Iron craftmanship of Sardinia 0 Comments
Iron craftsmanship in Sardinia, thanks to the island’s rich mineral resources, is art going back thousands of years, as confirmed by the bronze statuettes (brunzìttu nuragicu in Sardinian) findings of the metal age that began 5000 years ago (3000 BC).
Blacksmiths in the centre of Sardinia still bend the iron for bites, spurs and stirrups for horses and the farriers shoe the horses with the horse-shoes they make, Just ad happened in the past. In the area of Santulussurgiu, everything horse and rider might need is produced.
Knife with the folding blade is an ancient tradition of Sardinian iron craftsmanship, the clasp knives.
The Resolza (or resorja or resorza), is the characteristic Sardinian clasp knife, mainly produced in Pattada in the Sassarese area, in Santu Lussurgiu in the Oristano area and in Arbus, province of Southern Sardinia.
It can be Resolza pattadese (pattadesa), with the blade shaped as a myrtle leaf (a folla 'e murta), or Resolza arburese (arburesa) with a larger blade.
The leppa, instead, has a very sharp 60 cms blade with the curved tip resembling a sabre, shape that does not find a counterpart in Europe but only in the Middle East and in the Berber world of the African Maghreb.
The excellence of the workmanship, in addition to the unquestionable quality of the blade, is especially noticeable in the carved decorations of the handle, traditionally in ram's horn or mouflon, and in the engravings on the blades, which makes it much sought after by knives collectors.
Speaking about Iron craftsmanship, we cannot fail to recall Roberto Ziranu.
Strolling in the Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites hall, I was bewitched by the colours and reflections of the iron-art objects thoughtfully placed so to offer their best: the sails and the dishes of Roberto Ziranu, the artist who knows how to imprison the iron’s fluid soul.
A fifth-generation iron craftsman, Roberto has embellished his work by transforming it into pieces of art. He uses various techniques from forging, burnishing, engraving, flaming, thus giving each of his creations exceptional and unique light reflections.
But not only sails resting on juniper gnarled branches and flamed plates shining of their own light; be added to the interpretations of this artist there are also his feminine corsages, a tribute to all women, and the "cambales", gaiters, honouring the traditional Sardinian men, and his panels "painted" with the flame. Roberto says: “Art allows me to well make my own living. What matters is to continue creating and being able to give emotions. I have decided to dare and to follow my instincts."
“Iron, this extraordinary metal, the soul of every manufacture, and the mainspring perhaps of civilized society.“ (Samuel Smiles)
Written by Daniela Toti