Over the span of three weeks, from the beginning of the construction of a 42-foot high scaffold to the blessing of the new icon, the new icon of the Pantocrator was installed in the dome of St. Paul's Church in Las Vegas. The work of master iconographer Vladimir Krassovsky of San Francisco, the icon was 27 feet in diameter. It is the largest icon ever done by Vladimir. He began work on it many months ago. The first parts to be completed were the cherubim and seraphim - done on canvas and shipped in eight different containers to the parish. Those were eventually trimmed away from the rest of the canvas then pasted directly onto the ceiling of the dome.
The Pantocrator itself was shipped in three different pieces. The center of the dome was located by laser to ensure accuracy and the dome divided into eight "pieces". The face of the icon was placed in the center and then using the measurements, everything else was constructed around it. The lettering was stenciled then painted right onto the ceiling and the halo filled with silver leaf (a VERY tedious process!) then sealed with amber shellac, giving it the golden glow.
After everything was in place, the lettering done and the leaf shallaced, the whole project was then sealed with a clear varnish to preserve the work into future generations. Before the scaffolding was deconstructed, Father John Dresko, the rector of St. Paul's, climbed up all 42 feet, vestments and all, and blessed the magnificent work done. Those who enter the church in Las Vegas now have their eyes lifted towards heaven and the inspiration of this icon will continue for our children and grandchildren. This project was completed in time for the 25th Anniversary celebration of the founding of the parish, which will take place in May. We pray that all who gaze upon this work are inspired to glorify God!