Artist is a leading light on stained glass

By Alesha Capone

Daniella Acciarito says that for creative people, there are no limits when it comes to working with glass.

Acciarito and her partner Michael run RuMa Creative Art Studio, which is based at Wyndham Art Works in Laverton North.

The site is operated by the Wyndham Community Arts Alliance to provide artists and cultural groups with workspaces and studios.

Acciarito, who has been president of the organization for the past seven years, said she has always loved art.

“My mother did art classes for adults at Werribee Tech (now Wyndham Central College) in ceramics, and she took a glass mosaic course with Reg Loats in his Werribee studio when I was in my early teens,” she said.

“I told my mother that one day I would also learn stained glass.”

Acciarito said she first learned the art of stained glass almost 30 years ago.

When her teacher and mentor Annette Valentan retired 15 years ago, Acciarito began teaching Valentan’s other students.

“I started teaching at a small community center in Laverton about 25 years ago and loved it,” she said.

“I’ve always been a human being and I love to talk.”

Acciarito teaches at the Wyndham Art Works and also hopes to start a class at the Wyndham Park Community Shed next year.

“The main reason I teach, as well as demonstrate the craft at fairs and festivals, is to help keep this very old craft alive – people generally find it all so fascinating,” Acciarito said.

“Stained glass is such a great medium to work with, you don’t have to be very artistic or skilled to do it, it’s more about skill and techniques.”

Acciarito is a versatile artist who also works with ceramics, ceramics, painting, drawing, embroidery, sculpture and woodworking.

“I have 10 different things on the go all the time,” she said.

“I want to make space-inspired pieces of glass while making ceramic mushroom houses and embroidering monstera leaves and making small witch beverage bottles.

“I thrive on creative chaos, even though it’s sometimes hard to keep up with myself.”

Acciarito described himself as RuMa’s “creative” person, while Michael is the studio’s social media and marketing face.

“Often our children get involved in helping out at the big markets and festivals where we do demonstrations and sell our work at,” she said.

“We have a couple of big events on the way in the new year, including The Lost Trades Festival in Bendigo and the Drysdale Festival of Glass.”