Salvatore Piredda is a fruit farmer and also maker of our resolza- a traditional Sardinian knife. Completely hand made to the last component in his blacksmith workshop- fraile in Sardinian. It is common for Sardinian farmers and shepherds to make their knifes for daily use, but not so common to give them up. It took several calls until we talked Salvatore into a meeting. Reference of a client and knife collector from the area was helpful. The design of the knife that we commissioned has not changed since the nineteenth century and the name resolza resembles the Italian word for razor.
It is indeed a knife curiously sharp...
The workshop was well organized, a testimony to precision work as well as cultural heritage pride.
In the door, next to small furnace for steel and horn shaping stands an anvil with a hammer ready. The walls are lined with various machines for sanding and polishing, also all made to measure by the craftsman. On shelves are raw materials, components in progress as well as examples of various types knives from Sardinia.
Our questions start piling up quickly, so Salvatore decides to show us the production steps hands on. As he tightens and files a piece of olive wood into a clamp, a handle shape starts emerging. Only horn or olive wood is used for traditional handles. On a cut sheet steel that will become a blade once tempered and forged he explains the knife's interior, how will the blade connect and fold and where the studs made from brass wire will go. After a demonstration of sanding and polishing steps, Salvatore concludes that on average, one knife takes about twelve hours to complete.
Among signs of authenticity, true handcrafted resolza also include a signature of the maker and his original collar engraving design.
Considered a shepherd's “extended hand” and in daily use until today, our knife does not have any locking machanism. At close inspection, the very slightly protruding tip of a folded blade enables the knife to be opened by striking it with one hand against a leather piece on a shepherd's pant. Unlike with most knives, it is important that the steel of the blade is soft, with high carbon content, so that it can be sharpened easily and daily if needed.
Each region of Sardinia has a knife of it's own specific design. Named after the small northern town of Pattada, region of Sassari where Salvatore's parents come from, is Pattada ( resolza pattadese ), undoubtedly the jewell amongst them.
It is in high demand by knife collectors and admirers as a hand made item unique for it's subtle elegance and slender beauty that also cough our eye and that differentiates it from other Sardinian knife designs. Its narrow and pointy blade resembles the leaf shape of a Lemon Myrtle bush.
After Salvatore made us taste his “ Mirto “ , home made myrtle liquor and before closing the gate, he took a large knife out of his pocket.
With a movement as swift that it was barely noticeable, he clipped a branch from the myrtle bush in his garden. For many hours,
its clear fresh fragrance accompanied us on our trip back north and kept reminding us of Salvatore's hospitality.
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