05/20/2013 - 2:53pm
The Glass Artworks of Paglialunga
by Dave Senecal

Back in 2009 Omnibucket partner Dave Senecal profiled the artwork of Paglilunga for the Lithopolis Honey Festival.  Why?  Because it's awesome, and you should know about it.  That's why we're reprinting it now.  


Nestled within the hills of southern Ohio, a few minutes drive south of Columbus, a distinct buzz could be felt on the cool September breeze blowing through the normally quiet, and exotically named town of Lithopolis.

The Lithopolis Honey fest is an annual attraction that takes place on the grounds of the Wagnalls Memorial estate. Built in 1925 by Mabel Wagnalls Jones, daughter of Adam and Ana Wagnalls, the Wagnalls Memorial is part library, part art museum, and bears the namesake of the co-founder of the Funk and Wagnalls publishing company.

The Lithopolis Honey festival delivers exactly what it promises; a one day annual, celebration of all things sweet and “apiar-iffic” (bees, dude). Among the many talented artisans and honey related vendors and activities, one in particular stood out among the rest; The botanical glass artwork of John Paglialunga of Johnstown, Ohio.
A graduate of the Ohio State University, Paglialunga, creates work that at first glance resembles meticulously painted stained glass. Upon closer inspection, the works reveal themselves to be more complex and skillfully constructed works of layered, light capturing sculpture.

Drawing upon a background in Landscape Architecture, Paglialunga successfully connects the functional aspects of earth shaping with the formal design elements of line and shape. The effect is subtle, but quite clearly visible in the artwork that results.

Paglialunga works with reclaimed lumber from a variety of locations to craft his work in a stained-glass tradition. He pushes the tradition further by combining actual botanical specimens with found object material to striking effect.

The work that results reminds viewers of 18th century botanical studies (think James Sowerby) and the storytelling stained glass of European cathedrals. Deceptively 

light in and airy in appearance, Paglialunga’s sculptures are actually quite heavy and substantial but not so much so as, to exclude them from being ready to hang in a gallery or on your wall.

To learn more about Paglialunga’s artwork, click here.

To learn more about the Lithopolis Honey Festival, click here.