Next Friday and Saturday Hot Bed Press will be holding its christmas Under the Bed Sale, along with the launch of this year's 20:20 Print Exchange. It's always a good do, the sale, with lots of lovely prints to buy at unbelievably reasonable prices, and tying it in with the 20:20 gives people an opportunity to see the size of the exchange. Nearly 600 prints, that sounds a lot - to see nearly 600 prints hanging together makes you realise it's bigger than that! Come along and enjoy with us, before the whole thing gets packed up and goes on tour.
No pictures today because there's nothing left. Everything has been packed up, and the vast majority posted on their way. The final couple of boxes left Hot Bed Press yesterday and were hand delivered this morning, and now nearly all of the workshops have received their packages (although a few boxes to Eire and Iceland might not have finished their journey just yet).
We should be posting details about the first few destinations of this year's tour quite soon, and the 2015 photos will be going live on our flickr site - again, quite soon. Meanwhile, we hope you all enjoy your own selections - and if not all of them are quite to your taste, you can always nudge your neighbour and see if they fancy swapping a couple.
We look forward to doing the whole thing all over again next year!
Above is a little summary of the week, from volunteers helping us fill more than 650 boxes, through those final random pick stages where all the piles of prints gradually reduced to one and then none left, to teetering piles of boxes (and there were more, incidentally, just around the corner), all filled with prints and just about ready to be packed up and posted off. At the beginning of next week, the small boxes will disappear into larger boxes and by midweek they should all be travelling.
We thought at first that there were no themes this year, but that was because the themes that were there are perennials - here's a very small selection from cats and dogs, birds, sea, maps and trees.
Week one finished, and what exactly have we got to show for it? Actually, quite a lot. We've moved from that heap of packages we showed in the last news entry, through all the lengthy checking of boxes and prints, the minor headache of sorting out how the workshops - with so many different numbers of printmakers - twin up, the setting up of a makeshift but surprisingly effective collection of 'tables', to a room filled with colour and enthusiasm sent to us from all over the British Isles and beyond.
Box production - from the pre-cut sheets and the screen all ready to go, to the various boxes printed and made up, and the final box sheet just screenprinted.
Inbetween everything else they do, Jen and Martin and Emma have printed hundreds of boxes for us - the very last one came off the screenbed not long before closing time yesterday - so we've been busy making those up too.
So now we're just about ready to start filling those boxes. Roll on week two!
Just some of the prints laid out and ready to sort.
All but the final few packages from workshops have arrived now, and officially the Grand Sort has started. Not the actual filling of boxes for printmakers and studios, not for a good while yet - first everything has to be checked.
What sort of things? Well, that all the boxes have arrived; that we have the right number of printmakers from each organisation; that each of them has provided the correct number of prints (we don't stress if they've given us too many!); that all the prints are labelled with all the information required, and sorted from 1 to 25 (it really does make a difference); that every print is DRY. Anything that isn't right needs to be corrected, if it possibly can be. That way, the actual sorting should run more smoothly.
One of Roma's rabbits on the left, and the starting point for everything - packages from the studios - on the right.
Many hundreds of boxes have to be printed - this year we've included a rabbit designed by the enormously talented Roma Auskanlyte. Then we have to work out which workshops will twin with which - not as straightforward as it might sound - and create an enormous sorting area, with hundreds of neat piles of prints (taking out any tissue as we go), all arranged so that the sorters can make their way round easily. In another area we build more neat piles - this time of the boxes, ready to be filled with prints. Meanwhile, we make sure we have a record of each and every printmaker's work to load up to our flickr site - again, with all the matching details - which, even allowing for those studios that provide us with perfect images, is still a lot of scanning. And lists, there are lots and lots and lots of lists. All of this takes a great deal longer than you might think!
Only then shall we start to fill boxes. First the workshop ones - twinned and random - and at long last the individual printmakers' boxes, but more of that another day. We'll keep you posted.
We'll let you know the most recent 20:20 news and developments here