Check Out the site: BIG INK
From the Big Ink About Page: Lyell Castonguay and Carand Burnet founded BIG INK. The duo wanted to foster a community of people who create large woodblock prints. The first informal BIG INK occurred in Northampton, MA. Local artists carved blocks, ink was rolled out, and volunteers hand-printed the carvings. Those passing by could watch or lend a hand.
I have always wanted to participate in a BIG INK printing event. My daughter lives in Atlant, so I picked the Atlanta event. But woodcuts are new to me. So I started on a journey of doing a series of prints. All of the images are based on portraits I down loaded from Unsplash. This is a great resource for images and ideas.
Each image was downloaded, and then edited in Photoshop to get the image I wanted to try carving.
The print title "Reach For The Light" is 8x10in and carved on a pine board. It was my first woodcut that I liked the result, and its what got me started on wanting to do more. I also used this print to experiment using sand paper to give the block some tone. I cut a sheet to fill in the background, and ran it through the press, which left 1000's of tiny indentations in the print. I am going to use this image for my Christmas card this year.
The print titled "Sad" was the next one I tried, it is 9x11in and was also carved on a pine board I had laying around.
The print "Hot Jazz" was next, it's 9x12in. I used the sand paper again for some background tone.
The print titled "Depressed" was next, 9x13in, also on pine board. This print was picked, because I wanted a print with a lot of 'black' and just some more subtle lines for hair.
I submitted the image I used for the "Hot Jazz" print to 'Big Ink' with the intent of carving a 28x36in version. Quite a bit bigger. My studio press is 24x48in. So this is too large for me to print with a press. The 'Big Ink' organization recommended carving on cherry plywood. Which can be ordered from Home Depot. I ordered 2 48x48in sheets, one I had cut into pieces.
While I was waiting for a response from 'BIG INK', I did the "OH" print, 7x11in, this was my first print using a Dremel with wood carving bit for the subtle tones on the hands, face and around the eyes.
The image was acceptd, but I had never carved on plywood, so I did the "Portrait Study 1" which is 12x20in to practice. This also gave me more practice with the Dremel.
I was finally ready to carve the Big Ink print, titled 'Smokin', which is 28x36in. I was unable to to travel to Atlanta. So the image shown hear was hand printed using a baren. I have a plastic version, the traditional baren is made from bamboo, and very expensive. I tried a couple of prints, experimenting with water based and oil based inks. This image was from the water based ink on a dampened sheet of paper. All of the prints using the press were printed on dry paper. Someday I hope to find a larger press, possibly a future 'Big Ink' event to get some prints from.<>The 'Portrsit Study 2' print, 20x26in, is the one I am currently working on. This would be the largest print I can run through my press. This is also on the cherry plywood.