Woodblock Printmaking with Merlyn & Rod
  • Hartland, Devon, United Kingdom
  • 25 hours over 5 days

Woodblock Printmaking with Merlyn & Rod

Escape to the remote and spectacular coast of southwest England with Merlyn, an internationally renowned woodcut printmaker and Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers member. Using playful and experimental approach, learn to transform ideas into high-quality woodcut prints while soaking in the outstanding natural beauty of North Devon.

Alternatively, learn from Merlyn’s long-time collaborator Rod in the historic area of Cotswold with century-old arts and crafts history.
  • Breakfast, Snacks, Coffee, & Tea


One Guest
USD $1830
Additional guest(s) (max 4)
USD $1320


One Guest
USD $535
Additional guest(s)
USD $535

Meet the Artist

Merlyn and Rod are two accomplished British woodblock printmakers and collaborators who have also co-authored books on woodblock printing.

Merlyn has been creating woodblock prints for over 20 years and is a member of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers. Growing up in Hong Kong, Merlyn first became excited by woodcuts in China on the Mongolian border, where they were used in place of glass in the windows and replaced each year. She eventually found a teacher in China and pursued further education at Bath Academy of Art in the UK, where she learned from some of the best-known visiting lecturers, including Howard Hodgkin.

She has been working exclusively in this medium ever since, using mainly lime, elm, and plywood for her boards and Okawara, a Japanese paper, for her prints. Merlyn's woodcuts reflect her strong emotions in connection with the natural world, whether it is the wind, the cold, fear, amazement, or delight.

Rod has been making woodcuts since 1994, inspired by the prints of Shiko Munakata. Developing his style has been challenging, as he has had to balance spontaneity with control. Rod's current work is based on the power of parallel flowing lines, and he is fascinated by the breaking up of flow and de-coherence to spray that occurs with waves and waterfalls. He has also spent much time on the water and is artistically drawn to that subject matter. Rod is not constrained to conventional tools and methods and often tests unique methods and tools to meet the technical challenges presented by the medium.

Merlyn and Rod see woodblock printmaking as both an art and a craft and encourage play and risk-taking in their approach to teaching. As true masters of the medium, spending time with Merlyn and Rod will surely be a marvelous treat for anyone interested in woodblock printing.

VAWAA Includes:

  • Introduction to woodcut printmaking using hand and roller press.
  • Focus on black and white woodcuts, followed by color for advanced participants.
  • Get familiar with woods, inks, papers, tools, and printing methods.
  • Learn techniques to achieve high-quality prints, such as – registration, offsetting, mixing, and applying opaque and translucent inks.
  • Experiment with the reduction or multi-block processes for color prints.
  • Editing and presentation techniques.
  • All paper, materials, and tools. Special paper can be purchased for an additional fee.
  • Walk along the rugged Atlantic coastline or coastal path, or an option to go wild swimming.
  • (If this VAWAA is hosted in Rod's studio in Stroud, visit the Ashmolean Museum or the city of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage City)

Stay at Merlyn & Rod's

Stay at Merlyn's 16th-century home, 50 yards from the studio, surrounded by the dramatic landscape of North Devon. Accommodations include a beautifully decorated double room with a queen sized bed and a private bathroom. There is also a twin room and a single room, with shower facilities available.

Continental breakfast is included with your stay along with access to a television, small library, and Wi-Fi. You will be welcomed by her home cat named Tinkerbell.

Explore Hartland, Devon

Merlyn and Rod's studio locations offer unique and inspiring settings for creative exploration. Merlyn's studio is nestled in the charming village of Hartland, located in the North Devon Biosphere in south-west England. The area boasts breathtaking coastal views and natural wonders, including one of the wildest headlands imaginable and sites of special scientific interest. The landscape and seascape around the Peninsula are ideal for this kind of art, as weather, tides and light transform the coastline making it ever-changing and never dull. You can also explore the small town's craft shops and pottery studios, and venture inland to experience the exposed moors and unspoiled woodland of the Hartland peninsula.

Alternatively, Rod's studio is in Stroud, Gloucestershire, a semi-rural area with fascinating historical associations dating back to pre-Roman and Roman times. In the mid eighteenth century the industrial revolution seems to have begun in these valleys, with primitive steam-powered machinery used to power the textile mills that still stand beautifully today. The area is also renowned for its arts and crafts for more than a century, making it an ideal location for creative exploration.

Additional Details

Note: This studio session is hosted in Merlyn's studio in Hartland, Devon, UK. Alternatively, this VAWAA can be hosted in Rod's studio in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, UK which is 3 hrs from Merlyn's studio, giving you a great range of what England has to offer in terms of landscape and history.

The best time to visit is between March–September when the days are lighter, brighter, and longer. If you're looking to avoid rainy days, then the wettest months are typically November and December.

This VAWAA can be extended for up to 10 days. Please ask when you send your booking request. Unfortunately, sessions cannot be adapted for individuals in wheelchairs.

Merlyn has a cat named Tinkerbell in her home. If you are allergic to cats, please bring suitable medication before you arrive.
Merlyn & Rod's Availability 5 days

Guest Reviews

  • Michael P., United States

    Working with Merlyn and Rod was a total delight. They provided a wonderful mix of how-to and exciting collaboration on woodcut projects. And they showed me around Hartland and made me feel comfortably at home. It was a great honor to learn from and work alongside these two incredible artists. They made the experience challenging yet fun and highly rewarding. I hope to continue learning more from t Read more

  • Russell H., United States

    Merlyn is an incredible artist, teacher, and host. I couldn't have asked for a better or more welcoming environment to learn the art of woodblock printing and become familiar with the beauty of the Devon landscape and Hartland community. I came away rejuvenated from a very comfortable stay at her home and energized and inspired to continue practicing this art form.