Updated: Jun 7
Prynhawn Da I Chi I Gyd! / Good Afternoon to you All!
Today, in light of the postponement of the National Eisteddfod of Wales - which should be taking place as we speak - we are celebrating the history of the festival, learning some Eisteddfod trivia, and looking back at 2012 when Anne Morgan was given the much coveted honour of designing and making the bards crown.
Read on to find out who won the crown that Anne designed, (pictured above), what the Academy Awards have got to do with the Eisteddfod, and why Pavarotti credited his incredible career to the festival.
Also, as a celebration of all things Eisteddfod, we’re giving you a discount code worth 20% to spend when buying through our online shop.
Yr Hanes / The History
The National Eisteddfod is thought to be the oldest and largest festival celebration of music and poetry in Europe, with roots dating back to 1176.
It is said that Rhys Ap Gryfydd invited poets and musicians from all over Wales to a grand gathering at his castle in Cardigan, with a chair at the Lord’s table being awarded to the best poet and musician. This is a tradition that continues today in the modern Eisteddfod, although the festival as we know it, only came to fruition in 1880, and apart from 2020, has only been cancelled on one other occasion - 1914 at the outbreak of the First World War.
Today, the National Eisteddfod is a celebration of both traditional and contemporary Welsh language, culture, craftsmanship, music, poetry and life.
Y Coron / The Crown
In 2012 Anne was approached to design and make the Bard's crown, after being selected from a prestigious short-list of designers.
That year, the Eisteddfod was held in the Vale of Glamorgan which provided Anne with a perfect source of inspiration for her design, taking cues from the rugged Welsh landscapes and specifically the Welsh heritage coastline in the Vale.
“I looked at the views from Ogmore and Southerndown. We have the sandy beaches and places like Barry Island, but also the drama of the coastline at Nash Point and Southerndown. I wanted to show the peaks, textures and layers of the cliffs in the piece. Although the texture is quite organic I wanted it to be quite sharp and finished, quite strong with clean lines. So I combined smooth lines and sharp points with texture.” AM
The result is this incredibly beautiful piece that encapsulates everything Anne wanted from her design. Presented to the winning bard for their poetry during the culmination of the festival, it's a centre-point for the entire event, and a a true honour to be asked, especially as a non welsh speaker.