National Eisteddfod Crown Presented to Local Committee

This evening (26 July), the 2010 Blaenau Gwent and Heads of the Valleys National Eisteddfod Crown was presented to the festival’s local executive committee at a special event on the Eisteddfod Maes.

The financial prize was donated anonymously by Cyfaill y Cymoedd (Friend of the Valleys), and Ymddiriedolaeth Islwyn (Islwyn Trust) contributed towards the cost of the Crown,  The Crown was designed and produced by Suzie Horan from Cardiff, winner of the Gold Medal for Design and Craft at the 2008 National Eisteddfod.

The Crown was inspired by three things, steel, coal and the changes faced by the Blaenau Gwent area over many years.  She says that the Ebbw Vale Steelworks, the site of this year’s Maes, was the first in the country to combine the production of iron and steel, and she also speaks of the new vision leading the project at The Works, and the changes this scheme will bring.

Richard Davies, Chair of the 2010 Eisteddfod Committee said:

“Suzie’s inspiration came from three things which are very important to us in this part of Wales, and her ability to combine our industrial past with our future in such a beautiful way is a tribute to her talent as an artist.  It is a great honour for us that the Crown has been created by an Eisteddfod winner, and we very much hope that there will be a winner for this Crown at next Monday’s ceremony on the Pavilion stage.

“It’s a great pleasure to be here on the Eisteddfod Maes to receive the Crown.  We are fast reaching the climax of many months of work and commitment by local volunteers, for which we are very grateful.  Tonight, I would also like to thank Ymddiriedolaeth Islwyn, Cyfaill y Cymoedd, and the National Eisteddfod itself, for their support.”

The Crown was created using traditional silversmithing methods and tools, alongside more modern techniques such as laser cutting steel, reflecting the old and the new and the changes underway across the region.

Suzie used different elements when making the Crown to reflect the steelworks and the coal industry, including using a small steel rolling mill and traditional press to manipulate strips and sheets of silver.

The Blaenau Gwent and Heads of the Valleys National Eisteddfod is held in The Works, Ebbw Vale from 31 July – 7 August.  The Maes is convenient for visitors from all parts of Wales, with easy transport links from all main routes and regular public transport access.  Shuttle buses will run all day and evening from the car parks on the Rassau Industrial Estate and Cwm to the Maes, and buses will also run from the train station to the Maes.