Quite frankly I didn't know what a fraktur (frahk-toor) was until I stumbled upon photos of them eight years ago in my reading about early American folk art.
The need to explore this type of art quickly became a craving that launched me into a whirlwind of research. I was blissfully charmed away into the Fraktur world you could say, as I became aware of this unique and primitive art form.
In my studies I learned that the word "Fraktur" means broken or fragmented. It is a gothic style of "broken" decorative calligraphy that was used to record and preserve history. It can be found on early American documents such as birth, baptism and marriage certificates.
In addition to the elaborate lettering, these documents also included hand-painted decorative artwork. Whimsical Birds, flowers, hearts, angels, and historical figures (popular for the day) were painted with reds, blues, greens and yellows in a watercolor effect.
Introduced to the new world by the Pennsylvania Germans, the "Fraktur" represented a unique and lively expression of early American folk art.
These charming folk art fraktur’s were mostly created between the years of 1740 and 1860, but continued into the 1930’s. Today, Fraktur’s are highly sought after as an interesting look into the essence of early American religious culture.
After scouring through articles and books on Frakturs, devoring anything I could on the subject, I had the opportunity to visit Williamsburg, VA....
This is where I saw Frakturs for the first time - up close and personal! I was enchanted to say the least.
During my visit, the museum even had a little Fraktur art project to try. They must've known I was going to be there! Without hesitation I sat down among the rest of the youngsters and colored to my hearts content with the best of them.
Yep, I admit it, I had become a Fraktur ART NERD for sure!
Inspired and ready to try my hand at this new found love, I created my first Fraktur pattern packet called "Fraktur Fancy".
Next came "Fraktur Earth", "Hummingbird Fraktur", "Unicorn Fraktur", "Bee Fraktur", "Vintage Blooms", "Summer Blossoms" and 'Nantucket Natty".
The creation of each art piece has been such an adventure! I love creating scrolling effects with the twists and turns of the various elements. Most commonly working on watercolor paper, I like to build the colors with a series of painted washes and colored pencil layers.
There is yet more to come - so be watching... My love of the Fraktur continues to grow and expand in my heart. ♥
The patterns mentioned are available for purchase. Just click on the links above.
I'm Erika Joanne, an artist who enjoys "Sharing Innovative Ways to Paint & Pencil". Paint and learn with me through my pattern packets, videos & workshops. Enjoy!
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