Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sardinian Bird Motifs

Another delicious item in the package I received on Sunday is this piece embroidered in my favourite colours:

Check out the little "bird's feet" along the hemline!

This piece was also stitched by Elisabetta from Sardinia. She has done a series of embroideries with these birds and I have often told her how much I love them. You can see another one of her bird designs on her blog here. I have seen others, all equally delightful, I hope she will post them all to her blog one day!

Birds (peacocks, chickens, doves, and more) are traditional motifs in Sardinian art. I've seen them on pottery, metalwork, leatherwork and woodwork, woven into baskets and fabric and if course used as embroidery motifs – here is one on a leather wallet made in Dorgali:

Usually birds are figured in pairs (as this one was), facing each other across a fountain or tree or even beak to beak.

Sometimes they are even very stylized like this rooster here, done in Punt'e nù Embroidery. Can you see him on the corners? Here is what the motif looks like before stitching. Here are some others.

Check out the birds on this lovely Cassapanca [Hope Chest].
At the Sardinian Digital Library website you can download pdf versions of two great books showcasing Sardinian art: Arte Sarda and Artigianato Sardo. Lots of inspiration there for unique needlework designs!


  1. How interesting! The birds are beautiful.

  2. I am wondering what the origin of the bird motif in Sardinian needlework is. Are they always meant to be roosters?

  3. Sometimes they are peacocks or doves too. Sardinian art is influenced by all of her conquerors or occupiers throughout the ages. For example some areas show a heavy Spanish influence - they seem to have taken a little flavour from everyone who passed through.