Watch Live

How to Sculpt Realistic Turtles in Polymer Clay

with Melissa Terlizzi

On-Demand Access


  • 10+ Video lessons in HD
  • Exclusive bonus content
  • 30-day access to instructor
  • Over 10 hours of in-depth instructions
  • Lifetime access, anywhere, anytime
  • Available on desktop, mobile and tablet
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee

What you will learn:


Class 1:

  • Intro and bio

  • Overview of what class will cover

  • Turtle basics

  • Create a turtle shell (carapace)

  • Make tool for texturing the scales

Class 2:

  • Design polymer “canes” for turtle’s shell

  • Create claws

Class 3:

  • Refine shell and add scales

  • Create armored scales for legs


Class 4:

  • Build turtle’s head & neck

Class 5:

  • Create front legs with claws

  • Adding details

Class 6:

  • Design bottom shell (plastron)

  • Create back legs & tail

  • Baking


Class 7:

  • Finish up turtle

  • Paint

Class 8:

  • Continue painting

  • Create bug pins with leftover canes

Class 9:

  • Finishing touches


  • BONUS CLASS: Woodland wall hanging
  • BONUS ITEM: Supplies list
  • BONUS ITEM: Handy-dandy handouts
  • BONUS ITEM: Chat transcript

Bonus Class:

Bonus Class:

About the course

In this online sculpting course Melissa Terlizzi will teach students her method for creating a turtle out of polymer clay. We will begin by shaping a turtle shell. We’ll “armor” the shell with clay scales sliced from colorful millefiori canes inspired by the patterns of real turtles. I will show students how to sculpt the turtle’s head, legs, and plastron (bottom shell), as well as how to put everything together—which is the trickiest part! Along the way we’ll discuss tools for adding texture, tips for making turtle eyes, how to make land tortoises, and painting options. By Day 3, we’ll have created a realistic turtle that is full of personality!

Open Facebook Group to students of this course:
Curious Mondo: Turtles in Polymer Clay

Time table:
9 hours

Basic / Intermediate / Advanced

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

Main objective:
Learn how to create stunning, realistic-looking, character-full turtles out of 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!

What students say:

Iner Giers

I enjoyed the turtle tutorial so much, I had to buy the full set available (incl. DVD). It was big fun watching and you could even win one of her pieces!! I strongly recommend this channel, the team of admins is very helpful and fast in case of problems and their sense of humor is hilarious.. this won't surely be not my only course!!

Sherrie Hendricks

Just watched Melissa's 3 days of live streaming on her turtles!! Amazing teacher!! So many great items on Curious Mondo and they make fun!! Amazing customer service too!

Laurie Grassel

Excellent course format! I am not a big purchaser of on-line courses but I just had to purchase Melissa Terlizzi's Turtle class! What a fun time!

Cara Jane

Fabulous class with Melissa Terlizzi Polymer Art - my daughter and I are part way through making some very cool turtles!


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