Cindy Pacileo grew up in the creative confusion of a large, artistic family in Dayton, Ohio. "Our family went for long walks in the woods every Sunday where my dad taught me to love the shapes and colors of the trees and to watch the spiders weaving their webs. He and I were drawing together by the time I was three. I went on to major in art at the College of Mount Saint Joseph just outside of Cincinnati. I fell in love with pen and ink drawing, a love which has never left me. I was especially fascinated with the textured patterns I could create in my drawings. This love of texture shows up strongly in my clay work, where I use seashells, lace and seed pods to texture details like owl eyes, turtle shells and bird wings. I began sculpting animals in clay in 1973 while I was the director of a community art center in Loveland, Ohio. In 1975 my husband, Joe, and I were so attracted by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains that we moved to a small valley in North Carolina to raise our daughter and craft a life."