According to the spirituality of the Eastern Church, the production of an icon is a prayerful activity in which the prayer is intended most especially for the icon's future owner and for those people who are close to the person, in hope that the icon will be a blessing.
The following steps are appropriate themes of meditation during the process of writing an icon:
- Chalk base- life requires a foundation
- Applying the gold- the glory of God
- Dark colors - those who want to live in light cannot avoid periods of darkness
- Light and brightness - the way of humanity is one from darkness into light
- Faces- God and the saints are living persons
- Lettering - the artist's blessing for the picture
Sr. Antje makes the icons according to traditional methods: a piece of cloth is stabalized on a piece of wood with loam. On top of that come 8-10 thin layers of loam and chalk. Next comes the gold; 22 karat leaf gold is used. The paints are made fresh from pigments and egg yolks. The final coat is of Mastix; an oleo resinous paint from Greese.
Because of our monastery's ecumenical contacts, after completing several courses in Germany and Switzerland, Sr. Antje was able to go to a Greek convent for two extended periods in 2002 and to Athens in 2003 where she gained further practical, spiritual and theoretical knowledge and skills that helped her deepen her relationship to the tradition of icon writing. Her adequate training was acknowledged by then Bishop Theban and Levadia Jeronimos.
Through Professor R. Thöle and the Konfessionskundlichen Institut des Evangelischen Bundes, it was possible for her work to be presented to the Romanian Patriarch who attested the quality of her work.