Cindy Searles started playing with clay at the city recreation program in Jr. High School in Southern California. She then attended UC Santa Cruz where she considered biology, but the thrill of making pots lingered. She graduated with a BA in ceramics in 1980, then co-owned a co-op gallery in Santa Cruz. The 1989 earthquake put the gallery into a tent and the business was eventually sold, but the artist continued to make work in a tiny backyard studio.
After living in Santa Cruz for 30 years, Searles made the move to a small town, Salida, Colorado. There she and her husband James, a furniture maker, opened The Flying Dog Gallery where she threw pots and made tiles. In 2008, the Searles closed the Flying Dog Gallery and moved to a six-acre apple orchard nestled on the Arkansas River in Cotopaxi, Colorado. Searles' work reflects the life and natural beauty of the 14,000 peaks surrounding her home and studio.