Cheryl Tefft - Blackletter Basics - Feb 15 through Mar 15

For more information, contact Cheryl Tefft:
John Neal Books is not hosting this class.

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Blackletter Basics class
Taught by Cheryl Tefft

February 15 through March 15, 2022

Would you like to learn to write in the classic blackletter style, popularly known as Old English? This class will show you how.

The blackletter family of letterforms, a group of bold, classic Germanic lettering styles (Old English and Fraktur are two of its variations), was developed when page space was at a premium, and it is sometimes called the "picket fence" style. It has long been a favorite for text on diplomas, and is now experiencing fresh popularity as a featured style for tattoos and graffiti.

This style features simple, fairly straightforward lower case letters, combined with showy capitals. It is one of the simpler styles to learn in its basic form (which is what this class will be covering), with the potential for interesting and highly dramatic variations as you become more comfortable with it.

PREREQUISITE: Beginning Calligraphy I (uncial), from this instructor, or any other broad-edge calligraphy course (or the equivalent in independent study).

WHEN: This class includes FIVE weekly lessons, on Tuesdays, February 15 through March 15, 2022, from 6:30-8:30 pm Central Time (7:30-9:30 Eastern Time).

FORMAT/RECORDINGS: This is a live small-group class with individual feedback, held online with recordings available afterward for all students enrolled.

FEE: $185 (US$)



  • Pencil, preferably mechanical, lead size approximately 0.5 mm (PL21)
  • Favorite materials for taking notes
  • White eraser of your choice; Pentel Clic suggested (E06) (E22)
  • Pad of Marker Layout paper (P32) or Layout Bond paper (P09-50), 8½" x 11" or larger, or similar non-bleeding translucent paper suitable for tracing
  • 18" metal ruler with cork backing (S271)
  • Protractor (S632)
  • Pilot Parallel Pen, 3.8 mm size (green cap) (FP67)
  • Ink cartridges for Parallel Pen (FP70 or FP69), at least 6 cartridges, assorted colors, or other suitable inks/colors of your choice which will show up on white paper
  • 11"×17" grid pad, for practice, non-bleeding, 8 squares/inch, at least 50 sheets; John Neal grid pad recommended (P21)
  • One or two LARGE sheets of Arches Hot Press watercolor paper (90# or 140#; full sheets may be cut into quarters for shipping) (PS42 or PS47), OR similar smooth, non-bleeding watercolor paper of your choice

Optional items:

  • (Optional but highly recommended) Light pad (or light box) (S939 or S1013)
  • (Optional but highly recommended) Standard notebook with lined pages or a grid
  • (Optional but highly recommended) Binder (3-ring or similar) for handouts/other papers
  • (Optional but highly recommended) Sheet protectors (for handouts, especially those you want to refer to frequently)
  • A set of your favorite broad-edge dip pen nibs (with suitable straight holders), if you are already comfortable using them (we will mostly be using the larger sizes) (such as N04-S10A and H113)
  • Inks suitable for dip pens (if you plan to use them), such as gouache (such as WNWG1), walnut ink (S449), or stick ink (such as IS11, IS29, or IS04) and ink stone (IS19)
  • Smooth, non-bleeding blank paper suitable for practice and printing guidelines on; approximately letter-size or larger, such as Rhodia brand paper (their No. 18 pad is the right size and type [P53])
  • Sample paper pack (PA101)
  • 2.4 mm Parallel Pen (FP67)
  • Anything else you normally use in your calligraphy practice