Calligraphy & Letterpress Workshop with Grendl Löfkvist August 26, 2023

Participants cutting out their stencils during the Blackletter without Blackletter workshop at the 2019 Hamilton Wayzgoose.

Grendl Löfkvist and Paul Shaw will lead another calligraphy & letterpress workshop on August 26 at the CODEX Foundation in Berkeley, California. They have done two combination calligraphy/letterpress workshops before: Neuland at the 2019 Hamilton Wayzgoose and Rudolf Koch’s blackletter via Zoom during the Covid-19 pandemic as part of the 2020 Hamilton Awayzgoose.

Blackletter by F.H.E. Schneidler’s students (n.d.). Image courtesy of the Letterform Archive.

Sample of Ganz grobe Gotisch by F.H.E. Schneidler (Otto Wiesert 1931).

For this new combination calligraphy/letterpress workshop Grendl and Paul will once again focus on blackletter, but this time their model will be the chunky textura lettering created by F.H. Ernst Schneidler and his students at the Württembergischen Landesbibliothek Stuttgart in the 1920s and 1930s and Schneidler’s typeface Ganz grobe Gotisch. They will focus on minuscules or lowercase letters so that the designs each participant creates are more dynamic as well as more readable.

The workshop will begin with instructions from Paul on how to make the chunky Schneidler textura letters using broad-edge pens, pencils, and X-Acto blades. Then each participant will design a short text (euphemisms for swear words, e.g. “Gosh darn it!”) using those letters. Grendl and Paul will provide advice on how to make a strong composition—both visually and literally since the letters will have to physically hang together for the next step. Participants will then convert their design into a stencil plate by cutting it out of sandblasting vinyl. The stencil plate will then be mounted on a Boxcar base, inked, and printed on a Vandercook proofing press. Grendl will oversee this second phase of the workshop. At the end of the day you will leave with several printed copies of your design.

No prior calligraphy or printing skill is required for this combination calligraphy/letterpress workshop.

Grendl helping a participant ink his design during the Blackletter without Blackletter workshop at the 2019 Hamilton Wayzgoose.

Paul Shaw and Grendl Löfkvist are both longtime blackletter enthusiasts. Paul is a calligrapher, typographer and graphic designer in New York. Since 1977, he has been a member of many calligraphy societies, including the Society of Scribes, Ltd. in New York and the Friends of Calligraphy in the Bay Area. He taught calligraphy at several schools in the New York metropolitan area, principally the School of Visual Arts and Parsons School of Design, from 1980 to 2015. Paul is the author of Black Letter Primer (1980) and the co-author of Blackletter: Type and National Identity (1998).

Grendl is a calligrapher and letterpress printer in Oakland. She was an offset press operator for 13 years at Inkworks Press in Berkeley and does letterpress and printmaking work under the imprints of Red Star Media/Design and Cloven Hoof Press. Grendl learned her blackletter from Ward Dunham, the American master of textura and bâtarde. She currently teaches various classes at the City College of San Francisco and serves as the education director at the Letterform Archive.

Bring .5mm mechanical pencil, 6mm Pilot Parallel pen, box of black cartridges for the pen, 11 x 14 pad of tracing paper, scissors, and an X-Acto knife or a snap knife (e.g. Olfa).
All other materials will be supplied.

Saturday, August 26, 2023
9 am to 5 pm

$275 including lunch
To register email A reduced-cost scholarship is available. Please contact Codex for more information.

The CODEX Foundation
Logan Book Arts Center
1331 7th Street Units C&D