Bio of Emptiness Design founder Peter Fraterdeus

Peter Bio Summary

Peter Fraterdeus is a two-time NEA grant recipient (1980, 1985), founder of Emptiness Design Studio (, calligrapher, type designer, letterpress printing and eternal student of whole systems and the nature of consciousness.

Developed the seminar series Make a Mindful Mark, which incorporates the calligraphic brush, drawing and Zen exercises to develop resilience, mindfulness and leadership with insightful decisive action.

Committed students who are interested in shodo, calligraphy, book arts, or photography as a personal mindfulness practice or contemplative art are welcome to contact me directly regarding Private or Semi-Private sessions.

The two-to-three hour sessions may initially be three or four days a month. In the longer term, a couple of days a month or a weekend every season is sufficient! 

Highly personalized instruction also considers philosophical and lifestyle questions, aiming to bring a personal practice into full realization.

Semi-private sessions for up to four participants are meant for life partners, close friends or colleagues who want to develop their practice together..

Please contact me, I look forward to beginning our conversation!

Peter has taught book arts, letterpress, calligraphy, typography, information architecture, and web design internationally (SAIC-Chicago, CCCBA-Chicago, Colorado College–Colorado Springs, IUAV–Treviso, Berlin, Barcelona, etc) After decades of formal study of western letterform traditions, including letter carving, type-design, and medieval manuscript techniques, he is now also studying East Asian Shodo (Zen Calligraphy) and the daily practice of calligraphy at his studio in Washburn, Wisconsin.

Studied with renowned master type designer Prof Hermann Zapf (RIT summer sessions 1985-86), Welsh master calligrapher and inscriptional designer Ieuan Rees (May-Sept 1981, etc) and Aikido Master Zen Calligrapher Kaz Tanahashi Sensei (2013-present), among others. 

Dr. Betty Edwards (best-selling author of Drawing on the Artist Within and Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain) commented on my draft workbook "You are doing such a lovely job of bringing these important ideas to your workshop participants! I’m sure you will soon be hearing, over and over,'This workshop changed my life!' " 

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