. According to church fathers the church is Christ's bride. Yet another interpretation by St Amadeus of Lausanne and many others proclaim that this bride in gold of Ophir refers to Mary, Mother of God: "Therefore, when the Virgin of virgins was led forth by God and her Son, the King of kings, amid the company of exulting angels and rejoicing archangels, with the heavens ringing with praise, the prophecy of the psalmist was fulfilled, in which he said to the Lord: At your right hand stands the queen, clothed in gold of Ophir". In some depictions the Blessed Virgin Mary is robed in gold or brilliant yellow and this is the reason and reference for it.
Further, in iconography, gold symbolizes the very best that we can offer to God and real gold (the form is not specified) was one of the three gifts offered by the magi to the Christ Child. It is a royal color and you will find it integrated into icons through the use of paints or gold leafing. Gold paint as in the project below fills the background and traditionally suggests an otherworldly, heavenly dimension.
The uncreated light of God, a light that exists without shadow, is often symbolized through gold application. The reflective brilliancy of real gold is unprecedented and for that reason it is often selected over paint but not always. Typically I like to adhere gold leaf to halos while other areas, like the background and embellishments, are optional and depend upon the individual piece, where it will be located and client preferences. In another video, I mixed metallic pigment powders to complete an elegant, gold background:
Genuine gold leaf is sold in sheets while shell gold (assist) is typically sold in small nuggets and then activated with water. I prefer to make my own shell gold as it looks brighter and purer than anything that I have purchased through a gilding supplier.
My shell gold pot needs replenishing and I will be using a standard recipe as described below:
"...whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." St Paul
Jesus Icon workshop
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by Christine Jentz