After months and months of hard slog, planning and organizing we are now finally in the new premises, and in control of our own future. It’s great to see it all come together; after all the thinking. planning and imagining, to see it come to life is a revelation. It is such a nice space to be in, which will really help as we spend a lot of time here. It will help with turning around work quickly, as it is a bigger and more efficient space to work in, designed around making frames in an organised professional manner. More importantly, I’m hoping that being in such an inspiring place will help us creatively, and keep progressing as a business at the forefront of the framing industry.


The Next Step

Phase 1 has been to move the business from Wharfebank Business Centre, where we have served Otley and beyond over the last 20 years, to the new premises with minimal disruption, whilst keeping up with all orders. This is now nearly complete – and once everything is in its place, we can move onto Phase 2. This will see us promoting the Gallery side of the new premises, and working with artists, to promote their work and build a network of creative people. The new premises just cries out to show-off art work; the really high detailed ceilings, original features and the beautiful light created by the glass atrium all enhance an already inspirational space. We will be hoping to exhibit both renowned artists and community projects, and we are open to new ideas. As we are open all week, it will give more people the opportunity to see the art on display, and put less pressure on the artist to go for the “hard sell”. We are even looking at new ways of selling art, where more money goes directly to the artist. There are lots of ideas at the moment and it’s incredibly exciting – we can’t wait to experiment and try new things.

There will be many more blogs to come about the building and the renovation, as well as picture framing, but for now we would just like to thank everybody that has helped us get here, particularly:

  • our patient and supportive families, who have helped us along the way;
  • the skilled professionals who have done excellent work on the renovation, bringing the space back to life and giving us the purpose-designed framing workshop we had envisioned;
  • and we’d especially like to thank all our customers. We are so grateful to your continued support: without you guys we wouldn’t be here.

The Art Works New Address

It’s getting closer to the move and about time we let the “secret” out of the bag. Here is our new address:

The Art Works, Courthouse Street, Otley, LS21 3AN

We are moving to the old council one-stop-shop at the rear of Boroughgate. Below is a map to help you find it. We are opposite The Courthouse, which is an amazing arts and resource centre, and a true asset to Otley. We would highly recommend checking out their itinerary and visiting if you haven’t already.

How to get in

You access the building from the one way Courthouse Street, and we are about half way down on the left. There will be four parking spots and somewhere to lock your bike up right outside the front door, no more secret handshakes to get in on a weekend! (Our existing mill is locked on a weekend). This should make us much more accessible and it will be easier to drop off and pick up your pictures, although we will still help you to your car when you do come in. If you just fancy popping in for a nosey you are more than welcome to do that as well.

New Picture framers

Renovation Update

Firstly, happy New Year and I hope you have survived dry January. The Art Works renovation was quiet over the festive period as we were just too busy doing what we do: making picture frames. But now we have a pending deadline, so it’s full steam ahead!

We are so excited to get in and show people the building. It is perfect for us, with its stained glass windows, period features and detailed atrium ceiling. It is going to be a really inspiring and creative space to work in.

Sadly, there have been a couple of setbacks, not least in that some delightful person broke in and vandalised the toilets, flooding the place – which was a nice surprise to come back to after the Christmas holidays. But it’s all cleared up now.

Onto better things! When we pulled up the tatty, horrible green carpet tiles, we revealed an amazingly beautiful original parquet floor. What were they thinking gluing these awful tiles to this hand crafted floor? Surprises like this make renovating an old building so satisfying. Motivated by this discovery, we’ve pulled up all the tiles and it’s ready to be restored. Later this week, the very talented Evan and Dusty Chris from Bare Joinery will be going to work on it. Can’t wait.

Pulling up floor
There is still so much work for us to do, with all the utilities being installed as if new. First stop is the electrics. Our friends HW Metcalfe, who we’ve known and worked with since the very start of the Art Works, are helping us with this. Fred has been hard at work rewiring and getting the three phase ready for our double mitre saw.

Trench for electricsFred at work









Outside, we have a nice trench dug by Nigel Downing(who has been amazingly helpful), through which the electricity supply will come. We just need N.Power to pull their finger out and install the meters so that we can light the place up again.

Anyway, that’s where we’re up to – I’ll try to keep this blog up to date with news and pictures from the renovation, and you can check out our Instagram page for regular picture updates . Thanks for everybody’s support and interest. It is still business as usual in the “old place” for now. As soon as we have a date for moving in, we will let you know. It will be in the next couple of months. Don’t worry, we are less than ten minutes away from our current spot, and there is ample private parking right outside the door, and no secret handshake to get in on a weekend (thank you to all the Saturday customers who’ve had to negotiate the main doors!).

Christmas Opening times 2016

Happy Christmas Everyone,

Its that time of year where I write my annual blog where I say that next year’s resolution is to write more blogs… It’s been a very busy year, ending with the exciting news that we will be moving next year into our own premises with amazing character, a great light space for making and hanging art and ample parking. More on our grand design renovation to follow in future blogs 😉 and on our Facebook and Instagram account.

Here’s our opening times for the festive period:

  • Weekdays until Friday 23rd: 8 am – late (after 6 give us a call we will prob be here)
  • Christmas eve: 9 am – 3 pm
  • Christmas Day: CLOSED
  • Monday 26th- Tuesday 3rd: CLOSED
  • Wednesday 4th: 9 am – 4:30 pm
  • Thursday 5th: normal hours resume


New Building

Here we are just after we have received the keys to our new premises in time for Christmas.




Merry Christmas!


Tour De Yorkshire

Hello just a quick one to say we are very excited about the Tour de Yorkshire coming through Otley after such a great success with The Tour De France in 2014. With the added excitement of seeing Otleys very own Olympic medalist Lizzie Armitstead! You can watch the Ladies race starting in Otley town centre at about 8:15 and the mens race starts at about 2.mainphoto-legranddepart

We will be open as usual but be aware some roads will be closed for the race so plan your route accordingly. (Tour De Yorkshire website) We are also excited to be having a pop-up store outside The Fleece where we will be selling our Tour De Yorkshire destination prints and bus blinds so please bob down and say hello. There will be plenty going, on The fleece will be open all day for breakfast, games and a BBQ with Heart Fm doing a live broadcast.

Enjoy the race and we hope to see you #AllezLizzie

Christmas Opening Times

Well I cant believe it is this time again the year has flown by, Christmas has kicked off at The Art Works which means lots of interesting jobs and late nights getting them done. We have even got a small tree this year complete with complementary chocolates. We will be open until midday on Christmas eve then we close for the festive period and a much needed break.  We will reopen on January 4th.

We are taking orders right up until we close so still time for those last minute Christmas presents. Our opening times are the same as usual but we do tend to be here late most nights so if these hours don’t suit you just give us a call and see if we are here. IMG_1106

I hope everybody has a good festive period and doesn’t do anything too embarrassing at the office party.




Happy Halloween

The Art Works would like to wish you a happy Halloween. Here is last nights effort at Pumpkin carvingpumpkin 2 I would like to take creative credit for using the pineapple but it was inspiration born from necessity as when i went to Morrisons last night there were only a few dregs of pumpkins left as it was late and i figured the pineapple would be easier to carve than the alternative swede i had my eye on. With the added bonus of actually being able to eat and enjoy its innards.



Today seems quite apt as well to be framing this Blue Dracula for Steve @ for his personal collection by the very talented artist and tattooer Suspiria @  Thanks Steve for introducing us to her work!dracula

An evening with the Bradford Bulls

Well its been a while since our last blog and a lot has happened since then. We have been really busy making custom frames – whether it has been intricate box frames for sports memorabilia or larger bulk contract work, it has kept us out of trouble. To help us with the work load we have added a new member to our team, which has been a great help and it’s been nice to get a fresh perspective on the business. Maybe some time in the future I will do a blog to introduce you to our whole team.IMG_0134

It would be impossible to list all the things we have done since February’s blog (slap on the wrist for leaving it so long!), so I will start with our latest Artworks’ outing. Last week, we took time out to visit the Bradford Bulls at Odsal to see their game against Featherstone Rovers. BJ and I are massive Rugby League enthusiasts, and it’s no secret that I’m a lifelong Bradford fan, while he supports the Leeds Rhinos. This can lead to some “friendly” banter in the workshop! The last time I was at Odsal I was delivering some framed nostalgic pictures of the Bulls’ history, which was a nice job on a personal level as they included pictures of my Granddad Idwal Fisher and uncle Tony Fisher, who both played for Bradford Northern back in the day. It was a nice surprise to spot them while framing.

5CC7D441-482E-4CAA-9272-AD12BC2216DFIt was a glorious, baking hot evening, and the hospitality was great. The result wasn’t the best – unless you’re a Featherstone fan – but you can’t win them all. At halftime, we were addressed by referee Richard Silverwood, which gave a great insight into the dark world of refereeing. Perhaps surprisingly, he was actually a nice bloke and very entertaining; maybe I will think twice next time I shout at the TV 😉  I would recommend the experience to anybody whether you like Rugby League or not (if that could be possible) and wish the Bulls all the best for the culmination of the season going into the Super 8’s (which I confess to not really understanding just yet). And here’s a shameless selfie of me with the Bradford and Kiwi international rugby legend that is Robbie Hunter-Paul. On the right is a picture of referee Richard Silverwood being grilled by ex-Bradford player and compere for the evening, Rob Parker


Handmade arts and crafts at the Art Works

I am completely hooked on Pinterest and Instagram.  They are such a great, accessible resource for inspiration for creating new things and getting new ideas – and not just for at work, but at home as well.

Love Birds

A nice idea that kept popping up was these cute bird pictures made using recycled materials. I love the simplicity of the idea and thought I’d have a go myself. Everything I used was from my garden, which I think makes the art work a little more personal. As I’m a picture framer, I had plenty of excess mountboard to hand, and a good idea of how I would like to frame them.

It was quite easy to make the pictures. I simply positioned the different materials onto the acid-free conservation-level mountboard, and glued them on using a clear quick adhesive super glue, taking care not to put too much on so it was not visible. The twigs I used were dead ones found on the floor as I thought that if I took live twigs it might decay in the frame, creating moisture and mould.Bird art

For the frame I had a clear idea of where the pictures would be ending up, so this influenced the type and colour of the frame. I needed to create some depth in the frame to contain the raised parts – you wouldn’t want to squash them as it would ruin the appearance and you would lose the shadows. I did this by using a curved slip frame, then glass goes on top of this and then another frame over the top of this to contain the glass and keep the space. I decided to use Clarity Glass,which is a speciality glass that is so clear it appears to be invisible. It also has anti-glare and anti-UV properties. It’s more expensive than standard float glass, but I think it is worth it for that special finish.Craft art Work

So that’s the fun day doing crafts: now I just have to paint the room so I can hang the pictures! As it is Valentines day (otherwise known as BJ’s birthday) coming up, I did a little one to mark the day. If you like the idea and would like to make your own just bob in and we will be happy to donate some small bits of mountboard. Its a great way to get creative or even a fun idea to do with the kids, just be careful with the glue!

Christmas party at the Leeds Rhinos

Happy belated New Year everybody. I know it is already February and some people will already be making plans for Christmas 2015, but lets get summer out of the way first. It’s been a busy January with no rest for the wicked since getting back from our short break. We’ve had a lot of interesting custom framing in and an influx of sports shirts to frame, from Froome’s Yellow Jersey, to a signed Pele Brazil shirt and an unveiling of the New Leeds Rhinos shirt – which will bring me onto my next paragraph.Shirt framing

Apart from all the bespoke picture framing we have been doing, we managed to find time for The Art Works annual Christmas party ( a wild affair I know). We treated ourselves to a corporate day at Headingley Stadium to watch the Leeds Rhinos Vs Bradford Bulls in a pre season friendly featuring the Legend that is Jamie Peacock for his Leeds Rhinos Testimonial. The game had a little bit more of an edge to it as I am a long time Bradford Bulls fan and Bj supports the Leeds Rhinos. This is a fixture that will be much missed this year due to the Bulls being relegated, but lets not go into that right now.

Headingly Selfie

We would like to say a big thanks to the team at the Rhinos for an excellent Sunday afternoon where we were wined, dined and treated to an excellent game of rugby (I wont mention the score)JP and brilliant service. A nice touch was being addressed by some ex players and big personalities (Barrie McDermott) and then to cap it off a few inspiring words from the big man himself JP. We would thoroughly recommend the experience to anyone even if you don’t like Rugby League, a concept I struggle to grasp.

After the game we went for a few frames of pool which unfortunately age overcame youth and Bj and Keith won, mainly due to the fact that Keith turned out to be a bit of a shark and carried Bj in my opinion. So that’s it for 2014 looking forward to framing lots of new and creative things which we will blog about when they come.

Martin and Bj