Wood craft in Sardinia 0 Comments
When I first come across with the art and beauty of Sardinian wood craft, it was in 1990 and I could admire beautiful chestnut furniture worked with the asciolu, a tool with a small hoe shape, used to carve the wood, leaving irregular marks on the surface where, caressing it with the fingers, it tells the story of the work done by the carpenter, the "mastru 'e linna" or "mastru 'e ascia"; in that specific case, it was Mastru Cossu from Sassari. I liked it so much that I wanted to furnish my basement-room taking those bucolic beautiful ageless Sardinian furniture with me to the continent.
On that occasion, I learned that wood has always been a favourite material in Sardinian homes, used in furniture and utensils, but also in musical instruments and ceremonies masks such as the biseras of Mamuthones, of the Carnival in the Mamoiada territory.
But it is especially for the chests that the skill of the craftsmanship indulges in geometric patterns or is inspired by nature, flowers, birds and even the sun, often decorated in the centre of the façade of the trunk. The chest, which opens from the top, protects the precious belongings of the family: the bridal goods, the festivities clothes, the blankets, the linen.
The chestnut tree, of which the woods of Barbagia inland territory are rich, gives the favourite wood but also walnut, oak and juniper are utilized, left natural or painted in red by using warm ox, goat or lamb blood, to show up the decorations.
Of a completely different kind, but equally worthy to be mentioned, the woodcraft of Sculptor Mario Ceroli, which can be found inside the astonishing Church of San Lorenzo in Porto Rotondo, worked with figures representing historical personalities of the place, in scented Russian pine wood. Simply Art!
In the region of Sassari it is said: “da lu truncu n'esci l'ascia, dall'ascia l'asciolu, dallu babbu lu figliolu!”
(From the trunk, you get an ax, from the ax you get the chip, from the father you get the son!)
Written by Daniela Toti