Friday, February 25, 2011

Contest and Now, Onto The Spoon

Whether from poor grammar or inadequate planning, my last blog about the Eisteddfod spoon competition managed to confuse a number of people. So before I carry on too much further, I thought I would try to clarify the contest rules a bit. Basically, we are looking for assistance designing the three circular sections of the spoon. Everyone and anyone is welcome to enter a design, be it drawing, photo or text. Enter as many ideas as you like, but be aware that we will only accept one entry per person for the final 'vote' round of judging. It has been brought to our attention that some contestants may design three cohesive sections and only picking one will detract from their overall artistic statement. While we agree that is a possibility, we have decided that we would rather have three individual winners rather than a single winner so that we can encompass as wide a variety of ideas as possible. Hopefully, that decision will not offend anyone and will encourage those who may feel they only have a single idea to contribute their ideas!

Our main hope is that our little 'seat of the pants' contest will inspire some idea contributions and will raise a bit of interest in both the Eisteddfod and in the lovespoon we use to generate donations.

So scribble down your poems, doodles or creative masterworks and be part of the fun!

Now onto the spoon....

I have selected another beautiful piece of spalted birch for this year's spoon. Laura and I used a similar piece cut from the same tree for last year's spoon and we were delighted with the way it carved and by it's beautiful grain and colour. I think the design for Eisteddfod Spoon Mark III will work beautifully with this piece of timber and I am very excited to get underway!
If you have followed the creation of the last two Eisteddfod spoons, you will already know the spoon's fundraising purpose. If you are new to this blog, the spoon we are designing and carving here will be the draw prize for those who donate to this year's Eisteddfod which will be held for the first time in Los Angeles. Every dollar donated equals one ticket for the final we encourage you to make the laws of probability work in your favour by donating as much as you can!!!
So please join in our design competition and/or donate a few bucks toward helping us stage the Third Annual West Coast Eisteddfod.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Contest On!

Well, no sooner had we announced the contest to help design this year's Eisteddfod spoon, the ideas came flooding in! We're very excited to get such a positive response and we look forward to seeing lots more excellent ideas!

In case you missed it last week, here is the design for the spoon:

We'll be looking for 3 designs to fit the blank circular sections and are open to any and all ideas at this point. As mentioned earlier, you don't need to be an AmeriCymru member or have the artistic capabilities of a just need a desire to have some fun. Scribble down your best ideas and post them as comments at one of three locations:

You may enter as many ideas as you like but only one design idea per person will make it to the final poll.

The contest is open now and will close for entries on March 31 so you have chance to ammend, improve or re-do your entries you may have already sent or if you think of something better in the six weeks! The final poll to choose three designs will be up on all three sites for one month from April 1st and will close April 30. There are no restrictions to what you can enter -- pictures, photos, poems, whatever floats your boat! Just remember that it has to fit in a 2" inch diameter circle and I have to have a fighting chance of rendering it in wood. So photos of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling or the unedited text of Beowulf likely won't make the cut!! If you are Welsh or have Welsh ancestry, let your pride have free reign, if you aren't Welsh, pretend you are! Everybody is welcome to enter, we don't care if you are kids, grandparents, miserable cranks, wickedly irreverent humourists, capitalists, socialists, fat, thin, incredibly witty, ploddingly dull, even if you are English!! So go on, give it a go and don't use the old 'I can't draw' and 'I don't have the imagination for this kind of thing' routines, because we've already taken those....THAT'S why we're getting YOU to do the work for us!!!

Winners will be selected by public vote during the month of April. Visitors to the AmeriCymru website will be free to vote for their three favourites from 10 possibilities picked by a selection committee comprised of Ceri, Gaabi, Dave and Lorin. The selection possibilities will be chosen after a rigorous protocol of alcohol consumption, intense brawling, arguing and name-calling, in the Welsh tradition, has taken place within the committee.

We even have prizes!!! Fox Chapel Publishing have generously donated three copies of "The Fine Art of Lovespoon Carving" to be awarded for the three winning designs. As a bonus, you will also enjoy the unstinting praise and admiration of all who behold your champion design when they are announced on May 1!

Have fun and be part of the 2011 West Coast Eisteddfod!!! But please remember that the spoon's purpose is to help raise donations to support our event. Please see your way to helping with a donation and you could be the one who wins it!!

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Good things DO happen in threes!

Well after the downer tone of my recent blog, I am happy to say that all is well again in the lovespoon world and that good things have happened in threes....which makes a very welcome change from the usual 'bad things in threes' that seem so much more common.

First, I am delighted to say that the unpaid lovespoon situation has been happily resolved! The cheque has arrived, my 100% record is back on track and my faith in humanity has been restored! So although the situation definitely had some down moments, in the end it has all worked out.

Next, I am thrilled that my "Legend of Taliesin" lovespoon is now on display at the National History Museum of Wales at St Fagans near Cardiff. For me it is an absolute thrill to have a piece of my art on display in the very institution which inspired my passion many, many, many years ago! St Fagans, as it is more commonly known, is a true gem in the Welsh crown and is a world class museum of history and culture. Their collection of historical lovespoons is unrivalled and I feel very honoured to have my work be a small part of it. I also want to congratulate fellow carvers Mike Davies and Sion Llewellyn whose spoons are also on display!

Finally, my book publisher, Fox Chapel Publishing, have generously offered three copies of my book to the eventual winners of our upcoming Left Coast Eisteddfod "Help design the lovespoon" competition!! This year we will be soliciting help to design the lovespoon which we use as a draw prize incentive to help raise funds in support of our event!

This year we want YOU, yes, YOU, to help us design the 2011 West Coast Eisteddfod lovespoon.  As you can see on this year's spoon sketch, below, three circular spaces have been left blank and it is our hope that they will be filled in by supporters of our Eisteddfod.

We welcome Americymru members, Welsh society members, school kids, enthusiastic artists and poets, lovespoon carver wannabies, people who have no connection to Wales at all but wouldn't mind having their idea included on our lovespoon... in short, anyone who wants to have a bash at it!! Enter one, two, three or more ideas, we're open to anything and everything! Not an artist? No big deal. Write a very brief poem (but keep in mind, these circles are only 2 inches in diameter, so I can't fit a sonnet in there!!) make a collage, write a description of your idea, like I said, we're game for anything!! 

Really keen artists among you may have noticed that the circles are placed at the dragon's heart, wings and feet, so there's some more idea fodder!! 

We'll be releasing full contest details very soon, but in the meantime, let your design imaginations run wild!

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

2011 West Coast Eisteddfod

The 2011 West Coast Eisteddfod is gearing up now and it's time for another spoon! An announcement of this year's spoon will be made here shortly.

This year's West Coast Eisteddfod will be held in Los Angeles, California in parntership with Lorin Morgan-Richards of A Raven Above Press and announcements who will be performing and what other activities will take place will be made on the events page there and on AmeriCymru as they're added.

To support the event and help bring Welsh art and artists to Los Angeles, click on the donation button in the right-hand column and make a donation or buy some tickets to win this year's spooon, or for the next month you can contribute to the event kickstart campaign.

Here's this year's event poster and you can download it if you like.

Watch this space for a new spoon announcement soon!

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