Saturday, April 26, 2014

Flower Frogs

After a long, wet and cold winter, the trees and bushes are budding and early flowers are virtually leaping out of the ground.

This puts me in mind of the flower frogs I used to make for shows. One of those fill-the-corners-of-the-kiln things that "paid the rent".

Definitely a niche item. I wouldn't have even thought of making them if a lady hadn't described what a pansy frog was and requested I make one for her. Since she was a friend, I made her one and then tried including some at a show. They were great little sellers and fairly easy to make.

You know how it is. Every show you have someone who wants you to make something for them and usually I  take a dim view of this having been stung a couple of times stuck with a piece I had made and the buyer having evaporated.

I still have a custom made salt and pepper dispenser set designed to fit a particular stove niche......


the flower frog request sent me off on a mission to expand my knowledge about their different shapes and history. I remember seeing them at my grandmothers' and aunt's houses. We had a few in the house I grew up in.

I have a couple of antique flower frogs I've picked up along the way.

The first is a Japanese one made to suggest lotus leaves. It is designed to sit inside another vessel and support either a grouping of flower stems for each hole or quite large stems like iris or lily plants.
Large, tall flowers and this small frog might present a problem. I have never understood why frogs are so short. This one makes more sense.

The pink example is currently on eBay for $12.00.

Vintage Flower Frog ~ Flower Pedals Design ~ Made in Japan
The other piece that was in my mother's things. For years I had no clue about what it was. It is a variation of a pansy frog.

The slots are for tiny blossoms with stems that are too weak to support themselves. They are threaded into the slots and into the water reservoir  filled from the top.

This one is a McCoy Pottery piece and can be found in antique shops.

Flower frogs might work as kiln fillers and could be successful for sales in garden shows, at nurseries or art fairs.

More about frogs in the next post.


Linda Starr said...

beautiful antique frog shapes I've never seen before I used to have a collection of glass and metal ones but sold them

I wonder if folks nowadays would use the frogs, might be something to consider making, thanks for the suggestion.

Danish Smith said...

Another great place to market hand-made clay items, even beginner items, is at local farmers markets. As a market manager I get asked by potential customers all the time when we are going to have vendors with clay art. If you’re looking for things to do in San Francisco, check out the farmer’s markets. Becoming a vendor is very simple, call your town’s chamber of commerce, ask when and where the local markets are held, and sign up. It’s usually a simple matter of bringing a folding table and chair, setting up a nice display, and chatting with your neighbors.

Tips for Beginner Clay Artist

Trish said...

These are great, Jeanette! I have two antique ones that I use all the time, but never considered making them..good idea! Happy Spring..