The Magic of a Personal Syllabary

 Registration is closed for this event
$ 175.00

October 12th, 2015 9:30 AM

  • Instructor: Ann Miller
  • Workshop Type: Arts
  • Workshop Status: Closed
  • Workshop Start: October 12th, 2015 9:30 AM
  • Workshop End: October 12th, 2015 5:30 PM
  • Sessions: 1

In this one-day workshop, you will create your own personal syllabary, code, or sign alphabet. In the process you will learn about lettering theory, calligraphic spacing, and the forces and tensions that make or break a page. You will work with page design and by the end of the day you should be able to write a sentence and create some well-balanced gestural art with your own alphabet. The magic is in the method. You will explore the subtleties of mark making and refine spacing skills with a series of exercises that lead to good design judgment, confidence and creativity.

Once you have developed and settled on your 26 signs you can experiment with various methods for organizing or layering marks, using watercolor, sumi, white acrylic, white china marker, matte medium and other forms of resist using broad and pointed pens and brushes, folded pens, and other tools. Bring media you have questions about or would like to experiment with. This workshop will get both your head and your hand moving freely, together, with this exciting approach to calligraphy design.

Materials to Bring: Strathmore 400 Drawing paper - 11 x 14 pad or cut sheets (or similar); 2B pencil or darker; Speedball C-2 or C-4 pen and/or folded pen if you have it; non-waterproof black ink (sumi or other); Kuretake Vellum Writer black waterproof calligraphy marker or similar; medium round or pointed brushes or brush pen; 1 or 2 tubes of watercolor or gouache (warm and cool) or watercolor pan set; golden fluid matte medium; small palette, ruler for tearing paper.

  • Recommended: A sheet or two of Arches 140# Hot Press watercolor or printing papers such as Rives BFK, Arches Text Wove will take more moisture and layering; brushes, pens, writing tools you like.
  • Extras: Bring your basic tool kit (xacto blade, scissors, tape, eraser, water containers, lint free cloths, towels, apron etc) along with any favorite tools and media.

Workshop + Materials Fee: $175.00

Date & Time: Monday, October 12, 2015 | 9:30am-5:30pm

Location: 375 Rhode Island St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Note: Please read over the SFCB Registration Policies before signing up for a class


About the Instructor :: Ann Miller

ANN MILLER (Stanford University, AB, AM Art) studied painting and lithography with Richard Diebenkorn and Nathan Oliveira and has taught art and art history classes at Stanford, University of Santa Clara, San Mateo Community College district and in local guilds and arts venues. In 1979 she founded M2 Design for calligraphy and graphic design work. In 2002 she authored two courses in calligraphy and letterform at Academy of Art University and continues teaching online.

Her calligraphy has been published in Letter Arts Review and Bound & Lettered, and Alphabet, and her book titles for Protean Press can be found in the Harrison Collection at San Francisco Main Library. Her work is in public and private collections. She created of a series of large calligraphy murals for the City of Belmont's new public library and a 12-foot long family tree scroll for actress Brooke Shields for an early episode of the NBC television series “Who do you think you are?” Visit Ann at


$ 175.00