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Blackletter: Text, Texture & Abstract Form

  • Kooloff Caffe 54 Hoàng Ngọc Phách Hà Nội Vietnam (map)

Date: December 8-11, 2018 (For Vietnamese students, workshop will be in two weekends December 8-9 & December 15-16) 

Time: 9 AM - 5 PM, one hour lunch break and short break in middle afternoon

Location: Kool-Off Cafe, 54 Hoang Ngoc Phach, Dong Da, Hanoi

Historically Blackletter was not only one style, but a group of compress hands, which developed from Carolingian minuscule. Blackletter was used throughout the Western world approximately 10th to 16th century, and continually used as an art form today. There are two main Blackletter hands that influenced many other styles in last thousand years: Textura and Fraktur.

Textura or Gothic Bookhand was the most calligraphic form of Blackletter. With tall, narrow and sharp straight letterforms, Textura played its main role in medieval manuscipt as saving a lot of precious material such as vellums, mineral pigments and iron gal inks. Fraktur is more playful, with delicate extended swelled elements, and more hairlines. Became the most common hand by early 16th century, and after centuries, Fraktur spreaded and merged with other hands to produce unlimited variations using such wide range of tools: broad edge nibs, flat brushes, reed pens, folded pens and uncommon writing instruments.

Blackletter, in general, is no longer pure handwriting because of its extremely illegible and elaborately compressed form. However, it turns to an expressive art that has been used by many calligraphers, to perform calligraphic motional marks on varied surfaces. From text and texture, Blackletter crosses the border of geometrical letters to imaginative abstract concepts. In this workshop we will explore historical forms and later variations in modern world, then we will have chance to experience ourselves though Blackletter abstract marks.


Please bring your own tools to the class, essential materials:

  1. Straight holders
  2. Broad edge nib (Speedball C2, C3 & C5; or Brause 3mm, 2.5mm & 1.5 mm; or Mitchell 01, 02 & 04)
  3. Brush to load ink
  4. Flat brush, folded pen (optional)
  5. Dark ink (Higgins, Walnut, or Inkstick)
  6. Big size paper (70-100 cm)
  7. Straight & angle ruler, pencil, eraser
  8. Colors (gouache, watercolor, pencil, etc.)
  9. Varied paper: draft paper, watercolor paper, white & dark color paper


3,100,000 VND
(3 day class & class notes)

Transaction to bank account:
Dao Huy Hoang
Vietcombank Chua Lang

If you are not living in Vietnam, please make payment through
Total fee is 180 USD (included 5% transaction fee)


Earlier Event: October 15
Singapore Annual Workshop