Melissa Terlizzi is an “accidental” polymer clay artist. She stumbled onto the material in 2011 while looking for a way to create her own buttons and brooches for her handknit scarves. Something clicked inside her—all other hobbies fell away and she began to focus full time on creating polymer art. Today Melissa is well known in the polymer art community for her whimsical nature-inspired wall pieces and small sculptures. Her subjects are often the creatures she calls “overlooked”—reptiles, amphibians, bugs and birds that are familiar to most of us, but not necessarily beloved. With polymer clay, she can satisfy her curiosity about science, and share what she’s learned with the people who enjoy her art.

Melissa works with the colored clay, blending and combining different colors into complex, patterned “canes,” which are then sliced and textured to become everything from a beetle’s wing or turtle shell to a shaggy piece of tree bark. Finished creations are enhanced with oil paints. Her work is detailed and lifelike, but almost always whimsical. Melissa doesn’t take herself too seriously and believes her art shouldn’t either!

Melissa loves sharing her passion for polymer through teaching. She teaches workshops and at a summer camp near her home in Virginia, and has published online tutorials on the “Polymer Clay Universe.” Her work is featured in galleries in Virginia and Europe and has received numerous awards. Her art has also been profiled in several publications: the “Fredericksburg Literary & Art Review” (2017), “Polymer Week Magazine” (2018), “Polymer Journeys 2019: The Art & Craft of Polymer” (2019), and the popular online blog, “Polymer Clay Daily.”

Join polymer clay artist Melissa Terlizzi for 3 days of sculpting night flyers. In a new art course perfect for spooky autumn crafting, Melissa will share how she makes 3 of her most popular clay creatures: an upside down-hanging bat, a sweet-faced owl, and a mysterious green luna moth. Straightforward tips and techniques on working with polymer clay will make this sculpting class a must-see for anyone who loves creating animals—whether they have been sculpting with polymer clay for years or have yet to crack the plastic on their first packet of clay.

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