Hot Bed Press is a thriving microcosm of print goodness based in a large Victorian warehouse in Salford, on the edge of Manchester. From screenprint to typesetting, etching to solar plate there’s a plethora of beautiful old presses mingling with new fandangled machinery. Artists, designers, and print novices rub shoulders in this hub of a print facility that looks more and more like a large art college department.
The workshop has grown in recent years. It has come of age now it’s 20 years old. There are over 160 members who can access facilities for just £2.75 an hour, and with over 50 courses a year in a whole range of printmaking and book arts it’s a veritable feast. Courses are so popular that of the 3 programmes a year at least 2 extra courses have to be scheduled on each programme; all full before they are advertised. New to the programme is a year-long course; The Complete Printmaker which is bringing the art college experience into the open access print workshop. ‘It has been so popular that we could have run 4 courses straight away all taking 12 students each’. We ran 2 courses instead of the one advertised and have enough on the reserve list already for 2 more courses starting in January 2014.
Hot Bed Press also runs The Manchester Artists’ Book fair usually in October in the beautiful gallery/hall at Manchester metropolitan University and showing 45 stands of national and international book artists. Members show regularly in many group shows, (next up a joint show with The Highland Print Studio in Inverness; showing at An Talla Solais in Ullapool; on from 15th March until 14th April). In 2009 Hot Bed Press set up the 20:20 Print Exchange. Now in its 4th year it is already the largest print exchange in the UK. last year 9,800 prints were created by 392 artists from 31 print workshops. They expect it to grow even larger in 2013. The show of last year’s prints is currently on at The Art House in Wakefield and moves on to Liverpool, West Yorkshire, Edinburgh and Hereford.
There’s so much more going on there; placements, residencies, unique projects and just lots of creative juices flowing on a daily basis.