Contemporary jeweller chosen as 2018 Eisteddfod Crown designer

30 June 2017

Cardiff University-sponsored Crown will be ‘respectful and unique’ 

A jeweller from Neath has been chosen as the designer who will create the Crown for next year’s National Eisteddfod in Cardiff.

Laura Thomas, 34, said she wanted her design to be contemporary and unique yet respectful of the Eisteddfod’s traditions.

Designing and creating the Crown – which is sponsored by Cardiff University in 2018 - will fulfil a long-standing ambition for the jewellery designer.

Laura said: “I have always wanted to design and make a Crown and I’m really excited.

“I’m hoping that it will create a unique centrepiece for the Eisteddfod that people will remember.

“I go to the Eisteddfod every year and once played the recorder in the orchestra at the Eisteddfod when I was at primary school!”

The Crown is a major National Eisteddfod honour and is presented to the winner of one of the two major poetry competitions.

Laura was chosen ahead of several high-quality designers following a competition led by Cardiff University.

She will now finalise her design before starting work ahead of the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff in 2018.

Laura, who studied jewellery design at Central Saint Martins in London, works for Mari Thomas Jewellery in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, and also creates her own jewellery and collections.

Her jewellery work involves parquetry where she inlays wood veneer into sterling silver, a technique that will feature in the Crown.

“We’re finalising the design at the moment. I’ve seen a lot of Crown photos and I haven’t seen one with this technique applied before,” she said.

Professor Hywel Thomas, Cardiff University Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Engagement, said: “As a proud Welsh university, we’re delighted to be able to play a prominent role by sponsoring the Crown.

“Laura is a hugely talented contemporary jeweller who will produce a distinctive Crown that will grace the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff next year.”



For further information or interview requests please contact Kevin Leonard at the Cardiff University press office on 029 2087 0997 or


Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework ranked the University 5th in the UK for research excellence. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University Chancellor Professor Sir Martin Evans.  Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise encompasses: the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences; and the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, along with a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff’s flagship Research Institutes are offering radical new approaches to pressing global problems.