Cheryl Tefft - Fabulous Fraktur - Apr/May; May/June

For more information, contact Cheryl Tefft: or 636-441-7225
(Registration links below)
John Neal Books is not hosting this class.

Fabulous Fraktur
with Cheryl Tefft
Two sessions: April 26 through May 31, 2022 OR May 5 through June 9, 2022

Are you interested in learning to write in the Fraktur calligraphy style—a fun yet elegant variation of blackletter?

The Fraktur lettering style is like blackletter with its party clothes on! It's got the boldness of traditional blackletter, with more swing and flair. If you have previously studied blackletter, you'll find that this style will take what you have learned and expand it in a variety of new and interesting directions. Fraktur is comparable to Gothicized Italic (or pointed Italic).

In this class we will not only study the letterforms of this style, but will also work on turning the pen within a stroke to refine the letterforms (rolling the pen and pen manipulation), which are helpful techniques for enhancing any broad-edge lettering style.

Prerequisite: This is an intermediate-level class. Students will have the best preparation for success in this class if they have sufficient previous calligraphy studies to be comfortable working with broad-edge calligraphy pens, preferably including broad-edge dip pens, as the flexibility of the dip pen will be an advantage in the techniques being studied. Previous studies of blackletter styles are helpful but not required.

Class will be offered at your choice of two different times:

Session 1: Tuesdays, April 26-May 31, 2022, 6:30-8:30 pm Central Daylight Time (7:30-9:30 Eastern Daylight Time) (5 lessons; NO class on May 17)--Session 1 link for info/registration:

Session 2: Thursdays, May 5-June 9, 2022, noon to 2 pm Central Daylight Time (1 pm to 3 pm Eastern Daylight Time) (5 lessons; NO class on May 19)--Session 2 link for info/registration:

Class will be presented live, with recordings available to all enrolled students for an extended time afterward.

Cost: $185 (US$)

Supply list:

Basic items

  • Ruler, 18” long (S271)
  • Optional: 2 Small plastic or glass dropper bottles (S897-1/2) (S897-2) (S1017)—get two of these bottles (one for distilled water, one for gum arabic)
  • Distilled water
  • Protractor (S632)
  • Paper towels
  • Toothbrush, for cleaning nibs and other supplies
  • Painter's tape or artist’s tape (S412 or S931) (½” width suggested, though ¾” is okay too)
  • Note-taking materials of your choice
  • Optional: 3-ring binder with page protectors, mostly for standard 8 ½ x 11” handouts

Writing tools

  • Pencil, preferably mechanical (PL21)
  • Eraser, such as Pentel Clic (E06), or eraser of your choice
  • Mitchell/Rexel roundhand square (right hand) nibs, 10-nib set, with or without reservoirs (N04 or N04-S10A or N04-S10B); OR your favorite alternative brand of broad-edge dip pen nibs (in the larger sizes especially; we will mostly be working with the Mitchell size 0 or comparable size tools such as the 3.8 mm Parallel Pen) [Note for lefties: You may wish to substitute the same set, cut for left-handers (N05 or N05-S10A), though some lefties prefer the right-hand nibs, which are actually cut straight across]
  • Straight penholders of your choice; only one is required, though having at least 2 total is recommended. (H104, H111, H113, H138, H78, H79, or H81)
  • Optional but recommended: Parallel Pen, in the 3.8 mm size (FP67) and possibly also the 2.4 mm size
  • Optional: Pigma Micron fine-point marker (black ink), size 005 or 01 (M17)

Inks/Writing fluids/other fluids

Use whatever writing fluids work well for you on white paper in the pens you are using. Some favorite options (you don’t need to get all of these; just get/use what you like):

  • Winsor Newton gouache (WNG1, WNG2, or WNG3), in color(s) of your choice, or use a different brand of gouache if you prefer
  • Walnut ink (crystals recommended over bottled form) (S449 or S450)
  • Bister inks (I157 or I157-S4 or I157-S or K132): similar to walnut ink, but with more color options
  • Stick ink (with ink stone): my top two recommendations for black ink sticks would probably be Eiraku Ink Stick or Chinese Ink Stick - Dense Black, then Skakyozumi Ink Stick 02409 or Seiryutai Ink Stick 30213 (IS11). Other recommendations: Mujokokuhin Ink Stick (IS05) and Chinese Ink Stick #101 (IS38). (NOTE: If you get an ink stick, you MUST also obtain an ink stone in order to use! (IS19))
  • Pelikan 4001 ink, your choice of colors (I04)
  • Parallel Pen cartridges if using the Parallel Pen (FP69 or FP70)
  • Optional: FineTec (also called Coliro) watercolors (S1000); Get a pan of the Arabic Gold color (for lettering in gold), plus (optional) any other colors you want, especially if you want to work on dark paper. I also recommend that if you aren’t buying a pre-selected set of FineTec colors, get a storage box to hold the paint pans you have selected (S999)
  • If using dip pens, you will also need: Gum arabic; get the liquid kind (I84)


  • Non-bleeding grid paper for practice, approximately 8-1/2 x 11” or larger, such as Rhodia grid pad (P55 or P56) or John Neal Books grid pad (P21 or P22)), AND/OR non-bleeding blank paper for reproducing guidelines for practice (such as a blank Rhodia pad (P53)); grid paper will probably be the most helpful if you need to choose one or the other
  • Watercolor paper for projects, one or two large sheets recommended (pads of it are okay for smaller projects)--white or off-white, something very smooth (but not slick) and non-bleeding, such as Arches Hot Press, any weight (PS42 or PS47, and/or PA42), or Stonehenge Hot Press (PS110 and/or PA110)--OR whatever type of paper you prefer for calligraphy projects (the large sheets can be cut into quarters); be sure to get Hot Press rather than Cold Press if the paper comes in both varieties.
  • Optional: Black watercolor paper, smooth and non-bleeding, such as Strathmore ArtAgain (P58), or John Neal Books Deluxe Black Paper (it comes lined (P87) or unlined (P81))—for experimentation or projects with metallic inks if you wish
  • Optional: Samples of a variety of smooth “good” papers, mostly white/off-white, for testing (PA101), if you haven’t already done this
  • Optional: Any other kind of calligraphy-friendly paper you like for projects
  • Optional but highly recommended: Layout paper (P09-50), perhaps 10 sheets, for help with project layouts and learning new styles

Other tools

  • Several small brushes for mixing and loading ink; rough-haired flat brushes about ¼” wide are ideal (BR43)
  • Optional: Dinky dip (S934 or S852 or S1064) for holding a small amount of gum arabic (you only need one fluid container)
  • Jumbo Dinky Dips (S853), at least one 4-jar set recommended, or your favorite comparable wide-mouth containers for holding small amounts of ink
  • Dedicated cover sheet: Recommend using a piece of card stock in a distinctive light color
  • Optional: Pen rest 
  • Optional: Rubber jar opener, a flat, flexible piece of rubber used for persuading stuck equipment to un-stick without damage; available with kitchen supplies
  • Optional: Nib containers (S1074 or S231)
  • Optional: Thin lint-free rags (old cotton t-shirts work well)—some people prefer these to paper towels for using as pen wipes
  • Optional: Adjustable (slant) drawing board
  • Optional: Light pad (S1013)
  • Anything else you normally use for your calligraphy practice

Suggested books

  • Optional but highly recommended: The Speedball Textbook (B4346)
  • Optional but highly recommended: Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters (B2769)
$55.65 $42.30
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