Students Create and Print Giant Woodblock Art Piece

Since the start of the school year, they have spent long hours working on their project in Halle McPherson’s Art III class. Finally, Cuyahoga Heights High School students Dani Mach (pictured, left) & Mina Katona (right) saw their efforts come to life on the “Big Tuna”, an enormous custom printing press that stopped at Baldwin Wallace University in early November. 

The Big Tuna was the highlight of the “Big Ink” printmaking event run by professional artists Lyell Castonguay and Carand Burnett. The event was sponsored by the Print Club of Cleveland and the Baldwin Wallace University School of Humanities. 

The CHHS students’ 40- x 80-in. woodblock carving resulted in a jaw-dropping work of art. Woodblock is essentially a hand-carved stamp coated with ink and pressed onto paper by hand. Large woodblocks require a specialized machine, either an etching or a platen press, to exert enough force to produce a quality impression.

Hot off the Big Tuna, Mach and Katona’s woodblock project is being featured in an exhibit at the Fawick Art Gallery located at Baldwin Wallace’s Kleist Center for Drama & Art Building. The event runs through December 2 with gallery hours from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.