The southern part of the Metochion complex houses the Workshops: The Icon painting workshop, the drawing workshop; the needlework shop; the vestment tailoring workshop; the loom room; the woodwork shop and mosaic workshop, all of which continue the century-old tradition of manufacturing church art artefacts. This is where tradition meets scientific knowledge of the past – knowledge that cherishes the wealth of yesteryear and uses it without compromising the special features of this art to build an equally worthy future.
The wide range of works produced is based on Byzantine ecclesiastical art, which borrows elements from folk art and transubstantiates them, as faith complements craftsmanship and prayer sheds light to invisible aspects of the divine. This experiential approach to tradition, sound techniques and creative inspiration, fermented in spirit and light, are transformed into materials for the depiction of immaterial beauty.
What is original, something that has always been the basic element and starting point for artistic creation in Byzantine and post-Byzantine times, is transformed and acquires a new identity, leading to an aesthetic result beyond aesthetics, infiltrating the realm of true spiritual creation.
Leading a monastic life means paying utmost attention to infinitesimal details of one’s works. Nothing is rushed, since time is not a criterion or prerequisite condition for creation; on the contrary, in the artist’s hand time becomes a pliable means extending into eternity. Such a transcendental view of art, liberated from anything superficial and ephemeral, a stitch, a brush stroke, a thread, the warp, all become raw materials to promote a new creation made with human hands to a work of angelic ministry.
The sobriety, seriousness and praying transpiring the creative atmosphere of these ministerial works lead to having true works of art preserved at monasteries and convents. These are works made in the ‘now’ of daily life that expect and look to the ‘forever’ of eternity.