Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Interview with Diego Tolomelli

q)What is your name?

a)Diego Tolomelli

q)Where do you live and work?

a)I live and work in a popular and lively area of East Rome

q)What is your creative process like?

a)Sometimes I start from an image or a picture and sometimes I sketch freehand. Once I've found a subject and I've drawn the composition deciding how best to use the lead, I set about choosing glass colours and texture that will give life to the window.

q)What is your favorite medium?

a)Mouth-blown glass is my favourite medium, the textures and colours are unique in every single sheet. Often the glass itself suggests a detail for the design, or even a new project.

q)What is your current favorite subject?

a)Queer art

q)How long does it take for you to finish a piece?

a)Size, cutting, and the amount of painting are factors affecting time. In the windows I do, 60% or more of the time, is taken up with painting. This process is quite complicated and involves each piece of glass being fired several times.

q)What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

a)There are two things I am really pleased with, the first was bringing stained glass on to the dance-floor at a Queer night in Rome, the second was getting a chapter dedicated to me in an gay erotic novel by William Maltese. He commissioned the St. Bartholomew window and really loved it.

q)Are there any contemporary artists that you love?

a)Pierre et Gilles, and Gilbert and George.

q)Can we buy your art anywhere?

a)Yes, contacting me via my website is the best way,commissions and existing panels.

q)Anything that people should know about that we don't??

a)Stained glass does not belong to the Church, stained glass was the only solution in Medieval times to the problem of putting glass in big windows. At that time all glass was mouth blown and so couldn't be made very big. The art form comes from the need to communicate to the illiterate masses,in churches stained glass showed pictures from the Bible,and in castles the aristocracy used their cotes-of-arms.

q)What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?

a)Keep your eyes open, practice a lot and be daring.

q)What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?

a)My boyfriend always finds the right words.

q)How do you describe your work to those who are unfamiliar with it?

a)I normally describe it as classical leaded and painted stained glass, with a queer theme.

q)What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?

a)Originally I took a short stained glass course, which gave me the basics. The bulk of my training was in a big stained glass studio, which specialised in restoration so I got to see hundreds of different artists, (medieval through contemporary), and work on some really interesting new projects.

q)Is there a tool or material that you can't imagine living without?

a)My badger brush, I use it for shading - it's goes against 5years of vegetarianism and activism in Greenpeace, but it lasts a life-time and I hope that the people that make them simply shave the badger.
q)Who are your influences?
a)I am Italian so I have to say the Renaissance period, but I love and admire the Irish stained glass artist, Harry Clarke- he was daring with this medium.

q)What inspires you to create?

a)It's quite hard to explain what inspires me to create. Everytime it's different. I can give you a couple of examples, in the piece "Woman in Corsage", it was the pattern in the lace stockings that made me want to turn this image into a panel;with "A Thrillology of Cock", it was a pair of boxer-shots.Naked bodies are obviously inspiring, but this medium works best with colours, contrasts and details.

q)your contacts.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Hi, I work mainly with fused glass but am thinking about producing a traditional medieval window and although I am fairly confident with my skills in glass painting,but I am afraid my leading and soldering are letting me down . Any tips??Oh and what type of brushes do you use to get such fantastic subtle tones or do you acid etch or use patchy glass?
I love your flesh work it reminds me of the intricate detail and beautiful skin tones that Vali Myers (Australian/Witch of Positano) produced in her erotic paintings. I rarely comment on art but yours is incredibly exciting and inspiring.
Yours truly,
Lynn Charlton-Blore (Wales, U.K.)