A Journey into Blackletter with Luca Barcellona - October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

A Journey into Blackletter

with Luca Barcellona

 To Register, click here.

John Neal Books is not hosting this class.

Dates: Five Saturdays, from October 3 to October 31, 2020 (October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31)

Hours: 11 am to 1 am EDT (New York Time)

Price: $160

Luca Barcellona is one of the foremost practitioners and interpreters of blackletter today. The prevalence and popularity of blackletter calligraphy owes no small part to his influence. In this five-week workshop, he takes us on a journey from the styles of textura to fraktur and beyond.

We will start by studying the historical shapes, writing with the broad-edged pen, and then we will rewrite the letters in a more expressive way using the twist of the brush. Finally we’ll move on to the development of other possible scripts, more personal and modern. A course for beginners, experts and those who want to deepen their study of this writing style.

For the duration of the class, students may submit their work to the instructor for brief comments and guidance.

All live sessions will be recorded and made available for students to review online until December 12, 2020.



  • One pad of A3 or larger (approx. 11 × 17) layout paper, or other good quality paper. Some good examples are Canson Bleedproof, Canson Pro Layout Marker, and Bordern & Riley #37 Boris Marker. The paper must be translucent enough to lay guidelines underneath (no more than 120 gsm). It must not be extremely smooth/glossy and repellent, or too rough, or prone to bleeding or absorbing. It must be capable of producing sharp letters. (P20) (P32)
  • A few larger sheets of similar quality to work with larger tools. (PS112)


  • 6-mm Pilot parallel pen (blue cap) with black or dark ink cartridges. (FP67) (FP69)


  • 6-mm Pilot parallel pen (blue cap) (FP67)
  • Automatic pens, size 4 and 5 (N27)
  • 3-mm broad-edged nib (and other widths as you prefer to use) (N01) (N09) (N02)
  • Two 2B pencils, rubber bands, and a 2H pencil. (S142)


  • One bottle of black ink—Pelikan 2400, Parker Quink, Higgins Eternal, or Mont Blanc (bring a fountain-pen thinner ink and avoid “Calligraphy ink”) (I08)

Short and long texts for your exercises