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Rita Cossu's accurate production reveals the in-depth research and wise knowledge of the uses and traditions of a fascinating past. Naturally talented and with a passion for sewing and embroidery since childhood, her successful career began in 1986 in Pabillonis, a village in the Campidano area near Cagliari, where she set up her sartorial business, which initially focused on tailoring refined and complex wedding dresses. However, what piqued her imagination, thus inspiring her production, was the captivating and colourful traditional Sardinian costume, characterised by the variety of styles and the use of particular fabrics that are the hallmark of each town or village. During the years of stylistic research and professional experience, Rita Cossu formed her own professional trait, which has become a reference point on the island for the production of traditional costumes that she crafts with the utmost precision, in the pursuit of the most authentic styles and carefully selecting the materials: brocades, velvets, orbace woollen fabric and silk threads with gold and silver filigree characterise her striking artefacts of remarkable cultural coherence. She has been working in her workshop, which is located in the evocative Casa Museo (Museum House) in the historic centre of Pabillonis for several years, where precious historical clothing and dowry items, as well as her creations, are clearly described by her invaluable explanations that help to keep ancient traditions alive. Her work can be admired also during production. She successfully participates in the major local and international handicraft fairs.

The artefacts by Filatex have a contemporary style that draws on the wide range of Sardinian handicrafts in order to create an innovative line of home décor accessories, which stand out for the use of fabrics and embroidery that form well-known compositions. The Filatex products are the result of a successful combination of skills: the established Filatex business of Furio Carturan and Bianca Damiani adds to the artistic and design skills of Mara Damiani, who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brera and who has a remarkable experience in the sector of graphics and illustration. Together, they look into the island's traditions from which stylised animals and decorative forms in bold colours, strongly evocative of traditional Sardinian weaving and costumes, are drawn and rendered with a captivating trait in projects for the creation of a sophisticated line of furnishing accessories. A very recent business, from the start Filatex stood out for its originality and clearly recognisable style, which is now well-known thanks to the widespread presence in the main handicraft and design shops on the island and the participation in the main trade fair events dedicated to the local and national handicraft excellences.

In the Laboratorio Tessile Corona in Muravera, the three sisters Flaviana, Simona and Sandra Fanunza, keepers of ancient and invaluable knowledge which they skilfully and elegantly reinterpret, work with passion and a sensitive artisanal approach. Their mother Barbarina Corona and her sister Antonia, both expert weavers, set up this textile workshop back in 1976, which specialised from its early stages in the production of fine fabrics with strong ties to the local textile tradition, carpets and drapery with delicate patterns and elegant colours, which reflect the main techniques and decorative motifs. In 2002, Flaviana, Simona and Sandra, who have always actively contributed to the rich history of the workshop characterised by remarkable collaborations and exchanges aimed at investigating traditional techniques and tools, took over its management. The Corona textile workshop, which is spacious and welcoming, is equipped with numerous and diversified looms, including antique looms made with juniper wood. They are devoted to their profession and expertly craft a variety of products, carefully assisting their customers in the personal choice of carpets and décor fabrics which are characterised by fine craftsmanship and the utmost care for decorative detail and high-quality natural yarns. Their production is sold both in their workshop and in their showroom, Il telaio di Fanunza, in the central via Roma in Muravera.

The master goldsmith Gianni Murgia, preserves in his workshop one of the oldest and finest crafts of the Sardinian tradition: filigree. His production is characterised by faithful manufacture, realised with great skill and technical virtuosity, in continuity with the past in every single stage, as only a few highly committed filigree goldsmiths like him are still capable of. Gianni started his apprenticeship when he was only thirteen, as was common practice at that time, in the workshop of his brother-in-law, expert and renowned filigree goldsmith in Cagliari. Here, he learned, thanks to his power of observation and clear artistic flair, the refined procedures necessary to craft the elaborate jewellery typical of traditional Sardinian costumes. Just to name a few of said artefacts of great aesthetic value, rich in history and evocative power, he learned to craft filigree buttons, beautiful complex pendants such as su lasu and sa gioia, and even the patene, regarded as the highest expression of the filigree technique owing to their technical complexity. He set up his own workshop in 1977 at the age of twenty, distinguishing himself from the very start for his skill and mastery and took a personal path characterised by continuous technical and stylistic improvement, which is evident in his consolidated 40-year-long activity. His prestigious shop/workshop in the San Benedetto district in Cagliari counts on the invaluable support of his wife Caterina and his son Cristian, who work with him in perfect synergy realising new productions.

CMA

The Cooperativa Maestri d’Arte, CMA, is a successful artisanal ceramics workshop founded in 1980 thanks to the intuition of a group of graduates from the School of Art of Oristano, a town renowned for its precious tradition of pottery for both everyday use and special occasions. Over the years, the various partners of this cooperative company have maintained a clearly recognisable style and identity, expressed through the lathe-shaping craftsmanship, enriched by engraved decorations, characterised by the range of colours and the personal stylisation of the lapwing. Antonello Atzori and Angela Zoccheddu are the current master ceramists of CMA. Antonello, one of the founding partners of the cooperative, resumed his work at CMA after a long period of personal training as “artisanal designer” at the European Institute of Design in Cagliari and a period as a teacher and also individual experimentation as a ceramist. After graduating at the School of Art of Oristano and other design courses, Angela joined CMA when she was still very young, contributing in terms of skill, insight and entrepreneurship. The typical production, a guarantee of excellence, continues thanks to skilful new experimental paths taken by the two ceramists with their distinct creative personalities. The CMA premises are in the prestigious former Pilot Centre I.S.O.L.A. in Oristano and its productions are promoted in the main fairs and exhibitions of craftsmanship excellence as well as in the shops of the main tourist centres across the island.

After a career in the business sector, Grazia De Vita decided to follow her creative instinct, so she specialised in cutting and tailoring and in 2003 set up her own handicraft business mainly centred on embroidered fabrics and wood-based work. This new and distinctive production is focused on the processing of cork fabric, one of the most distinctive natural materials of the island, which she uses to create a line of bags and home accessories enhanced by brightly coloured embroidery. Thanks to her outgoing personality, Grazia promotes her creations in her shop in Cagliari, in the central district of San Benedetto, and in the Costa Smeralda tourist area, in San Pantaleo, during the summer, as well as in numerous craft fairs and itinerant trade shows.

Pasella Ceramic Workshop has an interesting background of skills and insights. Domenico Pasella from Calangianus, a town in Gallura with an ancient identity and renowned for its typical cork forests, launched the production of cork artefacts destined for the lively tourist trade in the Gallura area in 1972, opening some shops in Costa Smeralda, where he promotes, in addition to his own products, artefacts belonging to all sectors of traditional craftsmanship. The success encountered in particular by the ceramic production led Domenico to expand his activity in 1995, setting up a well-equipped workshop specialised in decorative ceramics. Thanks to the invaluable collaboration of expert potters Domenico launched a collection of glazed ceramics decorated with original motifs resulting from the synergy and experimentation of the working team of expert artisans. Today, thanks also to the invaluable contribution of his son Giovanni who completed his specialised university studies, the workshop is a vibrant handicraft reality with a clear entrepreneurial approach counting various craftspeople and numerous shops along the north coast of Sardinia. All these expert artisans are committed to the realisation of a wide-ranging collection of ceramics and pottery with ever-evolving style and decorations drawing original inspiration from evocative aspects and themes of the tradition of the island.

Among the most renowned and recognisable handicraft productions in the contemporary scenario on the island, the refined creations of the Su Marmuri textile cooperative company stand out for their high-quality manufacturing and sophisticated stylistic research, which are the result of a particular ability to interpret tradition in a contemporary key and of invaluable collaborations with local artists and designers. Founded in 1971 by a group of young weavers in Ulassai, a village set in the evocative naturalistic rocky landscape in the heart of Ogliastra, the cooperative received awards from the very start for its craftsmanship and creative approach that, in 1981, led to an unparalleled collaboration with the renowned artist Maria Lai, native of the same village, for an original production of carpets characterised by the motif of a stylised goat, consolidated over time as their hallmark. A number of collaborations took place with Maria Lai, who designed other successful motifs for the textile workshop, drawing inspiration from the local nature and culture, in perfect synergy with the weavers who she nicknamed her “playmates”. Currently, the cooperative, which continues to renew and increase the close-knit working group, carries on its production and reinterprets, with tireless inspiration and consolidated expertise, traditional designs with a sensitive innovative approach. Highly appreciated and sought after, the fabrics, carpets and furnishing accessories produced by Su Marmuri are distributed in the main shops on the island that specialise in artistic craftsmanship and home décor, and also in their workshop in Ulassai. They participate as a business of excellence in the main exhibitions of the sector in Sardinia, representing the lively atmosphere contemporary handicraft.

Francesca Addari interprets the lines and symbols of the archaic Nuragic culture with remarkable aesthetic equilibrium in a distinctive ceramic production characterised by essential and yet unusual shapes, decorated with accurate, striking graphic lines. An expert of the pre-Nuragic and Nuragic civilisations, after training as a primary teacher Francesca’s self-teaching of ceramics revealed her natural talent and aptitude for plastic crafting, which she devoted herself to, and which can be seen in her lathe-shaped pottery. In 2002 she set up her own shop/workshop, l’Antica Arte della Ceramica, in Usellus, a small town in the Upper Marmilla region in an evocative naturalistic and archaeological-historical setting, where, drawing inspiration from the island, she tirelessly creates artefacts in which she revisits the typical forms of the Nuragic civilisation through stylisations of elegant contemporary taste. Her furnishing accessories are distinctively decorated with glazing and graphic symbols on white or black slip in contrast with the warm colour of terracotta. Active and in synergy with the current creative context in Sardinia, Francesca participates in the main exhibitions where the different handicraft businesses are represented.

Pina Corriga’s imaginative and elegant ceramic production stands out for the wide range of lines which explore different styles and tradition in order to attain sophisticated plastic effects combined with the use of colours on precise chromatic scales. After studying at the School of Art in Oristano, she undertook her professional career setting up her first workshop in 1999 in the small town of Simaxis, where she produced tableware and home décor accessories which reinterpret in a decisive and contemporary key the inspirations taken from the Sardinian culture. Five years later she moved her workshop to Solarussa, a small town in the province of Oristano, where in an evocative natural environment, she set up her casa e bottega (home and workshop), enlarging and improving the professional spaces and equipment significantly. The experience gained over time has further defined her stylistic identity, always recognisable in the expressive modalities of formal and decorative research. Her inspiration renews itself with every creation. She promotes her prized artefacts in stores specialised in quality craftsmanship in the main cities and tourist centres across the island. She participates in the handicraft fair events in Sardinia, as well as in a diversified range of national and international exhibitions and fairs.

Daniela Zedda’s refined weaving stands out for the elegant stylistic approach which, with an original trait, reinterprets ancient artefacts, the result of the well-balanced combination of traditional designs with new technical and decorative experiments leading to a high-quality contemporary production. Daniela approached loom weaving at a very young age, by attending a course in Isili, her home village in the Sarcidano area renowned for its handicraft tradition, where she learned the local textile techniques. Insightful and explorative, she moved to Samugheo, a centre of textile excellence, where she acquired a modern approach to weaving and also learned to use the loom for drapery, which she then reinterpreted with technical virtuosity, expertly customising the warping and weaving techniques. In 1999 she purchased a large loom and set up her own shop/workshop in Isili, L’Angolino, where she launched a production of drapery for the home, distinctive for the accurate finishes, entirely handcrafted and characterised by the inventiveness used to experiment refined techniques and ornamental compositions using high-quality materials. Alongside the fabrics for the home, she produces original fashion accessories, whose hallmark are the handcrafted fabrics with technical and tonal variations. She participates in the main promotional activities and exhibitions for local crafts as a representative of the excellence of novel productions.

Antonio Maria Scanu’s Officina d’Arte Fabbrile in Benetutti, a village in central Sardinia, is renowned internationally for the prestigious craftsmanship of wrought iron, worked with artistic and sculptural traits using purely artisanal procedures. Antonio uses wrought iron as an expressive medium to create pieces of art that take on articulate, complex forms of particular technical and artistic virtuosity. Son of the local blacksmith, he learned the techniques of the craft in the family smithy, where he started creating the typical wrought iron artefacts according to the traditional style and technique. Naturally talented and strongly motivated, he perfected and enriched his skills through specialisation courses in Stia, Tuscany and in Vittorio Veneto, northern Italy, both being centres renowned for their artistic blacksmith tradition, where he learned and refined sculptural shaping procedures. He received several international awards as an art blacksmith thanks to his sensitivity and mastery. Antonio Maria Scanu works on numerous and prestigious projects for an international clientele, realising large-scale, complex works which stand out for the fine manual technique and which are destined for a clientele appreciative of excellent and unique craftsmanship.

Antonello Spanu’s artisanal leather production masterly preserves a unique ancient tradition characterised by the functionality and value of handcrafting, strongly linked to the identity and rural culture of the island. In his workshop in Lula, a village in Barbagia, in central Sardinia, Antonello realises artefacts that evoke the solidity of the past, reviving the accessories of men’s clothing, both for work and special occasions, made of leather and hide. These materials are, indeed, both still much used and appreciated in the pastoral context rooted in the ancient traditions of the island, and characterised by contemporary taste. Antonello learned from his father Gavino the leather processing techniques when he was very young. He devoted himself to carrying on the family craft, first by taking up the craft of his grandfather, who was an expert shoemaker, and then by specialising in the complex realisation of the scarpone mastrinu (mastrinu boot), the typical footwear used by shepherds when working in the fields and hunting, which is entirely handcrafted. In 1996 he set up his own artisanal workshop, where he produces clothing accessories faithful to tradition, using high-quality materials. A dynamic and enterprising person, he works in his well-equipped and versatile workshop where he can satisfy every request from his clientele, sensitive to the quality of leather and of manufacture.

Maria Luisa Frongia’s exquisite embroideries preserve an ancient feminine knowledge codified and handed down from mother to daughter, linked to typical customs and colourful traditional Sardinian garments. Thanks to this legacy, Maria Luisa learned the tailoring and embroidery techniques from her mother, creatively using fabrics and yarns even as a child, gradually developing the skilled aptitude of those who master a craft naturally. Dedicated to the faithful reproduction of the complex traditional costumes for women and men, her production stands out for its fine thin black woollen fabric shawls, embroidered with brightly coloured and expressively composed elegant floral motifs. Recognised and sought after thanks to her expertise which she puts to use in diverse professional domains such as that of theatrical costume design, Maria Luisa works and exhibits her creations in her pleasing workshop in the historic centre of Samugheo, and every year she participates in the renowned Sardinian Handicraft Fair in her native village, where the excellences of the island craftsmanship are brought together.

Antonio Marogna’s distinctive goldsmith production represents and narrates a consequential part of the history of Sardinian craftsmanship relating to the local goldsmith craft in its evolution from tradition to contemporary style, especially as regards the crafting of coral. Following his natural talent for goldsmith techniques, and as a self-taught goldsmith, Antonio set up his own workshop in 1963 in Alghero, a renowned picturesque town in the north-western part of Sardinia, the heart of the coral riviera where the typical precious red coral comes from. This lively town distinguished itself in those years for the growing number of tourists and for the interest in the crafting of coral fostered by the opening of the School of Art with specialisation in the crafting of coral. Antonio’s jewellery was an instant success for the sensitive use of coral and the charismatic reinterpretation of traditional goldsmith techniques, which expressively revisited themes, symbols and the same techniques with an artistic trait typical of that period. With insight and competence, he started a wide-ranging production that he began to distribute to jewellers and specialised shops across the region, boosting commercial growth. In 1973 he inaugurated his first shop in Alghero, building on his skill and technical virtuosity to combine the complex crafting of filigree with the fine crafting of coral. Genuinely inspired and motivated, he involved in the activities of the workshop first his son Davide, who approached the sophisticated techniques at a very young age, and then Pier Michele; both are now devoted filigree goldsmiths and recognised experts in the crafting of coral. Sabrina and Marcella, who have always contributed to the activities of the workshop, are in charge of the marketing and management and of some of the crafting phases related to the assembling of jewels. Thanks to their invaluable work, Antonio carries on the production in the large workshop on the edge of the town of Alghero, where it is possible to admire both the rich and refined jewellery collection and the artisans engaged in the crafting of coral and in the performance of fine goldsmith techniques.

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