Ivaan Kotulsky left the planet on 6 December 2008, but so much of him remains here on earth - his art, his humour, his photographs, his huge personality, his generous heart, his optimistic spirit, his boundless love, together with our memories of him - that this blog is a virtual Museum of Ivaan.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
THE CHALICE CHALLENGE
Recently, Ivaan's favourite priest from St. Volodymyr Cathedral brought me some liturgical vessels that had been used in church services for many years and were in need of maintenance. Except for the chalices, I did not even know the names of the various pieces or precisely what the items were used for. Father S. asked me if I could get an estimate on the cost of having them re-goldplated and, in some cases, repaired. One of them, he told me, was actually an Ivaan creation.
I actually did not even recognize that it was made by Ivaan, because it was incredibly ornate.
The cup part was dented and I was pretty sure I could remove the dent if I could figure out how to separate the cup from the base. That's when I realized that the base was an original creation by Ivaan in 1973, and he had built the very heavy base over an existing chalice, connecting the base to the cup by a wooden piece that had likely been part of a lamp.
Once I realized that this was an early Ivaan piece, I knew it could never be sent out to someone who repairs and replates liturgical vessels. I would have to do it myself. I might add that in the Ukrainian Orthodox religion, women are not permitted to handle these items. I think it is safe to assume that Father S. decommissioned them before handing them over to me.
It will be a multi-step process but a total labour of love to restore the Ivaan chalice to its former byzantine glory, including re-goldplating the cup, replacing all of the stones on the base with new ones, and perhaps replacing the wooden connecting piece with something more eyepopping. My goal is to finish it in time for the seventh anniversary of Ivaan's death, December 6th, which happens to fall on a Sunday, in the hope that it can be used in the Cathedral for that church service.
That is my mission (should I choose to accept it). Mission accepted. Stand by for the big reveal.