Barbara Close taught her students how to make a folded pen, also known as a cola pen (yes, as in soda pop). A fellow student, Juan, graciously posed for the step-by-step photos.
- First we cut the strip of sheet metal Barbara supplied according to a pattern:
2. We put the pattern on the sheet metal and cut it out:
3. Here is the piece once it was cut. It is still unfinished:
4. The piece is then folded around a dowel. A pencil works just fine! So now you know where the “folded” part comes from:
5. On the paper pattern, we draw the outline of the final shape and place it around the sheet metal to cut out:
6. Here is the piece on the pencil, tightly crimped to stay put:
7. We added plenty of tape to hold the nib in place:
8. Here is the final piece, ready to dip in your favorite media and use:
I had created a pen a year earlier, but the metal was from a soda can. So that’s where we get the name cola pen from:
For homework, I used the pen to create a word in a sentence. Here’s the project I turned in. I used the cola pen to write Glory with green ink, then used a broad edge pen to write the top lettering in gold gouache. I applied colored pencil and pastels to the piece to brighten it up. I applied the pastel with a stick containing Q-tip-like ball on the end. (Pastels and sticks came from Stampin-UP! It is no longer in production.)
Barbara had announced that a library in Whittier, CA will display calligraphy pieces during the month of November. Since it is the month of Thanksgiving, it had the theme of gratitude. I had an idea at the last minute (well, after the last minute — so it will be put up after the showing starts), and borrowed the idea above to create the artwork below:
I dipped the cola pen into a tray of red gouache and formed the T. I cleaned the pen and dipped it in the blue gouache for the h, cleaned it, and so on through the word. Because it was so watery, the colors merged where the letters overlapped. Then I applied pastels and colored pencil around it. The top lettering was done with a pointed pen with Moon Palace Sumi Ink.
Now I’m off to find a frame for it!