Atmospheric woodcuts with Merlyn Chesterman


Ref: S5D11403

Book now

1 place available

About this course

Make colourful, exciting and atmospheric woodblock prints both by hand and with a press. Develop skills in design, cutting, sharpening, inking and editioning from both black and white and multi-colour blocks.

Course Description

Study atmospheric woodcuts in depth from all traditions as you make one or more woodcuts. During this course you will learn how to express atmospheric and ephemeral feelings in a medium which appears hard-edged, as you extend the scope and ambition of your existing skills.

The tutor offers expert tuition through demonstrations, talks and reviews to ensure you gain confidence in making woodcut prints. 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.

By the end of the course, you will have the skills to cut a block with artistic control, either in black and white or colour, or both. You will know how to maintain and sharpen your tools, be able to use translucent and opaque inks, 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 until 9pm, 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 – A4 size prepared poplar plywood blocks as required
  • Inks
  • Basic paper – paper for proofing and some editioning is supplied
  • Additional woodblocks and specialist papers can be purchased from the tutor if you require more than that included in the course fee.
  • Bring tools if you have them. If not, they are available from the shop and the tutor.

What students need to bring

  • Bring an apron or old shirt, soft pencil and rubber, and a notebook.
  • 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.

Available to buy

  • Available from tutor:
  • Specialist woodcutting tools, woodblocks and paper.
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


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.

Courses of interest

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.