I have recently discovered Fraktur folk art – I was aware of the beautiful blackletter type, but had never seen the gorgeous folk art created by the Pennsylvania Dutch. In the 17th and 18th century, many people from the Alsace region in Germany & Switzerland emigrated to the Pennsylvania countryside. The name “Pennsylvania Dutch” is therefor a misnomer, as they spoke German (Deutsch), and not Dutch!
The name Fraktur refers to the fractured writing, which is a pointy, Gothic, medieval way of lettering. The art is mainly found on documents, birth & baptismal certificates, marriage documents, house blessings and other paperwork. In this way, it is really reminiscent of the way samplers are made and decorated to commemorate important events in the maker’s life.
Some of my favourite motifs are found in these Fraktur works, such as birds, hearts and tulips. Years ago I bought a little book on Swiss paper cuttings, and they are stylistically very similar to these beautiful drawings.
I feel very inspired to design a little sampler based on these beautiful examples, and think that they would work wonderful in a folk cross-stitch pattern. Do you know more folk art that I should be aware of? Let me know in the comments what you think!