Copper in Isili, Sardinia

Copper in Isili, Sardinia

June 2015


neo~local design


Isili is a small Sardinian town home of a strong and ancient craft tradition, particularly in copperware. Today the small Marate museum keeps this tradition alive and offers to us ideas for the future.


Isili as a land of craftsmen, thanks to its coppersmiths, weavers and wood carvers.
In pre-modern Sardinia, the local character was revealed mainly by sound: it was the time when one could hear sounds and smells of things before seeing them.
The beat of hammers on cauldrons was common in what used to be the home of the whole production of Sardinian copper artifacts, from the tools shepherds used to transform milk into cheese, to the bright cookware adorning the master’s mansions as well as the peasant houses.

Isili historic copper workshop and traditional cookware.

Isili hosted then dozens of workshops, with three, four or even ten, twelve copper craftsmen; hundreds of women in their homes, over centuries, have created artifacts for daily use, known and welcomed everywhere.
The rhythmic ticking of the wood carvers of Isili, brought to light boxes and furniture sought after throughout the entire island.

This heritage still lives today in the hands of a few craftsmen and women, that create objects of excellence. The small but beautiful Marate museum preserves the memory offering us ideas for the future.


editorial board

Nicolò Ceccarelli - Marco Sironi