Our specialty is printing woodblocks carved at a monumental scale. We visit 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. No prior experience is required from any of the event participants, including the point person. BIG INK comes to the location and facilitates the printing of each participant's woodblock. BIG INK has worked with numerous institutions and helped produce thousands of woodblock prints through our Visiting Printer Program.

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.

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.

Our online master class guides participants through the woodblock carving process before the event, imparting knowledge of preferred materials and techniques.  Play Lesson 5 – Get a grip on your carving tools above.

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.

Segments

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.

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.  All impressions remain property of the participants.

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.

"BIG INK is a great way to connect students with creative entrepreneurs working in the field. They came fully prepared to print, brought amazing works, and shared words of wisdom with my printmaking class."

Bill Cass
Professor
Institute of Art and Design at New England College