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  • History/Background

    Michelle Lightner started sculpting One-of-A-Kind and Limited Edition porcelain pieces in October of 1995. Prior to that she was an Administrative Specialist for Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company, with a varying background in the electronics and environmental management industries. She is a member of the Academy of American Doll Artists and the International Foundation of Doll Makers

  • Education/Skills

    She is a self-taught artist, previously working in watercolor and graphics art. Her doll art skills were obtained through the help of books and videos, most of which are available on the market today.

  • Competitions/Awards

    Her original dolls have been entered as art in competitions with Blue Ribbons and Best Of Category Awards at local shows, the Crossroads Doll & Teddy Bear Show in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Rocky Mountain Doll Fantasy in Denver, Co.

  • Media/Processes Used

    Her one-of-a-kind dolls are sculpted in ProSculpt, a polymer clay developed by doll artist jack Johnston. ProSculpt was developed specifically for the use in artists dolls for its malleability, strength, and color.

    The sculpting media used for her porcelain dolls is water-based clay, with the exception of some accessory pieces which are sculpted using Polymer Clay (Cernit). All pieces are sculpted, refined and molded by the artist to produce a waste mold. The pieces are then cast in porcelain,low-fired, cleaned and refined to produce another mold, commonly known as the "Artist Work Mold". Using the work mold, the final piece is cast in porcelain, cleaned and direct-sculpted to add the detail and refinements not possible during the molding process.

    Each porcelain piece undergoes numerous stages of cleaning and firing to obtain the smoothness of high-quality porcelain. Firings range from a low-fire to the final bisque stage, and repeated low firings during the china painting process. She typically chooses to pour her pieces in white porcelain and add the washes required to obtain the desired glow and effect of fine-quality porcelain dolls, although some are presented in the flesh tones without a wash.

    The artist work mold allows approximately 100 castings prior to disintegration resulting from the casting process. This provides for Limited Edition pieces in the quantity the artist chooses, with a recommended maximum of 100/ mold, based on the number of pourings/day and care-taking of the mold.

  • Copyright Information

    Production molds for her pieces are not currently available and any future release would result in a reduction in size and the lack of detail implemented by the artist during the direct-sculpting process. The copyright for each piece is maintained by the artist.

  • The Links Page on this site provides links to other original artist on the web, and classes and instructions which would be useful to those who wish to pursue the art of doll artistry as well as those interested in doll making in general.


    The Watercolor Gallery provides a showing of Michelle's original watercolor paintings.


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