I wrote about Cindy Pacillos a couple months ago when i showed an image of her wonderful "Little Guys" i sent my mom as a gift. I was very excited when she said she would answer my interview questions for my blog. She's a very sweet lady and extreamly talented!
1. I started teaching a kids hanbuilding class at an art center in 1972. I couldn't keep my hands out of the clay after the kids had gone home. Soon I had my own kiln and my business was born. In 1973 I left the art center (I had been the director) and have worked full time in clay ever since.
2. I have always made animals rather than pots. At first they were flat wall pieces mounted on barnboard. By 1974-5 they were 3D and came in all sizes from the 1 1/2" Little Guys to 2' tall giraffes. I made hundreds of wide mouth frogs of all sizes and sold my work at many art fairs in Cincinnati. I became known as "The Frog Lady of Cincinnati".
I moved to the NC mountains in 1976. By 1981, I was making far more Little Guys than large sculptures. I added little angels in 1992, Garden Frogs came and went from 1994 to 2001, and Women of Peace were added in 2001.
3. My Women of Peace were born on Sept 11, 2001. They were my response to the obvious need for women to be full partners in the peace process at all levels. I create animals because I love them. I have made many castles and wizards over the years and wish there was time in my life to make more. I love the Merlin stories. My dragons are more wistful than fierce.
4. I must meld my interests and the images that arise from them with the images my customers respond to and want to own. Wizards and dragons are an example. I love to make them but the market for $400 wizards and dragons is small, so I don't make many. It's been a challenge to create a year round business in a market that is so dominated by Christmas. My Women of Peace sell very well at Mothers Day, so that helps. I sell to many galleries in tourist areas. This gives me a good summer season. I have 3 employees who do my glazing and shipping. I do all the clay work. It's hard to have enough skilled workers to make sure I fill all the orders on time without having too many people during slower times. The craft marketplace has been unstable since 2001, so this balance has been especially hard to achieve. I love working at home(my studio is next door) and melding my family's needs into my flexible work day. I love creating more than anything else. I am so happy that I have been able to be in this highly creative business for over 30 years.
Enjoy her adorable Little Guys, and be inspired by her Women of Peace. She has some other wonderful images on her website!!