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About the Artist

Melissa Terlizzi discovered polymer clay in 2011, when searching for materials she could use to embellish hats and scarves she was knitting at the time. Simple brooches and pendants quickly evolved into sculptures and wall art. Learning about polymer, and practicing her new found hobby became obsessions. The knitting needles were packed away, and Melissa has been sculpting ever since.


Today Melissa is well known in the polymer art community for her  small animal sculptures and nature-themed wall pieces. Creatures she calls "over-looked"--scaly reptiles, amphibians, bugs and birds that are not universally loved--are her favorite subjects.

For her creations, Melissa blends colored clay into complex, patterned "canes," which she slices and textures to resemble everything from turtle scales to tree bark. Pieces are baked, then detailed with oil paint. The resulting sculptures are lifelike and whimsical at the same time. 

Melissa's work has been featured in galleries in Virginia and Europe, and has received numerous awards. She currently teaches polymer clay courses for the art education website, Curious and at a summer art camp for children. Recent publications that have profiled her art include:  "Polymer Week Magazine" (2018), Polymer Journeys 2019: The Art & Craft of Polymer (2019), and  A New Generation of Polymer Clay (2019).

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

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