Sacred Art Retreat: Carving Buddhist Woodblocks in Mokuhanga

with Faith Stone

July 17 (9am) – July 21 (4pm)              **participants arrive the night prior to start date

Program fee: $600 (includes $100 materials fee) plus the cost of accommodations

Embark on a profound artistic journey with our 5-day Mokuhanga printing workshop for beginners, led by the renowned artist Faith Stone. Immerse yourself in the Japanese Technique of carving and printing woodblocks, specifically focusing on the rich tradition of thangka woodblocks. 

Under the expert guidance of Faith Stone, participants will delve into the intricate art of carving Buddhist images inspired by the thangka tradition. The workshop will emphasize the creation of background environments and the carving of simple Buddhist iconography, capturing the essence of sacred imagery. This exciting printmaking intensive centers around Mokuhanga, a water-based Japanese woodblock printmaking method renowned for its unique and environmentally friendly approach. ​

The hands-on process of the wood carving workshop adds a personal touch to each creation, infusing a sense of connection with the ancient art form. Immerse yourself in the discipline of Mokuhanga as you cultivate a dialogue between storytelling and a dynamic relationship with color, form, and space. Participants will have the opportunity to compose original woodblock prints. Faith Stone’s carving classes go beyond technical instruction—they bridge tradition and contemporary expression.

The carving workshop concludes with printing these thangka-inspired images onto traditional Japanese mulberry paper, creating a tangible and timeless connection to Buddhist art. Join us for “Carving Thangka woodblocks,” where the sacred meets the contemporary, and the art of carving Buddhist woodblocks comes to life in the mesmerizing world of Mokuhanga.

Secure your spot in this unique printmaking intensive, and let Faith guide you through the creation of intricate and spiritually resonant images on beautiful shina woodblock. Your journey into the sacred art of Buddhist woodblocks awaits!

Materials fee of $100 (included in the $600) includes 3 shina woodblocks, a baren for printing, watercolor inks, mulberry paper and simple brushes. Carving tools will be supplied.

Workshop limited to 12 participants.

Retreat Schedule

*We recommend arriving the day before the retreat begins to settle in and get a good night’s sleep.

Day 1
9:00am Retreat begins; introduction in Art Cabin
9:15-12:00pm Beginning the process (breaks included)
12:00-1:00pm Lunch
1:00-3:45pm Workshop (breaks included)
4:00-5:00pm optional Hatha Yoga class, or continue working on your carving
5:00pm Dinner
6:30-7:30pm Evening Meditation (optional)

Day 2-4
6:00-7:00am Guru Gita chant (optional)
7:00-7:30am Guided Meditation (optional)
7:30am Breakfast
9:00-12:00pm Workshop (breaks included)
12:00pm Lunch
1:00-3:45pm Workshop (breaks included)
4:00-5:00pm optional Hatha Yoga class, or continue working on your carving
5:00pm Dinner
6:30-7:30pm Evening Meditation (optional)

Day 5
6:00-7:00am Guru Gita chant (optional)
7:00-7:30am Guided Meditation (optional)
7:30am Breakfast
9:00-12:00pm Workshop (breaks included)
12:00pm Lunch
1:00-3:45pm Workshop (breaks included)
4:00pm Retreat ends

About the Artist

Faith Stone

Author of “Drawing Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, “a how to” guide to traditional Tibetan style of drawing. I studied Tibetan Thankga painting at Naropa University in Boulder, CO and under the guidance of Khen Rinpoche, his brother Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal and the Drikung Skaybgon Chetsang. I attended Montserrat School of Visual Arts in Beverly, Massachusetts and then pursued a career as a chef, edible art. I have published three cookbooks and a novel, Rudi and the Green Apple.

My new direction is to fuse two disciplines and add local flavor. My background is drawing and painting traditional Tibetan thangkas, Buddhist scroll paintings. I am merging that with the practice of traditional Japanese woodblock prints, mokuhanga. Then, I add local landscape especially from Hawaii and Colorado where I spend most of my time. My goal is acknowledge a new art movement, that of American Buddhist Art. I honor the traditions of the past while making the artwork uniquely from a Western perspective. I believe the real joy of carving and painting Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Hindu deities is the idea of creating a space for the Buddha or deity to reside. The attitude is that once the painting is finished – The Buddha or Tara or Ganesha move in.

My woodblocks and paintings are held in private collections in the mainland, Hawaii, Europe and India. I was an award winning middle and high school art teacher in Kona, Hawaii and Boulder, Colorado. I am the director of Eldorado Yoga summer camp in Eldorado Springs, CO.

For more information, visit her website: www.faithstoneart.com

I have never considered myself an artist, and am even intimidated by coloring or simple crafts at times. But this workshop made art so accessible and fun! It was inspiring see so many people with all different levels of experience bring a Buddha to life by the end of the weekend. The teachers were knowledgable, encouraging, and super helpful. I’m hoping to take this workshop again in the future! 

S.W.