St Vincent was a deacon martyred in Valencia under Diocletian in 304AD. St Mary Magdalene Russian Orthodox Church in Madrid was given a relic of this saint and so they commissioned a reliquary to hold it. Aidan designed the reliquary, hand carved the silver for the cloisonné and set the stones. The box was made by Dylan Hartley, and the cloisonné was painstakingly made by Christabel Anderson.
Cloisonné was chosen in the past for prestigious church items, but is rarely made now on account of the laborious and skilful processes involved. Gold or silver wire is first enamelled to a base, and then the islands so formed are filled with coloured enamels and fired. But since each colour has a different firing temperature and must be built up in layers, many firings are required. When the firings are completed, the surface is carefully polished to a flat surface. I am delighted that in Christabel, who as an Orthodox believer involved full-time in the liturgical arts, we finally have a skilled craftsperson who can make cloisonné. Hopefully more commissions will be forthcoming.November 17, 2014