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Welcome to York Art Workers' Association

The York Art Workers' Association is an eclectic group of craftsmen, artists, conservators, academics and others who share a serious interest in the design of buildings, interiors and landscapes. Members represent architectural craftsmanship, other applied arts, fine arts, architecture and conservation. We welcome not only practitioners in these fields but anyone with a keen interest or appreciation of art & design.

We exist to extend and share our knowledge and experience through a programme of monthly talks, normally on the first Monday of the month (doors open at 7pm). We also organise occasional courses, workshops, outings & social events. Our talks are open anyone with an interest in the arts.

If you would like to know more about the association please feel free to get in contact, we will be happy to offer advice on becoming a member.

We're back in business (and in a new venue)

We are excited to announce that after Covid stopped play, our monthly talks start again in September 2021. We are now meeting at the Friend's Meeting House on Friargate, York, which allows us more space to host Covid-secure events, and is accessible for people with mobility issues.

Doors open at 7pm on the first Monday of the month, unless otherwise stated.
Admission: members £2, non members £5.

Membership and programme enquiries to:info@yorkartworker.org.uk

More events will be posted as soon as possible, but you can put these in your diary:

Bethan Griffiths

Fitting the New to the Old: 'Ironwork design in heritage settings'

Monday 6th September 2021, 7.30pm, Friends Meeting House, Friargate 

(please aim to be seated by 7.15pm. Test and Trace will be in operation)

In keeping with the unpredictability of the last year, our scheduled speaker can no longer join us at our first meeting. We are however delighted that our own Bethan Griffiths of The Ironwork Studio has agreed to step in and talk to us about 'FITTING THE NEW TO THE OLD: Designing New Ironwork for Heritage Settings'

New designs in heritage settings will always stimulate debate. Whether the design is reticent and recessive, or boldly contemporary, there will always be vehement advocates for and against the outcome. So how do you go about creating an imaginative and confident response, derived from the context, which not only respects but enhances historic surroundings?

Bethan will explore design approaches to new work in historic settings, illustrating her discussion with case studies. She will look at how, as designers, we can understand, respond to and engage with, the unique places for which they are commissioned. Although this talk focuses upon ironwork, the same issues relate to other craft disciplines.

We look foward, at long last, to meeting again next week for what will be an interesting and thought provoking evening.

Shrewsbury Cathedral: front entrance

Chris Topp and Bethan Griffiths, blacksmiths, forging during a collaborative European blacksmithing project.

Owen Jones

Oak swill and basket maker

Monday 4th October 2021, 7.30pm, Friends Meeting House, Friargate 

(please aim to be seated by 7.15pm. Test and Trace will be in operation)

Owen Jones has been making traditional oak swill baskets for more than 30 years. He coppices oak and hazel in local woodlands and enjoys the challenging journey from working in the woods, to cleaving, boiling, riving and dressing the oak; before relaxing into the mastered rhythm of weaving to create beautiful and rugged baskets. Owen also makes cleft oak gates, welsh frame baskets and rush hats. From oak log to finished swill, Owen will demonstrate and talk about his life as a traditional craftsman.


Rob Oldfield, hard at work in his workshop