Logo Slaris Coltelli
Object of the past

Presentation It is known that in the Greek mythological tradition, Hephestius is the divine blacksmith, god of fire and metallurgy. Hephestius’ Roman counterpart is the god Vulcan, who is more closely identified with fire, especially the fire of volcanoes. It is also known that inhabitants of a particular place often develop crafts and skills specific to their geography, favored and developed by the availability of primary materials. It may seem an exaggeration or a marketing gimmick to trace the art of metal-working in Santu Lussurgiu back to Hephestius and Vulcan, but one fact is incontrovertible: the village itself emerged and grew, through long centuries, beside the impressive lava flows of the massive volcano of Montiferru. From the volcano came not only iron and fire, but the ash-enriched soil around it nurtured the abundant growth of vegetation and wildlife, which in turn provided wood, horn, and hide. These products were and still are the distinguishing features of the region, not only from a geo-morphological point of view, but also from that of anthropology and ethnography.

Beyond local legend (and if it is true that nothing is created but everything is transformed), the hypothesis mentioned above appears less strange when one undertakes a bit of industrial archaeology to closely examine some of handmade objects of the past, comparing them to actual objects made today by the artisans of Santu Lussurgiu. One cannot help but notice an unusual continuity between the past and the present (in spite of the competition of the various manufacturers), which has allowed the village of Santu Lussurgiu to preserve crafts that have disappeared elsewhere, and to maintain a reputation of excellence for its work in wood, leather, and iron throughout the island of Sardinia.

The brothers
Antonio and Giovanni Salaris, master ironworkers of Santu Lussurgiu, intend to codify their knowledge of this ancient art in these pages -- recovering from oblivion news, documentary sources, and objects that with time will enable them to provide a unified picture both broad and detailed of the history of metallurgy in their village.

This praiseworthy undertaking fills a great need -- it will enable the recovery of an ancient, almost alchemistic knowledge, and it will increase our understanding of valuable historic objects that from the distance of centuries will fully reveal the creative capacity, the great aesthetic taste, and the manual dexterity of the
past artisans of Santu Lussurgiu, and the perfect functionality of the products they made. Who better than the Salaris Brothers to explore such a subject? (u.g.)

The Corrias's grinder - 1871
[open the informations]

F R A T E L L I S A L A R I S - Viale Azuni, 253 - Tel. e Fax 0783.550287 - 09075 Santu Lussurgiu (OR) - E Mail: info@salariscoltelli.it

P.Iva 00362650954