BIG INK hosts large-scale woodblock printmaking events across the United States. We invite artists interested in carving a woodblock of at least 24 by 36 inches to participate. First, you submit a design for consideration. If selected, you'll have two months to carve a woodblock based on your submission.
BIG INK will transform the event space into a print studio featuring The Big Tuna: our custom-designed giant mobile press. We invite the public to attend, witness the spectacle, and learn more about the printing process. Our events blend elements of a workshop and a demonstration. Participating is a fun way to expand your skill set, meet other artists, and engage with the community. Bring your next big idea to life while participating in a one-of-a-kind art making bonanza!
Either a previously created image or a new concept is acceptable. No prior printmaking experience is necessary. You'll learn the process through a combination of online and in-person instruction. We encourage all skill levels to apply.
Our online master class guides participants through the woodblock carving process, imparting knowledge of preferred materials and techniques.
BIG INK creates three impressions from each participant’s woodblock, all of which the artist keeps. Woodblocks are printed on archival paper using traditional oil-based ink.
Thanks to our sponsors Speedball Art Products and Columbia Forest Products each participant receives a materials kit containing oil-based ink, Arnhem paper samples, a 6″ rubber brayer, and an 8″ x 10″ cherry plywood sample.
Gaining access to oversize printing equipment is an obstacle for any artist who wants to produce a large-scale woodblock. We raised $13,000 through public support to commission The Big Tuna. It’s a finely tuned machine that produces exhibition quality work.
Participants come from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels. Some participants have never carved a woodblock, others have carved many. Anyone with patience and an admiration for print will thrive.
BIG INK has worked with hundreds of artists and produced thousands of prints since 2012. Founder/Director Lyell Castonguay inks every woodblock himself to ensure that the prints come out looking their best.
It's free to apply; accepted applicants pay $300 to participate. Artists can apply by submitting an online application at bigink.org/apply. Requirements for consideration are the application form and a digital image. Artists are urged to send the highest quality image of their work. All applications will be promptly acknowledged. Do not send application forms by mail, fax or e-mail. Please direct all other inquiries to Lyell Castonguay, email@example.com.
"BIG INK encouraged all the participants to work together to execute their prints. The event inspired me to continue exploring scale and surface in my practice and opened up a new channel of communication with a great group of artists"
We work with art associations, museums, secondary, and post-secondary schools to host events that demonstrate our distinct printing process. Participants are selected by a point person from their hosting organization. These candidates are tasked with carving woodblocks in the months leading up to BIG INK's visit. BIG INK comes to the location and facilitates the printing of each participant's woodblock on The Big Tuna: our custom-designed giant mobile press.
BIG INK supplies paper, ink, non-toxic cleaning supplies, work tables, inking surfaces, inking rollers, a paper hanging system, and printing press equipment. Participants are only required to bring a carved woodblock. The hosting organization or event participants are also responsible for purchasing plywood and carving tools.
Participants come from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels. Some participants have never carved a woodblock while others have carved many. We always encourage ambitious artists to go big but we also have team based project scenarios for grade levels 8 and above.
Our demonstrations often take place during open houses, gallery receptions, studio parties, and other public events. The Anchovy, our aptly named mighty mini printing press, is used to engage participants and the public.
No prior printmaking experience is necessary. Participants will learn the woodblock printmaking process through a combination of online and in-person instruction. Eight months of lead time is recommended on new bookings. Please confirm that the meeting space is handicap accessible, has 26 inches of minimum doorway clearance, 26 by 65 inches of minimum elevator clearance, 400 square feet of indoor working space, a loading zone, and one reserved parking space.
VISITING PRINTER CLIENTS
We offer one-on-one services that allow you to carve a woodblock at home, then print in our private studio whenever you're ready. These options are best tailored to fit your personal schedule. If you don't feel comfortable in gatherings, or you live internationally, then we recommend private instruction. Are you an artist that needs help printing an edition? We can assist you.
✔️ Personal printing assistance with hands on instruction
✔️ Oil-based printing ink
✔️ Printing paper for a woodblock no greater than 40 inches wide
✔️ 12 impressions from a woodblock up to 40 by 72 inches long
✔️ 8 impressions from a woodblock up to 40 by 96 inches long