Call for expressions of interest: 2018 Eisteddfod Crown

15 May 2017

The 2018 Eisteddfod Crown is presented by Cardiff University.  The University is currently looking for a designer to work on the project.

The concept

Expressions of interest are invited to design and create the Crown which will be presented to the winner of one of the two major poetic competitions of the National Eisteddfod of Wales to be held in Cardiff between 3-11 August 2018. We will be sponsoring the design and creation of the Eisteddfod Crown for 2018, therefore the successful craftsperson will be contracted by us.

The Crown is one of the Eisteddfod’s main honours and the design and workmanship should be of the highest standard. It is a symbol that is used in a public ceremony taking place on a large platform and in view of thousands of people. The final design submitted will be approved by the Gorsedd Board before any work is commenced.

We are an innovative research-led university. Driven by creativity and curiosity, we strive to fulfil social, cultural and economic obligations to Cardiff, Wales and the world. We would like the design of the Crown to reflect its values, in particular the sustainable and innovative ethos of Cardiff and its wider region. We would also like to involve students in the design and production process and so would be interested to hear how a craftsperson might be able to incorporate the involvement of up to three students.

Design criteria

The National Eisteddfod stipulate the following must be included in the design:

  1. /|\ The Mystic Mark. This should be placed in a conspicuous and dignified position, ie on the front of the Crown.
  2. The official name of the Eisteddfod.
  3. The year of the Eisteddfod.

Note: No other words are allowed.

The Crown should be so designed that it is possible for adjustments to be made prior to the ceremony in order that it will fit the person to be crowned. This is usually done by having the ends of the circlet overlapping at the back and with means of unscrewing one of the decorations, usually an acorn. It can then be screwed into one of a series of holes in the circlet after the organiser has ascertained the size of the head of the person to be crowned.

Designers should note that the winner could be male or female.

The Crown should not be too heavy as it is worn for quite some time during the ceremony.

The Crown should be ready by the end of January 2018 in order that our internal procedures can be followed, and that a colour photograph can be taken for the Eisteddfod Programme and presented to the Executive Committee.

The Crown may be made of any material as long as the material is robust and long-lasting.

/|\ The Mystic Mark

The Mystic Mark or the Mark of the Ray of Light, a symbol /|\ devised by Iolo Morganwg to represent the virtues Love, Justice and Truth. However Iolo himself did not make much use of the symbol and it was after his death that it became increasingly popular. It was first seen on the Proclamation Scroll in Cardiff, 1833. By 1850 it could be seen on the banners in gorseddau and from around 1860 on new members' certificates.

By the end of the century it was considered the approved symbol of the Gorsedd of the Bards and appeared on its programmes, on the new banner and sometimes even on the Gorsedd Stones. By the 1950s it was decided that the symbol had to be included on every national Chair and Crown.

Budget and project stages

The budget to design and create the Crown is up to £5,000 (+ VAT if the designer is VAT registered), to be paid in three instalments:

  1. Stage 1: Selection: 33% payment in June 2017.
  2. Stage 2: Approval by Cardiff University Panel and Gorsedd Board: 33% payment in September 2017.
  3. Stage 3: Delivery of completed Crown: final payment following delivery in January 2018.


The closing date for Stage 1 application is 17:00 on 19 May 2017.

The interview date for shortlisted applicants is 16 June 2017.

A full and detailed design will need to be ready early in September 2017 for the approval of the Cardiff University Panel and the Gorsedd Board.

The Crown will need to be fully completed by the end of January 2018.

The date for presentation to the Eisteddfod Executive Committee and press launch is April 2018 (the artist will need to be available to attend).

Date for Crowning Ceremony is August 2018.

How to apply

Please send your application via an email to Jeanette Reis by 17:00 on 19 May 2017.

This should include the following:

  1. Name and contact details.
  2. Biography, including graphical examples (eg sketches, photos) of previous work.
  3. A response to the proposed concept (<500 words, with images if desired. Please note that images are not an essential part of the first round submission).
  4. Indication of availability for the duration of the project.
  5. Breakdown of estimated budget.
  6. Contact details for two previous clients that are willing to act as references.

Shortlisted applications will be invited to make a five minute presentation to the Cardiff University Panel, followed by a short discussion on 16 June 2017. They will also be asked to submit a short financial statement prior to the meeting.


For further enquiries, please contact Jeanette Reis via or +44 (0)29 2087 6936.


(Information supplied by Cardiff University)