The core elements that comprise a home stem from the importance placed into the memories, people and objects that surround you throughout your life. Handcrafted furniture, each with their own unique twist, make them function not only as a practical piece but also as a way to implement whimsical creativity into your living spaces. Oscar Piccolo, is one half of Dello, a creative studio co-ran with Charlotte Taylor. Aligning their passions and work has resulted in both sides of Dello being able to flourish together.
As someone who has traveled, moved and grown in a wide range of countries and cities around the world, do you find that there are certain moments throughout your youth that helped shape your artistic process as it stands today?
Most of the inspirations surrounding my work and Lampada Cappello have deep roots in my childhood really; I always feel a sense of nostalgia with them. One of the colours I introduced in June is Arancio Lia is named after my grandmother Lia who gave me an orange watch when she came to see me in Egypt when I was 12 years old. These kinds of memories and moments as well as objects from my past inspire me. I also feel that the materiality found in each country I’ve grown up in is reflected in my making. I grew up around so many raw, natural things like wood and stone which have definitely inspired me. Whilst I have a certain curiosity when it comes to these materials, there also seems to be a familiarity I can’t seem to find elsewhere; they feel safe and comfortable, they’re part of my childhood.
Your design and art studio Dello that you run with your mate Charlotte Taylor seemingly is the culmination of everything you have worked so hard to create. What was it like coming together and creating this studio together?
Coming together as Dello was very organic. Charlotte and I met at Goldsmiths in our first year of university and as time passed we realised how similar our ideas were and began making things together. We then moved to Chelsea College of Arts as a collective; which is really when Dello started to take shape.
How do you and Charlotte approach who and what gets labeled as a Dello piece versus an Oscar Piccolo piece or a Charlotte Taylor piece? As co-owners I would imagine that these types of conversations result in a lot of back-and-forth collaborations.
Our Dello work has always been the fruit of a common passion for making. One of the privileges of working with someone who shares your ideas and interests is that you can have those back-and-forth collaborations as well as conversations that allow you to push and learn from each other.
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Looking across your various physical projects I found a sense of duality within each piece. The objects not only hold utility but they also exude beauty. Is this an intentional result? And are there any other intended outcomes from your work?
Beauty? Thank you.
Growing up moving from country to country, one house to another, my parents created stability for my sister and I through objects; I always had the same dining table, sofa and bedroom everywhere I went. I feel this has influenced my love for objects and their sculptural significance. They define my notion of home. A wooden bowl from my childhood is therefore not just a functional wooden bowl for me, it is an object of meaning. The sense of duality you are referring to is something I grew up with and that has reflected in my work. Lampada Cappello’s sculptural quality is what matters to me most; being an object that might be switched off as much, or more than it is turned on.
In what ways does your appreciation for your possessions and or creations grow when they are either given as a gift or handmade like many of your works?
The handmade nature of an object is really special and important to me, especially if it shines through in the object itself. I feel this might be because I really value the making process of each piece and find the time and materials used in making it equally as important as the end result.
With your primary focus revolving around interiors and how or what to fill them with in order to define the given space, what is typically the first piece that helps set up the rest of the space to flourish?
As I moved around a lot throughout my childhood, my idea of home is really defined by objects rather than a particular space; a wooden fruit bowl, a chair, a book, the plates my mom passed on to me that we used to use in Istanbul. These kinds of objects are my home. I tend to think about this when working on a space and always try to approach it in a similar way.
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Do you ever return to places you have visited and or lived in as a way to help inspire new projects? If so, what have you created in those locations?
I always find going back to Sicily very helpful; whilst it allows me to take a step back to think on what I am making, it also fuels my ideas as a lot of them are based on my roots and childhood memories. A project I am currently working on with Évoque Lab, Emanuele Longo and Paola Frascerra, for example is inspired by my great-grandfather’s house and the memories that come with it.
With the great success of the Lampada Cappello (having to join a waitlist just to get one) do you find that you feel pressured to work at a more demanding pace? If so, does this challenge your preferred work flow?
I definitely feel the pressure as I receive a lot of disappointed messages from people who would like a Lampada Cappello and sadly haven’t been able to get one. That said however, one of the main things that makes Lampada Cappello so special to me is the fact that it is a handmade lamp and sculpture, slowly crafted in a Sicilian workshop and not in a factory; this is something of great meaning to me.
Your social media is filled with various vases and pottery. Where does this infatuation come from? And does your love for vases instill you with creativity?
I have always been fascinated with vases and their sculptural essence; none of the vases I have at home have flowers in them. There is something about their form that really interests me. I grew up surrounded by so many vases so in a way they comfort me too.
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Within your highlighted works on your website, you have a TV that looks as if it came from the Stone Age and it displays both The Flintstones and Pingu the penguin. Are these old cartoon shows a big inspiration for your work? Or possibly an important time in your life?
Definitely both. The Flintstones and Pingu have really defined my childhood and who I am. I feel that there is a certain fragility and materiality in them that really resonates with me and my making. Using them as inspiration also really allows me to connect with my younger self. In a way I feel that my curiosity and excitement for things really stems from that younger Oscar watching cartoons.
Have you found that your creative spaces and process has altered over the course of the last year and a half as a result of COVID-19 and the wide range of sociopolitical unrest happening around the world?
Yes and no. The last year or so has taught me to take a step back and focus on myself as a person rather than a maker; I feel the two should walk hand in hand and this pause has helped me understand how important it is to check up on yourself and make sure you’re ok.
As we all continue pushing onward and times continue to change, are you prepping your next project(s) and do you expect whatever you’re creating now will be able to match and or top the success of your current projects such as the Lampada Cappello?
I have spent the last couple of months working on a selection of objects, interiors and collaborations which will hopefully be ready soon. I don’t really think whether each piece will match the previous; what makes me happy is knowing I have made something I am proud of and have enjoyed the process through which it has been made.
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