Colourful woodcut printmaking with Merlyn Chesterman

Ref: S5D08841

Suitable for all

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About this course

Learn all you need to know to make colourful, exciting and artistic woodblock prints. Develop skills in design, cutting, sharpening, inking and editioning from both black and white and multi-colour blocks. The course is a journey into tools, papers, opaque and translucent inks, pigments and printing methods, both by hand and with a press.

Course Description

Discover how to use printed colour in spontaneous, enjoyable and playful ways. Using blocks as a vehicle for experimentation with colour extend the scope and ambition of your skills.

On this practical course you will learn how to use the tools and materials for woodcut prints in a safe, free and purposeful manner. You will also develop an artistic vocabulary within this medium that leads to successful prints. The tutor will provide you with demonstrations, talks and plenty of one-to-one support throughout to ensure everyone experiences confidence in making woodcut prints.

By the end of the course you will have the confidence to use translucent and opaque inks in an innovative way. You will also have the knowledge to maintain and sharpen your tools, will be able to plan and execute a multi-block, multi-colour print and to print by hand and with a press.

By understanding the full possibilities of woodblock printmaking you will be in a position to use what you have learnt to further your own artistic and technical development.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • Wood blocks - single A2 size sheet of prepared poplar plywood which can be cut to smaller sizes as required
  • Inks
  • Basic Paper - paper for proofing and some editioning is supplied
  • Additional woodblocks and specialist papers can be purchased from the tutors. If you are very productive you will need to purchase extra paper for editioning.

What students need to bring

  • There is no particular preparation required for this course but students may wish to bring sketchbooks or other material to use as a starting point.
  • Bring an apron if you have one

Available to buy

  • Paper
  • The tutor will have specialist woodcutting tools, woodblocks and paper available to buy as required during the course.


Merlyn Chesterman

Merlyn Chesterman is a woodblock printmaker. She trained in Fine Art at Bath Academy of Art. She has a Dip Ed and has taught at West Dean since 2005. Merlyn has a studio in North Devon, and her woodcuts are exhibited worldwide.

She is a Senior Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, and in 2014 set up Pine Feroda, a group of 4 printmakers who work collaboratively to produce large-scale woodcuts. Merlyn has recently completed residencies in Hangzhou China, Hong Kong and Sweden, and is co-author of the book 'Making Woodblock Prints', published by Crowood Press.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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