Crown and Chair for 2022 National Eisteddfod in Ceredigion revealed
Both the Ceredigion National Eisteddfod’s Crown and Chair have been presented to the festival’s Executive Committee, at a special ceremony in Canolfan Rhiannon, Tregaron.
The Crown designed by artist, Richard Molineux, was presented by Derwen Stud and International Welsh Cob Centre.
The Crown is presented for a ‘pryddest’ or collection of poems not in cynghanedd, of no more than 250 lines, on the subject of Gwres (Heat).
The prize money is donated Ifor and Myfanwy Lloyd, from Derwen Stud, and the adjudicators are Cyril Jones, Glenys Mair Roberts and Gerwyn Wiliams.
The Ceredigion National Eisteddfod Crown is a celebration of the culture of the area and of Wales in a series of twelve stained glass facades around the head. Cultural elements include Cardigan Castle, Cors Caron, the red kite, the River Teifi, Strata Florida Abbey and the National Library of Wales.
Using his original designs, Richard Molineux carefully painted mouth-blown glass with oxides, stained it with silver stain and enamelled with coloured frit before firing several times in the kiln.
He used a copper foil technique pioneered by Louis Tiffany in the late 1800s to create a series of 3-dimensional facades. He then placed the glass on a hand-woven copper headband, similar to a basket weaving style, to represent a harvest basket, and the creativity harvested at the Eisteddfod.
Within the head band is a bright red felt cap, embroidered with gold chord by textile artist Elinor McCue in a Celtic knotwork pattern. Around the head band are the words of the 2022 Ceredigion National Eisteddfod, with each letter individually laser-cut from a copper sheet before being enamelled with a two-tone bluish grading in an enamel kiln before being placed on the Crown.
The Eisteddfod Chair will also be presented to the Executive Committee this evening, and is this year, the Chair is presented for a poem or collection of poems in cynghanedd, of no more than 250 lines, entitled Traeth (Beach). The adjudicators are Idris Reynolds, Emyr Lewis and Twm Morys.
The Chair is sponsored by Cylch Cinio Dynion Aberystwyth, and the financial prize is donated in loving memory of Eluned and W Ambrose Bebb by their children and grandchildren.
Rees Thomas, Bow Street, has designed and created the Chair this year. A former woodwork teacher at Ysgol Gyfun Penweddig, Aberystwyth, he said: “I was inspired by the flow patterns of the Afon Teifi as it plunged from the Elenydd hills through the county and into the sea near Cardigan. As well as creating a Chair that takes its place on our Festival stage, I also wanted to create a piece of furniture suitable for the home.”
Rees worked on the project with his wife, Mary, and was helped by one of his former pupils, Aled Richards, to tip the wood and cut the mortise.
The Chair itself is made of oak, and discussing the design on the back, Rees said, “I borrowed the idea of including the Nod Cyfrin (Mystic Mark) and the name of Ceredigion in the Bardic Alphabet from the Gorsedd Circle at Aberystwyth Castle. These are made of bog oak from Cors Fochno near Borth in the north of the county. According to experts, the marsh dates back at least four thousand years.”
The red kite also features prominently on the back of the chair, and according to Rees, the image is based on a painting by his friend Wynne Melville Jones. “I wanted to celebrate the huge success of the campaign to save and develop the species, especially in the central part of the county around Tregaron, and the relevance of that conservation campaign in terms of our struggle today to secure the future of our language.”
Accepting the Crown and Chair on behalf of the Eisteddfod, Chair of the Executive Committee, Elin Jones said, “It’s a great pleasure to be here tonight to receive the Crown and the Chair on behalf of the Eisteddfod.
“There’s little over a month to go until we all get together here in Tregaron for the Eisteddfod, our Eisteddfod. And I’m sure we’re all hoping we’ll have deserving winners at both ceremonies. The Chair and the Crown are beautiful and represent different elements of our county and are both fully worthy of their place on our Pavilion stage this year.
“I’d like to thank Richard Molineux for creating the Crown and Ifor and Myfanwy Lloyd of the International Welsh Cob Stud at Derwen for donating the Crown and the financial prize. I’d also like to thank the family of Eluned and W Ambrose Bebb, Cylch Cinio Dynion Aberystwyth and Rees Thomas, not forgetting the work of Mary Thomas and Aled Richards as well, for this wonderful Chair. Thank you very much on behalf of the Committee, the Eisteddfod and the people of Ceredigion.”
The Crowning ceremony takes place on Monday 1 August at 16.30, and the Chairing ceremony on Friday 5 August at 16.30.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.eisteddfod.wales and can also be bought on the day.
The website also includes more information about the Ceredigion National Eisteddfod, held on the outskirts of Tregaron from 30 July – 6 August this year.
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