Sculpting a Polymer Clay Frog in a Pond

Under the Sea: Polymer Clay Coral Reef

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What you will learn in this sculpting course


Class 1:

  • Class overview; tools/materials

Class 2:

  • Create water background

Class 3:

  • Begin coral

Class 4:

  • Finish coral

Class 5:

  • Build reef on background (and bake)

Class 6:

  • Create octopus (and bake)

Class 7:

  • Create fish (and bake)

Class 8:

  • Paint octopus and reef

Class 9:

  • Pour resin


  • Polymer clay pufferfish
Sculpting a Polymer Clay Frog in a Pond Course with Melissa Terlizzi
Sculpting a Polymer Clay Frog in a Pond Course with Melissa Terlizzi

About This sculpting course

She’s back with another 3-day course that combines polymer clay and epoxy resin! Join
polymer artist Melissa Terlizzi as she demonstrates how to create a vibrant coral reef teeming
with colorful sea life. Melissa will share her simple methods for sculpting coral, fish, and an
octopus out of clay; as well as her technique using paint to enhance details and add dimension.
She’ll show how to add layers of resin to create an “ocean” where fish and corals can be
suspended at different depths. Dive in! This bright, whimsical project will really get your creative
juices flowing!

In this course, you will learn how to:

  • Create an ocean background, blending clay to create the illusion of depth
  • Sculpt and assemble several types of tropical coral (eg. Venus fan coral, brain coral, elk horn
    coral, etc.)
  • Create different types of reef fish, including the Moorish idol, yellow tang, grouper, and sea star
  • Build the centerpiece octopus
  • Add paint to accent your clay creations
  • Mix and pour resin to bring your coral reef to life!

Open Facebook Group to students of this course:
Curious Mondo: Polymer Clay Coral Reef

Time table:
9 hours

Basic / Intermediate / Advanced

Target market:
Sculptors, crafters, anyone who loves polymer clay, sculpting, or want to start a new hobby or career

Main objective:
Learn how to sculpt a coral reef in polymer clay.



About the instructor

Melissa Terlizzi

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.”

Melissa lives in Virginia with her husband, 4 kids, 2 cats and 2 turtles. Her polymer clay critters move out as soon as their paint dries—and live in collections around the world!

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Salt Lake City, UT 84119

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