BIG INK at the Delaplaine Arts Center

Deadline to sign up: July 22, 2024

JUMP TO: Workshop Info | FAQs | Video | Outcomes | Instructor

Workshop Info:

Venue: Delaplaine Arts Center

Address: 40 S Carroll St, Frederick, MD

Workshop Dates: 10/5 & 10/6/2024 (one day of attendance for in-person instruction is required)

Workshop Time: 9 AM to 5 PM

Minimum/Maximum Woodblock Size: 24 by 36 inches/40 by 96 inches

Registration Fee: $325 + materials (see FAQs below for items you’ll need to purchase)

Awards: Two lucky workshop participants will receive a $225 cash award. To be considered, you must register and attend the in-person printing day. Awardees will be chosen via a random lottery—a special thanks to our Education Partner, Speedball Art Products, for the funding!

Summary: Join BIG INK at the Delaplaine Arts Center in Frederick, MD, for a relief printmaking workshop of epic proportions! Learn how to carve a woodblock, then print your carving on a custom-built giant printing press. Beginners are welcome!

Once registered, participants can access an online masterclass led by Lyell Castonguay. Following Castonguay’s expert guidance, you will carve your design from the comfort of your home. Links in the class platform show you where to purchase the essential supplies, including wood and carving tools. If you have questions, Castonguay is an email or phone call away.

The workshop concludes with you meeting Castonguay at Delaplaine Arts Center on 10/5 or 10/6 from 9 AM to 5 PM. You’ll learn proper woodblock printing techniques, including applying ink to the carving you created at home. By the end of the day of in-person instruction, you will have multiple impressions of your design printed on acid-free paper. Other participants will be present, providing knowledge-sharing and collaboration opportunities.

Castonguay brings a custom-built giant printing press to the workshop. The press is affectionately named The Big Tuna due to its size and strength. It is a precise machine that creates flawless woodblock prints. Workshop registrants receive three impressions from their carving produced on the press.

Venue Info: The Delaplaine welcomes more than 80,000 visitors yearly to our 40,000-square-foot flagship of the arts. The center offers family-friendly events, one-day workshops, gallery talks, and more to enhance the educational experience. The Delaplaine also maintains three satellite galleries in partnership with the Frederick County Public Libraries at the Brunswick Branch Library, Thurmont Regional Library, and Urbana Regional Library.


Participation highlights include one year of access to our online master class, seven hours of in-person instruction with Lyell Castonguay, a printmaking supplies sample kit, a paper sample pack, and three professionally made woodblock prints from your carving.

When registering for this workshop, up to three people can work together on a single board to carve one image. Diptychs, triptychs, or any configuration where multiple artists carve different image panels to be printed together do not qualify as a collaboration. Only one person from the group needs to register for all the members. Please list the collaborators’ names in the “Order Notes” field.

Beginners are welcome! You’ll learn the woodblock carving and printing process through online and in-person instruction.

Your mailing address will be shared with our workshop hosting partners, Legion Paper and Speedball Art Products. Legion will send you a paper sample pack, and Speedball will send a printmaking supplies sample kit. Otherwise, we do not share your information with third parties.

BIG INK supplies consumable materials (ink, acid-free printing paper, newsprint, cleaning supplies), equipment, and assistance printing your woodblock.

You purchase wood and carving tools separately. BIG INK recommends carving with Power Grip brand tools.  Our preferred substrates are Cherry Plywood, Shina Plywood, and Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF).  Cherry plywood can be purchased on, Shina at McClain’s Printmaking, and Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) at any local building supply store. The wood must be either 3/8″ or 1/2” in thickness.

The cost of the material depends on the wood type and size. An average cost estimate is a hundred dollars.

The minimum and maximum allowed woodblock size is listed under the workshop info heading at the top of this page.

No, workshop participants are required to carve wood. Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) is easy to carve and cheaper to purchase than linoleum.

Due to limited time and working space, color printing cannot be accommodated. Your woodblock is printed on white Masa paper using black Speedball Oil-Based Relief Ink.


Workshop registration fees are non-refundable and non-transferable to another location.

You are required to attend only one in-person instruction day. You will receive an email with your assignment before the workshop.

You may ship your woodblock to the venue, but please let us know beforehand so we can inform our hosting partner. Also, plan to include a return label in the package.

We recommend cutting your wood to fit inside a drawing portfolio before carving. These sections can be pieced together on the press. Remember that each cut will create a thin white line in the finished print, so plan your design accordingly.

Questions may be directed to Lyell Castonguay at



Woodblock Printmaking Teacher
Hello There!

My name is Lyell Castonguay, and I’ll be your instructor. I started carving woodblocks while obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. I live in Maine, and my newest work examines the lives of animals through the lens of an illustrator and visual storyteller. My pet doves and finches inspire me to continue making nature-themed woodblock prints.

If you have questions about woodblock printmaking, please don’t hesitate to reach out via the contact form below. I am excited to hear from you.

    Special Thanks To Our Education Partners!