Author Topic: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?  (Read 15500 times)

Offline tintenfuchs

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Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« on: April 27, 2014, 04:11:32 AM »
Hi everyone,

I've been meaning to learn blackletter/Fraktur for a while now but I'm just too overwhelmed by the sheer amount of alphabets out there. So I wanted to ask those of you who are proficient in that one (Linda Y.? Ken Fraser?) if you have any tips on where to start. Websites? Books? Other recommendations? I'd be very grateful.

All the best,
Natascha
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Offline Linda Y.

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2014, 03:50:25 PM »
Hi Natascha,

I'm still very much a student of Blackletter, and I agree, there are so many variations out there! I learned from exemplars given to me by my teacher. We started out with Textura, and then Fraktur, and after that we explored a few different variations. There are some great ones from David Harris' "The Art of Calligraphy" book, I'd be happy to send you a few if you're interested.

Heebs would be able to tell you more, his Blackletter is wonderful!

-Linda
« Last Edit: April 27, 2014, 03:52:24 PM by Linda Y. »

Offline Heebs

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2014, 05:04:34 PM »
Thank you for the kind words Linda  :)

I have never taken a formal class in Blackletter but I became fascinated with Fraktur in particular and so began my obsession with the broad-edge pen   ::)

I don't do much (as in almost none) of the illuminated/illustrated fraktur, however, I love textura. I am a big fan of Luca Barcellona so much of my early exposure was to his contemporary takes on Fraktur and other calligraphy and most of what I have learned has come from looking at work online and breaking down the strokes and methods. Since I havent found a book dedicated to Fraktur, in the same in-depth instructional style as the Copperplate/Spencerian ones, I have looked at general calligraphy books that happen to include Fraktur. One of my favorites is The Art of Calligraphy: A Practical Guide to the Skills and Techniques (Used hardcover for $6-8  ;)). It goes through different alphabets in a stroke by stroke breakdown without becoming mundane. The Art of Calligraphy & Lettering is a similar book which also goes through some basics and has a good number of examples while Color Decoration & Illumination in Calligraphy goes more into the decorative aspect.

One of my favorite books (in general, not just about Fraktur) is Fraktur Mon Amour. It's a beautiful Fraktur specimen book with over 300 font variations that range from traditional to contemporary. Check out a Google Image Search of the book contents, as a designer im a sucker for this stuff so I had to have it. You might enjoy it Linda if you havent seen it already  ;D

I would also consider investing in a Pilot Parallel pen or two, they come in four sizes from 1.5mm-6mm and are great for practicing anywhere as they are cartridge loaded.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2014, 05:30:28 PM by Heebs »

Offline AndyT

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2014, 06:59:07 PM »
The David Harris book Linda mentioned would be my first port of call were I to investigate this fascinating field seriously: the practical guidance is very thorough and clearly presented.

There are also some interesting examples in the free downloads I linked to here.

Offline Linda Y.

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2014, 07:05:01 PM »
Heebs, since you mentioned Pilot Parallel pens...

I have never been able to get a nice sharp entry and exit points with mine. I learned broad pen using the Brause set and I just find the Parallel pens too "inky." Maybe there's a trick to getting the nice and sharp lines? But I haven't been able to & it's so frustrating. :-\ Everytime I practice Blackletter I have to get my easel out and it's so fiddly to wash/clean the nibs and reservoirs. I know, I'm a lazy calligrapher...

Offline Heebs

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2014, 08:25:34 PM »
Heebs, since you mentioned Pilot Parallel pens...

I have never been able to get a nice sharp entry and exit points with mine. I learned broad pen using the Brause set and I just find the Parallel pens too "inky." Maybe there's a trick to getting the nice and sharp lines? But I haven't been able to & it's so frustrating. :-\ Everytime I practice Blackletter I have to get my easel out and it's so fiddly to wash/clean the nibs and reservoirs. I know, I'm a lazy calligrapher...

What size are you using and are you using the pilot parallel cartridges?

Offline Linda Y.

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2014, 08:43:10 PM »
I have a 2.4mm, and yes using a cartridge. Also have a 3.8mm that I haven't opened yet.

Offline Heebs

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2014, 09:58:28 PM »
I have a 2.4mm, and yes using a cartridge. Also have a 3.8mm that I haven't opened yet.

You can try another ink :) Here's a quick test run I did with my set and luckily one of them had a pilot cartridge in it, as you can see there's a reason why the rest dont have pilot cartridges  :o The pilot ink tends to feather (I used HammerMill Color Copy Digital 28lb for this) and is quite wet compared to the other ink's I use. I rarely use the 1.5mm so I've never tested another ink with it.

I buy fountain pen inks and either re-purpose an old cartridge (including the ball bearing) or buy a converter such as the one attached here to my 6.0mm since It's the most used one. The converter makes it easy to reload the pen by simply dipping the nib into the bottle and when the top is twisted, ink gets pulled in :) Mess free and quick unlike refilling the little cartridges.

You can also load them with liquid watercolors and even golden high flow acrylics (both need to be watered down) but just require more maintenance if you do.

Offline tintenfuchs

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2014, 04:53:44 AM »
Thank you so much!

Yes, Linda, I'd really appreciate it if you could send me those. My e-mail-adress is na.safarik(at)gmx.at :)
Natascha
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Offline Estefa

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2014, 07:10:00 AM »
Hi Natascha, das Buch gibt's auch auf deutsch "Die Kunst des Schreibens",

http://www.amazon.de/Die-Kunst-Schreibens-Anleitung-Kalligraphie/dp/3831090769/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398683247&sr=1-2&keywords=kunst+des+schreibens

ist grade runtergesetzt (das Cover sieht anders aus, es ist aber das gleiche Buch, ich hab auch meine ersten Textura-Versuche damit gemacht)!

Sorry about the german, quite busy, it's faster ;)!
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline Linda Y.

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2014, 03:54:50 PM »
AHHHH! Thank you, Heebs! I keep wondering if my Parallel Pen was bad because I see everyone else making beautiful thin lines and mine always looked so clunky. :-[ Now I will do some research! I love the Apache Sunset and Soft Mint ink colors.

Natascha I will email you this evening when I get home :)

Offline Roseann

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2014, 08:07:36 PM »
Hi Linda,
Would it be too much trouble to send the exemplars to me too?  I'd appreciate it. 
Roseann

The world is so full of a number of things, Im sure we should all be as happy as kings.   R. L. Stevenson

Offline Linda Y.

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2014, 08:54:30 PM »
Emailed you both!

Offline Roseann

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2014, 09:40:32 PM »
Thank you Linda!!!
Roseann

The world is so full of a number of things, Im sure we should all be as happy as kings.   R. L. Stevenson

Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2014, 07:52:25 AM »
I buy fountain pen inks and either re-purpose an old cartridge (including the ball bearing) or buy a converter such as the one attached here to my 6.0mm since It's the most used one. The converter makes it easy to reload the pen by simply dipping the nib into the bottle and when the top is twisted, ink gets pulled in :) Mess free and quick unlike refilling the little cartridges.

Really interesting. Can I ask where you got the converter to fit the pen? I have several converters and none of them are the right size to fit the Pilot Parallel.

Ken