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J U N E  2 5 — J U L Y  2  •  2 0 0 6

Trinity Lutheran College • Issaquah, Washington

Ward Dunham has been a student of calligraphy for over forty years. He has exhibited and taught widely, and is a champion of Blackletter Hands and the crusade to preserve writing by hand in the 21st century using the atavistic technology of chisel-edged writing implements.

The Spirit of the Gothic Scribe • 2 and 1/2 days

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There are no rules concerning Blackletter Majuscules. If it works—do it! The wilder and more outrageous, the better!

There are hard and fast parameters about blackletter minuscules which cannot be broken, mostly having to do with spacing. By their very nature, blackletter minuscules are limiting. We cannot explore Blackletter Majuscules without first having arrived at a clear understanding of how and why blackletter minuscules work.

Capitals presented an opportunity for the Gothic Scribe to break free, to do wildly expressive things, to punctuate the tedious Textura writing with something grand, colorful, free! Even outrageous. Here we see some of the most incredible, elaborate, and exciting flourishments ever to have danced out by the broad pen. Counterpoint! A jubilant reaction to the monotony of the minuscule.

We shall consider examples of Blackletter Majuscules from many times and places: Versals, Round Gothic Letters, Uncial Forms, Lombardics, Rubrics, Baroque Entanglements, “Christmas Tree Caps”, Beaks & Claws, Marginal Caps, Woodblock Printed Caps and modern solutions by Rudolf Koch and Friedrich Neugebauer. We shall also consider innovative page design using these forms. This class is appropriate for any level, but especially for the somewhat seasoned lover of Gothic hands.

Bastard and Gothic Cursive • 2 and 1/2 days

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Few calligraphers put Bastard high on their short list of required hands. What a shame! For this visually exciting family of hands is lively, legible, fast, facile and fun to write; and once written, lovely to look at! Add to that the “exotic factor” and you’ve run across something truly deserving of your consideration. “Bastard” is a viable alternative to “Italic” as either a formal bookhand or as an informal, cursive personal handwriting using a chisel-edged fountain pen.

But what exactly are Bastard hands? Just what the name implies—the offspring of a “highborn hand” (Gothic Textura, the formal bookhand of the high Gothic period) and the “lowborn” Gothic Cursive—rapidly written with great economy of movement. We’ll also fast forward six centuries for a glimpse of a related hand—Edward Johnston’s glorious Black Italic.

Learn them, love them, use them. Immerse your head, heart and hand in history and your pen in ink!

Materials for both classes: Ink or writing fluid, 5mm Brause pen nib and holder, paper, T-square and ruler; all your usual kit. This class is appropriate for any level, but especially for the somewhat seasoned lover of Gothic hands.

  • Materials for both classes:
    Ink or writing fluid, 5mm Brause pen nib and holder, paper, T-square and ruler; all your usual kit

  • Katherine Malmsten & Karen Kant, Co-Directors
    Contact: Katherine, 425-821-7919; or Karen, 253-589-3994
    bwconference@hotmail.com