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

We are excited to announce that after Covid stopped play, our monthly talks started 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.

Please wear a face covering unless exempt on medical grounds

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 

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.

Shrewsbury Cathedral: front entrance

Owen Jones

Oak swill and basket maker

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

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.



Tim Hunkin

Monday 1st November 2021, 7.30pm, Friends Meeting House, Friargate 

Engineer, cartoonist, writer and artist, Tim Hunkin, talked about his fascinating and varied work.

Known for projects ranging from The Under The Pier Show of coin-operated automatons, to the TV series The Secret Life of Machines and his long-running The Observer comic strip, The Rudiments of Wisdom, Tim's talk will undoubtedly be rich and entertaining.

Tim Hunkin


Christmas Party and AGM
Monday 6th December 2021, 7.30pm, York Cemetry Chapel, Cemetry Road, York

Christmas Party after enjoying a talk by our guest speaker, Patrick Smith.

The evening started with a brief AGM.

Visit Patrick Smith's website

Mini Talks by YAWA Members
Monday 10th January 2022, 7.30pm, Friends Meeting House, York

We're starting the year with our popular and relaxed Mini Talks evening. Members will tell us about a piece of their work or an object which may have inspired them or they might demonstrate a technique or process. A whole range of subjects will be covered in these short talks of 10 - 15 minutes; come and be entertained and pick up all sorts of snippets of information that you didn't know before.

Charles Gurrey, sculptor

Monday 7th February 2022, 7.30pm, venue TBC. Please aim to be seated by 7.15pm
Please wear a face covering unless exempt on medical grounds

"As a sculptor working to commission, what I do seems to fall into three broad categories: Architectural Sculpture; Ecclesiastical Work; and, Sculptural work with Text. A broad range of materials get used in this work. This is not ‘fabricated’ work however. These are objects made through a direct involvement with material, and their form grows out of that.

As commissioned work, what gets made is also determined in part by a specific site, or purpose for the work, and it is perhaps influenced by whoever is commissioning it, or by consideration for those for whom it is commissioned. This is frequently public work and a number of things can inform what gets done.

Hopefully, I can involve the audience in some discussion of the work shown. I will be very selective and illustrate a very modest cross-section of what I do, in the hope that a range of issues might be brought-out that are part of what informs the design and making of the sculpture".

Julie Held, painter

Monday 7th March 2022, 7.30pm, venue TBC

Colour is central to Julie’s practice, expressing the poignancy of her lifelong preoccupation with the powerful yet fragile cycle of life.

Julie studied at Camberwell College of Arts and The Royal Academy Schools, London. Exhibitions include: The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, The London Group, The Jerwood Drawing Prize, The Threadneedle Prize, Flowers Central, The National Portrait Gallery and The Barbican, London, as well as solo shows in Prague, Leipzig and Hamburg. Her work is held in a number of public collections, including Nuffield College, Oxford University, New Hall, Cambridge University, The Open University, The Ruth Borchard, The Ben Uri Gallery & Museum and the Tomas Choir School in Leipzig.

Julie is an elected member of the London Group, NEAC, RWS and the Arborealists.

Visit Julie Held's website

Hannah Arnup, ceramicist

Monday 4th April 2022, 7.30pm, venue TBC

Talk by Hannah Arnup, ceramicist and founder of Arnup Studios in Holtby, York.

Visit Hannah's website
Visit Arnup Studios website

Ben Porter, Founder/Managing Director of York Creatives/portrait and lifestyle photographer
Monday 9th May 2022, 7.30pm, venue TBC

Ben will speak about York Creatives, which was founded in 2016 with the purpose of supporting the local creative community through the sharing of ideas, contacts and resources. Activities include running regular events including markets, talks and socials; working to increase access to affordable workspace and building online resources to signpost to under used assets in the city. 

He will also talk about the book which he produced and published last year. York’s Creative Spaces is a collection of photographs and interviews profiling the studios, workshops, galleries, creative offices and independent venues of York, UK. Created by Ben Porter, this book documents the quirky, historic, repurposed spaces York’s creative community inhabits and creates work from, and is a beautifully illustrated and fascinating volume.

Visit York Creatives website    

Visit Ben Porter photographer's website

Past Programmes