Biography Diego Tolomelli – Stained Glass Artist.
THE STAINED GLASS ARTIST, Diego Tolomelli was in Pavia in 1974, he successfully ending his studies as a surveyor, but soon realised that he wanted to follow a more artistic path. He became interested in art glass and attended a short course that taught him the technique to make Tiffany stained glass. He began producing panels and small objects, perfecting his technique. In 1998 he moved to London where he began creating and selling his works from a stall in Portobello Market, while studying English.
In 2000 he was hired by John Hardman Studios, a historic stained glass studio established in 1838. Here he began his apprenticeship, learning the all of the techniques of stained glass art.
One of the first large commission he worked on was the creation of a copy of the windows of the apse of Farm Street Church in London, which was for a private collector in Japan, this project lasted for four months and Diego took a lead role seeing the project through from design to completion.
Over time Diego began specialising in the restoration and conservation of medieval stained glass in 2002 and restored a large and important collection of medieval stained glass for Sam Fogg with windows ranging from 1200 to 1500. This was exhibited in London with an accompanying catalogue being published. “Images in Light: Stained Glass 1200-1550“.
“My favourite commission during that time was for the English Houses of Parliament, eight new windows to commemorate the millennium. It involved highly complicated cuts and especially fine leading to achieve the naive design that represented the last thousand years of the United Kingdoms political history. I learned so much and grew as stained glass artist.”
In 2005, he was hired by Norgrove Studios for a major restoration and preservation of several churches in England and Wales. This furnished him with important on-site experience, removing glass from ancient structures and installing the restored windows. As with all his work, this involved following the original time-tested techniques.
After seven years of living in the United Kingdom Diego returned to Italy where he began working for the historically important Studio D’Giuliani. Again Diego worked on important commissions such as stained glass window depicting the coat of arms for the papal Lateran at the University in Rome and is also around this time he took a lead role in creating and coordinating the installation of some new stained glass windows for the cathedral in Abuja in Nigeria, travelling to the site to coordinate and support their installation.
He founded IKO Studio in 2008 IKO studio, and began taking commission from around the world as well as locally. In 2010 he worked on a commission for a private collector’s home in Arizona, USA, again travelling to support their installation. Locally he made two stained glass windows commissioned by the church of San Girolamo in Rome Corviale opal glass and representing two blown Lorraine crosses above the tree of life. As well as other smaller commissions and lights and lamps.
The IKO’s stained glass windows are unique IKO they begin from original sketches and are transformed in to wonderful pieces using the finest quality glass, which is painstakingly painted using special glass paints, enamels and stains, which are then fired in a specialised kiln at 650 ° C. IKO’s mission is to create true works of art for private collectors, homes and public and religious buildings.