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Art students complete prestigious Eisteddfod Crown project


Four applied arts students from Glyndŵr University completed their studies with a prestigious project after being given the opportunity to help create a crown for the 2013 National Eisteddod of Wales.

The students formed a support team for Flintshire artist and silversmith Andrew Coomber, who was commissioned by the Flintshire & Denbighshire branches of the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) to design and manufacture the bardic crown for the event in Denbigh, which started on Friday 2 August.

The design is inspired by the colour and imagery of the agricultural Vale of Clwyd and Moel Famau and reflects lyrical qualities of the landscape in harmony with modern technology and materials.

With the agreement of the Eisteddfod and the FUW, the project was run as an externally funded educational project with the four Glyndŵr University students on board.

Morven Browne, Sarah Jones, Jess Bryant and Lísa Rún Guðlaugsdóttir all graduate from the BA (Hons) Applied Art course at Glyndŵr University this year.

The upper part of the crown reflects the colour and qualities of the Clwydian Hills and Moel Famau below which are the sinuous linear qualities of lane, road, fence, among other things, contrasted with the panels of field colours at different times of the season in the rural valley.

The method of construction employs four anodised and dyed aluminium panels each overlaid with a hand forged sterling silver frames.

These are linked together with gate / stile like structures which are engineered with nylon bearers to expand so that the crown can be easily adjusted to any head size.

There are approximately 150 individual parts assembled using small scale nuts and bolts reinforcing the representation of engineering in the landscape.

At the centre of the top of the crown is a crystal glass interpretation of the Jubilee Tower on Moel Famau. The crystal ‘walls’ are enamelled with the word ‘bardd’ repeated in a stone wall pattern.

The pleated and formed skull cap is made of hand coloured velvet reflecting the August hue of heather on the Clwydian hills.

The Arts Council of Wales has funded a film by professional artist film maker Chris Oakley, recording the story of the crown’s design and creation.

The film will be shown at the Eisteddfod and later at Ruthin Craft Centre, Oriel Wrecsam and Glyndŵr University.

The National Eisteddod is one of the world’s largest cultural festivals which takes place in North and South Wales alternately every year.

More than 150,000 people are expected to visit the 2013 event in Denbigh, which runs from Friday 2 August to Saturday 10 August.

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