The term “repousse” refers to pushing silver/pewter into flat sheets of metal to form shapes and volume. Then engraving and tooling is worked on from both sides to create designs used to “cover” the precious icon image. The technique had developed by the 8th century. By the 16th century, it had reached its glory in Russia, incorporating gold, jewels, pearly inlay and filigree.
After Mary Anne Miller finishes the icon painting and lays out the design for embellishments, Valentín Gómez, Miller’s husband begins his work. He tools the pewter sheets following the patterns drawn on the metal with a stylus. He sets precious stones, patinas and polishes each design. Then they are cut to fit the icons already painted.
Blending the techniques of 23k gold applications, pewter embellishments and fine egg tempera technique, all the icons are archival and worthy of being in museums or private collections for centuries.