Luna moth tumbler by Chillicothe’s Lost Petal Pottery (photo courtesy of Torie McCollum)
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Lost Petal Pottery Inspired by Nature, Landmarks and Lore

Artist Torie McCollum crafts a lineup of beautiful creations with an earthy feel at her studio space in Circleville.

Torie McCollum’s pottery is influenced by folklore, nature and places like the Moonville Tunnel, a Vinton County landmark with a ghostly past.

“The spooky things started to come around Halloween, but then I just loved them so much — and other people did too — that I just kept making them,” McCollum says.

That fascination with the season of black cats, witches and skulls is a theme through her line of beautifully crafted ceramic works, which sport an earthy feel and feature glazes that turn each into a unique piece of art.

McCollum’s business, Lost Petal Pottery, has its roots in a high school pottery class. It was a pursuit she enjoyed, but she says she didn’t immediately recognize it as something she could do for a living. After getting her bachelor’s and master’s degrees — the latter in historic preservation — and working as an interior designer for a few years, she returned to ceramics. Today, she works in a studio in Circleville and regularly releases drops of products that her loyal customers love.

If you see a piece you like in her online shop, it’s a good idea to pick it up. McCollum’s process requires her to craft in small batches (a single work can take up to a month to create) and although she makes a few of her bestsellers at a time, they go quickly.

Creating up to 20 pieces in a batch, all McCollum’s projects begin with weighing and molding a blob of clay. While the clay is still wet, she uses screen printing to transfer her illustration. (Each is hand drawn on a computer and formatted to size.) After the clay sits overnight, she drills holes into plant pots and adds handles to mugs. The pieces then sit for two weeks before undergoing two separate firings in the kiln.

The shop, which launched in 2020, stocks an ever-changing lineup of mugs, tumblers, planters and dishes as well as stickers and notebooks with hand-printed designs. McCollum says a lot of her artistic ideas stem from spending time in nature.

“Any real chance I get to spend time outside is really magical for me,” she says. “I feel like one of my biggest personal inspirations is just to kind of look … try and maybe harken back to my inner child.”

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