Cola Pen Making & Sketching :: Letters & Scenes

$ 180.00

December 10th, 2017 9:30 AM

  • Instructor: Ann Miller
  • Workshop Type: Arts
  • Workshop Status: Open
  • Workshop Start: December 10th, 2017 9:30 AM
  • Workshop End: December 10th, 2017 5:30 PM
  • Sessions: 1

Writing with a new tool unleashes the imagination and focuses on rhythm. Making your own tool does even more, opening a sense of exploration far beyond the confines of habit. In this one-day workshop the student will make at least two cola pens and explore lively and expressive gestural strokes that make words come alive with fresh calligraphic line. A system of zones along the blade edge will help the formation of the stroke shapes.

We’ll work with pattern, movement, and spacing, and explore the amazing variety of marks in a thoughtful way, guided by design principles. There will be warmup exercises and a system for repeating desired rhythmical stroke effects at will. We will explore wet and dry media to add color and develop coherent designs.

Cola pen writing is ideal for creating wordmarks, logos, monogram designs and handwritten names, or short favorite phrases. It can be used to make cuts of initial capitals or other marks to contrast with or to augment letterpress printing.

Students will leave with their new tools and several pieces of artwork, as well as instructions and examples of cola pen writing at its fluid and energetic best.  

Materials to Bring: Drawing paper - 12 x 18 pad or large cut sheets (or similar), drawing board, non-waterproof black ink (sumi), watercolor brushes, any watercolor pan set or 1-2 favorite tube colors, matte medium, broad-edged nibs in a variety of sizes (such as Brause or Speedball), pencil, soft eraser, scissors, ruler or straight-edge, X-acto knife, mixing brushes, palette, small water jar, notebook.

Recommended: A sheet or two of Arches 140# Hot Press watercolor or printing papers such as Rives BFK, Arches Text Wove; these will take moisture and layering well.

Workshop + Materials Fee: $180.00

Date & Time: Sunday, December 10, 2017 :: 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, AB, AM Stanford University, studied painting and lithography with artists 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 design. In 2002 she authored two courses in calligraphy and letterform at Academy of Art University and is currently writing a new course covering logo, font, and lettering for illustrators.

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 art is in public and private collections and has been widely exhibited. 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 the NBC television series “Who do you think you are?” Visit Ann at is external).

Past Student Reviews:

 “One of my favorites - I learned a lot on doing something I've always wanted to do - make a COLA pen. Ann was very generous with her expertise and supplies and was very patient with us.”

“I appreciated her humor, and overall mastery of her art.”


$ 180.00
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103-5133
United States