Fraktur Drawing Workshop


Fraktur was created by Pennsylvania Germans during the eighteenth through the mid nineteenth centuries and features calligraphic text decorated with colorful birds, hearts and flowers. The tradition has its roots in the illuminated manuscripts of medieval Europe but evolved into a distinctive part of the local Pennsylvania German culture. Today, those who appreciate this colorful folk art enjoy drawing their own fraktur designs based on the work of the early fraktur artists.

The workshop will focus on the legacy of schoolmaster Christopher Dock who “sowed the seeds” of imagination for future generations of skilled fraktur artists. Schoolmasters drew much of the fraktur, often creating rewards for good students. Workshop participants will create a fraktur design based on large lettering using a variety or templates and/or original student drawings. Some prior fraktur drawing experience is helpful but not essential. Accomplished fraktur artist Emily Smucker-Beidler will lead the class. All supplies will be included with a $15 material fee.

Emily Smucker-Beidler first learned fraktur from Roma Ruth while attending Penn View Christian School. She’s been creating fraktur ever since, creating hundreds of commissioned and original pieces for collectors and non-profit organizations. Emily holds a BA in Art Education from Goshen College and a MA in Art Education from Millersville University and has been a career art teacher in Lancaster for 28 years. Teaching fraktur workshops combines her two passions as she strives to help every student, no matter what their skill level, to be successful.

The workshop fee is $60 ($55 member) plus $15 for the materials fee. Preregistration is necessary as the workshop size is limited. No refunds are given unless a workshop is canceled for insufficient enrollment.