What is Fraktur?
Fraktur is the term for the illuminated documents created in the 18th & 19th centuries by German speaking immigrants to America. Fraktur is typically associated with Pennsylvania, but it can be found anywhere that large groups of German speaking peoples settled, including my home state of Virginia. Fraktur actually refers to the “fractured” or printed black letter Gothic font that is used in the documents. It is printed letter by letter as opposed to being written as continuous script. Fraktur is a form of calligraphy and some people use the terms interchangeably. I am producing contemporary fraktur documents in my own unique style inspired by the original artists.
If fraktur documents just consisted of printed text, probably few people would pay attention to them or collect them. However, fraktur are very often, almost always, embellished with colorful decoration. Fraktur documents are filled with all sorts of familiar flowers, folliage, and birds. Some of the flowers and birds are easily recognizable, and some are just fanciful representations. Most of these images are rendered in primary colors; red, yellow and blue or some easy combination of those.
Most of the original fraktur are Geburtschein (birth certificates), Taufschein (baptismal certificates), family registers. You also see Haus Segen (house blessings) consisting of scripture or poetry colorfully illustrated, and book plates. I create all of these and also marriage certificates. I am open to creating most any type of fraktur document. I have seen fraktur posters, flyers, and family trees.
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