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A resident of Melbourne, Australia, Michelle Sansonetti has been working with polymer clay since the ‘80s. She first became interested in sculpting figures when her mother brought home some blocks of Fimo from a craft store, and then was inspired by sculpture books by Maureen Carlson and Donna Kato's books on caning.

In recent years, Michelle has enjoyed the challenge of making sculptures of pets, aiming to capture their essence as a caricature rather than a realistic model. She is also drawn to organic themes, enjoying both the process and the result, as well as the juxtaposition of organic and more orderly patterns.

“I must say I'm not one to do a great deal of planning with my work,” Michelle says. “I don't generally draw designs beforehand. When I have an idea, I usually simply begin, but depending on what I'm making, I may mock up the piece roughly with scrap clay to see if it could work. With my sculptures, sometimes I'm not entirely sure how I want the finished piece to look until I arrive at a point where I am happy with it,” Michelle says about her process.

Sometimes, her pieces may be inspired by particular patterns, colors, shapes, or textures: “I use these as a starting point, and mix and match until I come up with something that is pleasing to my eye.” Michelle enjoys being able to create pieces that mean something to other people, particularly with her sculptures of animals and beloved pets.

Although she now finds almost everything browsing online, Michelle still likes to refer to the polymer clay books that she collected throughout the years for inspiration. She enjoys playing with a variety of different techniques and she finds it hard to stick to just one thing due to the versatility of polymer clay, including colors, patterns, textures, and translucent clay.