To commemorate the sacrifices of their forefathers and all who were affected by the war, a striking Cenotaph in the form of a Flanders Field poppy will be created at an International Blacksmithing Event to be held in the Grote Markt, Ypres, Belgium in September 2016. Read more
Ypres 2016 is Nearly Here
After many, many months of planning and endless hard work by so many people....it's nearly here!
Flights are booked, forges arranged, accommodation reserved, exhibits shipped, hammers ready and blacksmiths and farriers preparing to make their way to Flanders to meet with fellow smiths to create the unique and striking Poppy Cenotaph.
Children's Poppy Wreath
The children's wreath, to be laid at the Menin Gate at the Last Post Ceremony on 5th September has now been assembled. Containing poppies forged by children from France, Belgium, Wales, England, Italy and Germany, the wreath was assembled by Robert Smith, Luc Vandecasteele, Manicx Carlieri and Rik Verschoot. Read more
The final designs for the 25 panels which will surround the Cenotaph have been submitted and approved. They can all be viewed on the project website along with the blacksmiths interpretations of their designs. View here
Cenotaph Foundations Prepared
Site preparations have been undertaken at Langemark Poelkapelle where the Cenotaph will eventually be erected. . The local authority have generously taken responsibility for the extensive foundations and landscaping work at the site in preparation for the Cenotaph. We are grateful to the local authority for their wholehearted support.View images
Forging Programme Published
The forging programme for the 25 Masters at Ypres 2016 has now been confirmed. Working delegates are limited to 160 to ensure every delegate who wishes to work is guaranteed a place on a team with a master. Team selection will be made by the forge master and his assistants. View here
The Ypres 2016 fundraising programme has received a real boost in recent weeks through corporate donations, in-kind support and proceeds from the sale of poppies. However we still have a little way to go to reach our target and the successful creation of the Cenotaph. Donations can be made through the project website and the organisers will appreciate any further support for the project. Donate here
Artist Alberto Dalle Valle at Ypres
Young Italian artist Alberto Dalle Valle is going to be at Ypres 2016 and will draw and sketch different situations as they unfold at the event, just as a war artist would have done. He is working on a book which will reflect on the hardship endured by all those involved in the conflict. He will also be running children's workshops.Read more about Alberto
Our Poppies are Flourishing
We've seen a significant increase in the sale of the beautifully crafted poppies in the past few months with all proceeds going to fund the Cenotaph project. Extensive publicity work has seen sales increase as the general public have become aware of the project. Please share with your networks and let them know where to buy the poppies. Visit our online shop
Forge Stations layout at Ypres
Forgemaster Henry Pomfret and his team have been busy arranging the forging stations for the event including their layout. There is a tight timescale for setting up in the Grote Markt prior to the event, so it's essential that every last detail has been considered and planned carefully. The team has been meeting regularly to discuss and plan the arrangements which will enable the teams of blacksmiths to work.
BlacksmiHER Radio Interviews
A series of interviews with blacksmiths worldwide who are participating in Ypres 2016 is being recorded for BlacksmitHER radio. Interviewed by Victoria Patti, many of the blacksmiths participating explain their panel designs and their involvement in Ypres 2016. Listen to these great interviews
Don't Leave it too Late to Register
Many blacksmiths have already secured their place to forge at Ypres 2016 and registered delegates will be allocated to teams with Masters in the next few days. Register now or you may miss out. A flat rate fee of £75, $110 or €95 is being charged whether you attend for 1 day or all 6 days. Do it now!
Takayoshi Komine Japanese Master
Japanese Blacksmith Takayoshi Komine from Tokyo will be a Master at Ypres. He has an impressive blacksmithing pedigree and the organisers are very pleased he will be at Ypres. You can find details of his work here Read more
Buyse Joris Supporting
Buyse Joris a Belgian construction company have undertaken the task of casting the segments that make up the concrete mound at the base of the Cenotaph and have generously provided all of the materials and equipment. Read more
Contact your Local Media
The project is gaining significant media coverage around the world - but we need blacksmiths and farriers to help through contacting their local newspapers, radio and television to further raise the profile of Ypres 2016. We are happy for information from the Ypres 2016 website to included in blogs etc. We've produced a media pack and press release templates to help you do this, just emaileira@Ypres2016.com
Tell us What You're doing for Ypres 2016
Many blacksmiths and farriers all over the world are working hard on behalf of Ypres 2016. We want to share what you've been doing with everyone so please keep us updated through Facbook, twitter or email.