About Us

Our mission at BIG INK is to encourage appreciation for woodblock printmaking: one impression at a time.

In 2012, BIG INK was founded to provide woodblock printmaking workshop opportunities for people of all skill levels. As a result, thousands of individuals have learned how to carve wood by following Lyell Castonguay’s online master class, and numerous community members have attended BIG INK’s workshops to witness the spectacle of the woodblock printing process. With its community-driven and public art education model, BIG INK is committed to ensuring a promising future for printmaking.

What is a woodblock?

A woodblock is essentially a hand-carved stamp. Woodblock prints, aka woodcuts, are made through a process of elimination. First, an artist draws a design onto a piece of wood. Areas to show “white” are cut away with a chisel, leaving the characters or image to show in “black” at the original surface level. The stamp is coated with ink and pressed onto paper by hand. Large woodblocks require a specialized machine press to exert enough force to produce a quality impression.

Woodblock Printmaking Teacher

Lyell Castonguay acts as an instructor, event coordinator, and web administrator. Originally from Maine, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Manchester, NH. While in school, he focused on combining his interests in storytelling, illustration, and printmaking. Some of his favorite printmakers include Antonio Frasconi, Leonard Baskin, and Gustave Doré.

Castonguay’s interest in avian subjects began when he was gifted two juvenile society finches. Castonguay became an ethologist because he was fascinated with the secret lives of animals and birds. He recognized their distinct personalities and observed them communicating with one another and sleeping together at night. Aviculture remains part of the artist’s home life, and birds are the central subjects in his art.

Castonguay’s work is in international collections, including the Aomori Museum of Art in Japan and the Archille Bertarelli Collection in Italy. Castonguay has over a decade of experience working with fellow artists, guiding them through the creative process, and printing their work.

Carand Burnet acts as a digital media producer. She uses a Sony α7S III and edits BIG INK’s master class series using industry-leading video, audio, and design programs.

Burnet earned a BFA in Painting in Manchester, NH. In 2021, she earned an audio engineering certificate and has taken video postproduction courses at Maine Media Workshops + College.

Burnet has played the electric guitar since childhood and enjoys composing instrumentals and jamming with friends. She performs with her band, Kioea, at venues and festivals throughout New England. Her music has been selected twice as Bandcamp’s “New & Notables.” She was awarded a Maine ARP Grant through the National Endowment for the Arts to record her most recent album.

A Dazzling Show of Mammoth and Miniscule Prints
Washington Post, Washington, DC, 11/17/23

BIG INK Brings Big Designs to Morean Arts Center
WUSF Public Media, Tampa, FL, 09/27/19

At the Morean Arts Center: BIG INK, big prints, big weekend
St. Pete Catalyst, St. Petersburg, FL, 09/24/19

BIG INK: Two Artists, One Printing Press, Many Stories
Art New England Magazine, Boston, MA, 09/01/19

BIG INK Wins The REDC Granite State Growth Competition
The Union Leader, Manchester, NH, 05/11/19

BIG INK Interview
The Hand Magazine, Prairie Village, KS 04/01/19

A Recap of BIG INK’s 2018 Monumental Woodblock Tour
The Boston Printmakers 2018/19 Quarterly, Boston, MA, 12/15/18

Large-scale prints on display
The Republican, Springfield, MA 10/31/18

BIG INK comes to Riverviews Artspace
The Burg, Lynchburg, VA 10/3/18

Spreading the gospel of woodcut printmaking in a BIG way
The Register-Guard, Eugene, OR 7/18/18

Artists Make Ornate Ink Works with Unique Technique
Woonsocket Call, Woonsocket, RI, 9/19/16

Want to write about us, access high-res photos, or learn more?

Download a PDF press overview, photos, and video here. Please email us at contact@bigink.org to get in touch!

2023

3S Artspace, NH
A.P.E. Ltd., MA
Artspace, NC
Atlantic Center for the Arts, FL
Boston Center for the Arts, MA
Center for Contemporary Printmaking, CT
Connecticut College, CT
Five Points, CT
Hatch Show Print, TN
McColl, NC
Pike School, MA
Print League, MO
SUNY Potsdam, NY
The Hill School, PA
Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, MD

2022

Arvada Center, CO
Art Complex Museum, MA
Dedee Shattuck Gallery, MA
Firefly Artists, NY
Heckscher Museum, NY
Hopkins Art Center, MN
Hudgens Center for Art & Learning, GA
Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, MD
Print Club of Cleveland/Balwin Wallace University, OH
Riverviews Artspace, VA
Sharon Art Studio, CA
Tiger Lily Press, OH
Toe River Arts Council, NC
Whiteaker Printmakers, OR


2021

3S Artspace, NH
A.P.E. Ltd., MA
Artspace, NC
Color | Ink Studio, MI
Hatch Show Print, TN
NY State Teachers Association Conference, NY
Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, MD

2020

3 Fish Studios, CA
Center for Contemporary Printmaking, CT
Dedee Shattuck Gallery, MA
Hudgens Center for Art & Learning, GA
Pajama Factory, PA
Riverviews Artspace, VA
Roaming Studio, KY
Shepherd & Maudsleigh, MA
Toe River Arts Council, NC
Whiteaker Printmakers, OR


2019

3S Artspace, NH
Artspace, NC
Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, VT
Corcoran School of the Arts & Design, DC
Cultural Arts Center, OH
Firefly Artists, NY
Hatch Show Print, TN
Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, MD
Morean Arts Center, FL
NY State Teachers Association Conference, NY
Phillips Exeter Academy, NH
Pike School, MA
Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, MD
Red Delicious Press, CO
South Shore Art Center Festival, MA
University of Akron, OH

2018

3 Fish Studios, CA
Artists Image Resource, PA
Carroll Community College, MD
Center for Contemporary Printmaking, CT
Dedee Shattuck Gallery, MA
Firefly Artists, NY
Fleisher Art Memorial, PA
Frontline Arts, NJ
Georgia College & State University, GA
Lancaster Museum of Art, PA
Phoenix Rising Printmaking Co-op, OH
Riverviews Artspace, VA
Roger Williams University, RI
Salem State University, MA
Two Rivers Printmaking Studio, VT
Whiteaker Printmakers, OR
Zea Mays Printmaking, MA

2017

Amherst College, MA
ARTSPACE at Untitled, OK
Atlanta Printmakers Studio, GA
Concordia University, QC
Gettysburg College, PA
Ink Shop Printmaking Studio, NY
Manhattan Graphics Center, NY
Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, MD
New Hampshire Institute of Art, NH
Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, MD
Shepherd Studio, MA
University of Florida, FL

2016

ARTSPACE at Untitled, OK
Center for Contemporary Printmaking, CT
Easthampton City Arts+, MA
Printworks, MA
Whiteaker Printmakers, OR
XOS Open Studios, RI
Deerfield Academy, MA

2015

AS220, RI
Pickwick Independent Press, ME
Roger Williams University, RI

Past Exhibition Sites

3S Artspace, Portsmouth, NH
[Artspace] at Untitled, Oklahoma City, OK
Bend Art Center, Bend, OR
Brickbottom Gallery, Boston, MA
Florida State College, Jacksonville, FL
Hudgens Center for Art & Learning, Duluth, GA

Tab last updated: 3/16/23

Frontline Arts, Branchburg, NJ
Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Annapolis, MD
Seoul Museum of Art, Korea
Springfield Technical Community College, Springfield, MA
Toe River Arts Council, Spruce Pine, NC

Special Thanks To Our Education Partners!