Artist Biography

As you may have guessed, my name is Michelle and I am the artist and owner of Michelle's Clay Corner. I live in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Besides clay sculpting, I love baking, shopping, photography, painting, writing, making people laugh and spending time with family and friends. I've always had a creative side since I was very young, whether it was writing fictional stories, poetry, drawing, creating floral arrangements or making cards. But I believe I found my true passion when I discovered polymer clay.   
My love of clay began back in the fall of 2007, when I was perusing the aisles of a local craft store looking for my next project. I found a free instructional project sheet on making a clay gingerbread figurine for the holidays. I was immediately drawn and bought the materials required. I went home and created the figurine but changed it up a bit. Lots of ideas were swirling in my head on how I could make the gingerbread figurine "better" and I knew I was hooked.
Shortly thereafter, I bought some instructional books and clay tools and continued to experiment and create. I made almost everyone on my Christmas list a figurine that year. With encouragement from family and friends, I signed up for a craft show the following year with a display of gingerbread figurines and angels. Then in February of 2009, I was introduced to Etsy... a worldwide online market for all things handmade, vintage and crafting supplies. After a slow start, I finally began seeing the orders come in and realized people wanted custom figurines. My first customer wanted a figurine to look like his grandpa fishing because of the fond memories he had fishing with grandpa as a child. I was hesitant at first but took on my first order with tons of excitement and a tinge nervousness. In the end, my customer was thrilled and I was pleased and proud of my accomplishment. I knew then I would take more custom orders.
Eventually, I received my first request for a cake topper. It was actually for an entire pirate scene for a pirate ship shaped cake! After that, I started to create other ideas I had for cake toppers and more requests came in for custom creations. Baby's first birthday was my most frequent request and other milestones as well. So thanks to my Etsy customers, I began what is now my top selling item...custom cake toppers. I have had customers from all over the world including Australia, Spain, Canada and the United Kingdom. 
I still sell figurines, ornaments, and cake toppers in my Etsy shop and on Zibbet. I enjoy doing so and cherish the friends that I have made. I also have a fan page on Facebook so that people can see what new items I come up with and they can in turn give me thoughts on new projects or leave feedback on what I've created. I'll even include some personal tidbits and photos so people can see the person behind the product. It's also a great place for customers to post photos of the cake topper on their cake. They'll take photos of the their cake to show me how pleased they were with their purchase. I love to receive the feedback immensely!
I love every aspect of what I do; from the moment I get the first ideas of my next project in my head or a customer emails me with their ideas for a cake topper, to the photography of each item I create. I anxiously watch my clay figurines as they bake in the oven. After the creation is complete, I love taking photos of the item. If my flowers are in bloom and the sun is shining, I go outside and take photos with the flowers as my back drop. Otherwise, I use a homemade light box with special lighting to get several angles of each figurine. I'm always anxious when I know a customer is about to view the photos of their item for the first time and eagerly await their feedback. Then it's time to ship the order and I package the figurine carefully in lots of bubble wrap and tissue to ensure safe delivery. Lots of soft padding is used to line the shipping box. (I do believe in recycling clean shipping boxes and packing materials when possible and encourage my customers to do the same!) Once the package is shipped, I track the item online each day to know when the item has arrived. Each item I create is one-of-a-kind and treated with care. My goal is to please you beyond your expectations!