Lyell Castonguay and Carand Burnet founded BIG INK in 2012. It began with Castonguay envisioning a community of like-minded artists who share an interest in large-scale woodblock printmaking. Recognizing that most artists don’t have the technical expertise required to produce such work, Castonguay began teaching the process. In 2016, BIG INK raised $15,000 through public support to build a press designed for routine travel called The Big Tuna. Given its modular construction, The Big Tuna is transportable virtually anywhere. BIG INK now tours the country hosting workshops with their press. What started as a small-town project has grown into a national program. Each year more artists become aware of how satisfying it is to carve and print. Also, the public becomes better informed about the process by viewing the art BIG INK participants create.

Speedball’s mission is to serve as the trusted brand of choice and a catalyst for inspiration, community, and accessibility for artists all over the world. Our partnership with BIG INK has served as an integral part of consistently prioritizing that vision in its efforts to bring enhanced awareness and education for large-scale woodblock printmaking. We are honored to be able to play a small role in making the opportunity to participate in BIG INK’s curriculum and events a reality for a greater number of talented and passionate printmakers.


The Speedball Art Products Alumni Scholarship encourages individuals who've previously participated to register for another public workshop. BIG INK draws randomly, and if selected, the workshop participation fee is covered by Speedball. Each scholarship recipient agrees to donate one of their woodblock prints to Speedball. Two scholarships are awarded per event, and recipients are featured below.


Public workshop participants receive a printmaking supplies sample kit in the mail after registering. The nicely branded box (artwork © Lyell Castonguay) includes the following items

  • Speedball oil-based ink
  • Arnhem paper samples
  • Rubber brayer
  • Purebond Cherry Plywood by Columbia Forest Products
  • Shina Plywood by McClain's Printmaking