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 $13,000 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 artists who’ve previously participated in a BIG INK event to reapply. BIG INK draws at random and, if selected, the workshop participation fee is covered by Speedball. Each scholarship recipient agrees to donate one of their large-scale woodblock prints to Speedball and the work is put on display at the company’s headquarters in North Carolina. Two scholarships are awarded per event and 2021 recipients are featured below.


Call-for-entry event participants receive a samples kit to kick start their print journey. Speedball ships the supplies, in a nicely branded box, to each artist shortly the following acceptance.

Contents include:

  • Speedball Oil-based ink (1.25oz, Black)
  • Arnhem paper samples
  • Rubber brayer
  • Columbia Forest Products Purebond Cherry Plywood sample
  • McClain's Shina Plywood sample



MARCH 26 & 27 Cincinnati, OH Tiger Lily Press
APRIL 2 & 3 Arvada, CO Arvada Center
APRIL 9 & 10 San Francisco, CA Sharon Arts Studio
APRIL 23 Hopkins, MN Hopkins Center
APRIL 29 & 30 Potsdam, NY SUNY Potsdam
JUNE 4 & 5 Westport, MA Dedee Shattuck Gallery
OCTOBER 1 & 2 Annapolis, MD Maryland Hall
OCTOBER 8 & 9 Lynchburg, VA Riverviews Artspace
OCTOBER 15 & 16 Duluth, GA Hudgens Center
OCTOBER 22 & 23 Austin, TX Ivester Contemporary


If you enjoy working with your hands, woodblock printmaking may be the perfect artistic medium for you! In this online master class join BIG INK’s Lyell Castonguay as he draws, carves, and prints the 24 by 36 inch woodblock pictured below. Work at your own pace from home and gain a comprehensive understanding of the process! All skill levels are welcome.