Saturday, August 30, 2008

Peafowl Fraktur Book Mark and what is a Fraktur?

I being the Grandmother of 4 of them ( you can see the male all the way to the bottom of the page) loved this bookmark.
But what is a Fraktur you ask?
I asked Leann of The Lion and Lamb Studio and she told me this.
"In the 1600's and 1700's wealthy citizens of Germany and the Low countries would celebrate the birth and baptism of their children by having elaborate certificates drawn up by a scholar learned in the art of FRAKTUR writing. Fraktur is taken from the same root word as our word for fracture; each letter is made up of several, or "broken" strokes of the pen, unlike the flowing script we teach our children today, where you don't life the writing instrument until you reach the end of the word.

Poor folks couldn't indulge their children this way---it was expensive. But when the Moravians, Mennonites, and other Annabaptist groups came to America, they worked hard at their land holdings and businesses---and discovered that life was a bit more prosperous in this New World. The idea of equality took firm root. One of the ways that they showed themselves and others that they were just as fine as the noble class in Europe was by commissioning a birth and/or baptism certificate for the new babies being born free Americans. The schoolmasters (never overly well paid) gladly accepted the bit of extra pocket money and crafted these FRAKTURS, using their best fraktur German calligraphy, and decorating the edges with the designs they remembered from the Old Country, and from the flowers and birds they saw around them (or, in some cases, a pretty piece of Calico fabric, fresh off the boat from India...!).

Today, the term fraktur art applies to both the writing and the stylized artwork decorating the certificates, little student awards, and painstaking valentines, book nameplates, etc. It was very popular on furniture too (check out the Pennsylvania Blanket Chests and Kaas' in museums, books, and websites!), and stylistically you can see the connection with alot of tole art in Sweeden and other parts of Northern Europe."
I feel to be able to draw like this is to be really talented in your art.
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In memory of Sheryl

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