What’s Included & Materials
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 on their assigned printing day. The hosting organization or event participants are responsible for purchasing plywood and carving tools. BIG INK provides web links to recommended materials.
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The Big Tuna
Our program has the only oversize printing press designed for routine travel.
Gaining access to oversize equipment is an obstacle for any artist who wants to print large-scale. We raised $13,000 through public support to commission The Big Tuna. Given its lightweight, modular construction, The Big Tuna can be transported virtually anywhere! It has made a lasting impression when assembled in a museum demonstration room, a university student center, or the common area of a charter school.
We strive to make the production of a large-scale woodblock accessible.
Video tutorials guide participants through the woodblock carving process before the event, imparting knowledge of preferred materials and techniques. There are over twenty videos for participants. BIG INK is also available to answer questions via email.
Anyone with patience and admiration for quality craftsmanship will thrive in our program.
BIG INK participants come from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels. Some participants have never carved a woodblock while others have carved many.
BIG INK encourages ambitious participants to carve a large-scale woodblock.
For students who can’t tackle a big woodblock on their own, we have team-based projects for grade levels 8 and above. There’s the opportunity to practice traditional artisan skills, work with professional printers, and create work of inspiring scale. Please allow one semester for project planning and completion.
Team Based Project
This project teaches teamwork and long-term project planning. First, participants work together to create an image design. The design is transferred onto a sheet of plywood and cut into pieces. Each participant carves a piece of the overall image. BIG INK arrives on location, assembles the pieces on The Big Tuna press, and prints the combined woodblock.
The resulting prints are professional grade, ready for exhibition and sale.
BIG INK creates three impressions from each participant’s woodblock, one of which the artist places in BIG INK’s collection. The woodblock and the other two prints remain property of the artist.
Woodblocks are printed on archival paper using traditional oil-based ink. BIG INK directs the operation and maintains a high standard of quality throughout printing.
BIG INK builds a bridge between artist and audience.
BIG INK events are social gatherings that make for celebratory occasions. Our demonstrations, often accompanied with music and food, take place during open houses, gallery receptions, studio parties, and other public events.
Community members can watch The Big Tuna in action as event participants captivate the crowd with their artistic skill. Once inspired, the public can make their own mini print. Volunteers assist audience members with inking pre-carved plates and printing on The Anchovy, BIG INK’s mini press.
A BIG INK lecture touches upon life after art school. With an emphasis on building a professional following, students are encouraged to ask questions to gain a greater understanding of pursuing their own creative business.
A presentation can be included with our services upon request.
Every print in our collection is a testament to the power of creative collaboration.
BIG INK has hundreds of large-scale prints in our collection! We are happy to arrange a short term or long-term gallery exhibit of these works at your location.