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Products Used

Clay & Mold

5 lbs of low-fire clay body (Cone 06/05), CD-776 Circle Slump, CD-1223 Celtic and CD-1156 Leaves Continuous Design Press Tools


Stroke & Coat and Foundations Glazes 

SC-27 Sour Apple, SC-26 Green Thumb, SC-88 Tu Tu Tango, SC- 75 Orange-a-Peel, SC-73 Candy Apply Red, SC-06 Sunkissed, SC-08 Just Froggy, SC-11 Blue Yonder, SC-14 Java Bean, SC-16 Cotton Tail, SC-31 The Blues, SC-33 Fruit of the Vine, SC-48 Camel Back, S-2101 Crystal Clear glaze, FN-01 White 


Design Tools

CB-110 #10/0 Liner, CB-106 #6 Script Liner, CB-604 #4 Soft Fan 


Additional Materials
Pencil, BT-910 Synthetic Sponge, Sand Bag, Needle tool

frog life cycle webimage


For grade levels 9-12

This lesson brings to life a variety of subject areas including science, by the teaching of animal life cycles, as well as art history by tying in the work of Impressionist artist, Claude Monet.  Students will construct multiple pieces within this one project- all relating to one another by the process of metamorphosis and the art style of Impressionism.  First, three animal forms will be made to represent a tadpole, a young frog or froglet, and a frog.  The second part of this project incorporates aquatic plant life within the habitat of tadpoles and frogs: nymphaea, or better known as, water lilies. Students will hand build flower forms representing lilies, as well as a base of the pad to place them on. For the final stage of the project, students will create a functional platter and paint an impressionistic scene that resembles the work of artist, Claude Monet. 


  • Students will study the life cycle of a frog, by learning about metamorphosis, in order to create three animal forms within that cycle. 

  • Students will be able to hand build two water lilies with pads as bases, to represent the aquatic plant life of a frog’s habitat.  

  •  Students will study the artwork of Claude Monet, and will create a brushwork and styles of a painting on their platter that resemble the genre of Impressionism.  

National Standards

  • Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
  • Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
  • Choosing and Evaluating a Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas


Lily Pad Box Construction Technique:
  1. Roll a slab ¼ of an inch thick.
  2. Cut 3 circles that are 4 inches in diameter.
  3. Slump all 3 circles into CD-776 Circle Slump and Hump mold. 
  4. Attach the rims of two of the circles.  Compress the seams together with a damp sponge.
  5. One of the circles is going to be used to create a gallery so the top and bottom of the box will fit together.  To create the gallery, cut a circle ¼ of an inch a way from the seam and add some sort of a key to indicate where the 2 halves fit together.
  6. Attach the cut out you created to the concave part of the third circle.  You now have the top and bottom of the Lilly Pad Box. 
  7. Roll a ball of clay the size of a large marble and attach it to the top part of the Lily Pad Box. 
  8. Then start making petals for the flower.  The larger petals go on first and then build the smaller petals on top of that.
  9. To make the petals, you roll a coil about an inch long.  Place the coil in the palm of your hand and press the coil flat with your pointer finger.  Then start at the top right of the smashed coil and run your finger down the outside.  Then do the left side of the smashed coil. 
  10. Slip and score the first row of petals onto the top of the box around the ball of clay.  The other rows of petals do not need to be slipped and scored.
  11. Once you have build up your petals the way you like it, create the spikes.  Take a pinch of clay and roll a small coil.  Roll one end of the coil to a point.  Slip and score the spikes to the center of the flower.
  12. Dry box until it is bone dry and bisque fire to Cone 04.   

Lily Pad Glazing Directions:
  1. Begin with properly fired shelf cone 04 bisque.  Moisten a clean sponge and wipe bisque to remove any dust.
  2. Base coat the entire Lily Pad Box with FN-01 White with three coats.
  3. The Lily Pad part of the box was painted using 3 different colors of green, SC-27 Sour Apple, SC-26 Green Thumb, and SC-08 Just Froggy.
  4. Fill your brush, CB-106 #6 Script Liner, with SC-27 Sour Apple.  Instead of brushing the glaze on, you are going to plop the full brush onto the lily pad over and over again.  Do not fill the whole lily pad with SC-27 Sour Apple, but leave some white space.  Applying the glaze in this way gives you a painterly result that mimics Monet’s painting style.   
  5. Take the other two green colors and apply the glaze the same way, filling in the white spaces and giving the lily pad dimension. 
  6. For the Flower pedals you are going to use SC-88 Tu Tu Tango, SC-75 Orange-a-Peel, and SC-73 Candy Apple Red. 
  7. Using the same painterly technique, apply SC-73 Candy Apple Red to the bottom pedals, SC-88 Tu Tu Tango to the middle pedals and SC-75 to the top pedals. 
  8. Paint the spikes with 2 coats of SC-6 Sunkissed.
  9. Fire finished Lily Pad box to cone 05/06.

Frog Construction Technique:
  1. To create the forms use the pinch pot method. 
  2. For the adult frog create two half ovals and slip and score them together.
  3. Add on the details using small coils. This will include the legs, arms, and feet.
  4. Create the eyes with two small balls of clay.
  5. Use the pencil to create the line of the mouth
  6. You can use a rounded brush to soften the edge of the eyes and mouth.
  7. Use the tip of the pencil to create the nostrils.
  8. Use small balls of clay to add bumps to the frogs back.
  9. Once the feet have stiffened to a soft-hard leather consistency use a pencil to create the toes then soften the edges with a pencil.

Frog Glazing Directions:
  1. Use a rounded brush to glaze the frog’s body with SC-26 Green Thumb once the frog is leather hard. Use SC-36 Irish Luck to shade the lower parts of the body. Water down a little of SC-14 Java Bean to add over the glaze under the chin.
  2. Add SC-33 Fruit of the Vine to the dots on the back. Once that has dried, add a drop of SC-6 Sunkissed to the top.
  3. Use SC-6 Sunkissed to add highlights to the frogs body.
  4. Add SC-15 Tuxedo to the eyes and once that has dried add a spot of SC-16 Cotton Tail to add a reflection in the eye.
  5. You will use this similar glaze direction when glazing the other stages of the frog’s life cycle.
  6. Fire to Cone 04.

Plaque Construction Technique & Glazing Directions:
  1. Roll a ¼” thick slab to the length which you would like the plaque to be.
  2. Cut the slab into a rectangle. Clean up the edges and face of the slab with a sponge.
  3. Once the slab becomes leather hard, use the leaf design of the CD-1223 Celtic and Leaves Continuous Design Press Tools to create the design on the top of the slab.
  4. Once the slab is dry fire to 04 to bisque.
  5. Use a pencil to sketch the layout of the design onto the bisque.
  6. Apply 1 coat of SC-48 Camel Back with a soft fan brush on the top leaf design.
  7. Use a damp sponge to wipe the glaze away to reveal the design.
  8. For the water, use a round brush in a horizontal motion to create the layers with SC-31 The Blues, SC-33 Fruit of the Vine, and SC-16 Cotton Tail. Work in small areas on the plaque to blend the colors. Keep layering the colors until you get the desired look.
  9. Use SC-6 Sunkissed, SC-11 Blue Yonder, SC-14 Java Bean, and SC-16 Cotton Tail for the water lilies. For the flowers use a rounded or dagger brush in a slight U shape when applying the glaze. Start with the SC-16 Cotton Tail and layer in the SC-11 Blue Yonder until you get the desired look. Next you will add accents of the SC-14 Java Bean near the bottom of the flower and SC-6 Sunkissed at the top of the petals.
  10. Use the rounded brush or a short stiff brush to do the lily pads. Use a dappling technique for this. Use SC-26 Green Thumb and SC-48 Camel Back for the lilies. Add accents of SC-6 Sunkissed around the top of the lily pad.
  11. Once the glaze is dry apply one coat of S-2101 Crystal Clear Brushing Glaze.
  12. Fire to cone 05/06.


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