Research Proposal for Final Project — The Dissection of a Frog

About Frogs

The frog belongs to the carnivorous group of amphibians. It can dwell in both dry land and fresh water. They could also live under rocks and in trees. Some important characteristics of an adult frog is a stout body, protruding eyes, anteriorly-attached tongue, limbs folded underneath, and no tail (except in tailed frogs). The appearance of a frog changes as it experiences different stages of metamorphosis.

Frog skin

The skin of a frog is distinctly glandular. These glands secrete substances that range from distasteful to toxic. The frog’s skin is also varied in colour, usually to camouflage themselves with natural colours — dappled brown, grey, green. However, some frogs have vividly coloured skin with lucid patterns. These could be bright red, yellow or black. They are usually toxic, and this idea wards off predators.

the life cycle of a frog

The life cycle of a frog comprises of 3 phases — starting as an egg, progressing to a tadpole, then completing metamorphosis as an adult frog.




As an embryo (egg), it is covered in layers of gelatinous substance. When several eggs are clumped together, they are collectively known as frogspawn. The jelly provides support and protection while allowing the passage of oxygen, carbon dioxide and ammonia.


The egg then metamorphoses into a tadpole, it typically has an oval body and possesses a long, vertically flattened tail. As a general rule, free-living larvae are fully aquatic, but at least one species has semiterrestrial tadpoles which live among wet rocks. Tadpoles are typically herbivorous, feeding mostly on algae, including diatoms filtered from the water through the gills.



Finally, at the last stage of the life cycle, the frog takes the adult form that we are most familiar with. This process is sudden and rapid.

The most significant change that occurs during this phase is the development of the lungs. The gills also start to disappear from the gill pouch, the front legs become visible. Another transformation occurs with the lower jaw, changing into the big mandible of the carnivorous adult. The long, spiral gut of the tadpole becomes the typical short gut of a predator, it is no longer herbivorous.

The nervous system becomes adapted for hearing and stereoscopic vision, and for new methods of locomotion and feeding. The eyes are repositioned higher up on the head and the eyelids and associated glands are formed. The eardrum, middle ear, and inner ear are developed. The skin becomes thicker and tougher, the lateral line system is lost, and skin glands are developed.

The final stage is the disappearance of the tail, but this takes place rather later, the tissue being used to produce a spurt of growth in the limbs. Frogs are at their most vulnerable to predators when they are undergoing metamorphosis. At this time, the tail is being lost and locomotion by means of limbs is only just becoming established.


Thermochromic Inks

thermochromic inks

Thermochromic powder mixed with a base can create a heat-sensitive pattern on a textile. When heat is applied to the powder, it becomes transparent and reveals the colour of the base (if the base is transparent, the ink just ‘disappears’). It can be applied just like a normal print or painted on.

In class we were provided some silk screens and block prints to play with. We used some of the thermochromic pigments in pink, yellow and black, though the black ink did not work as well as the others.


Heat Transfer


We can transfer an image onto a fabric by ironing a crayon-drawn image on a piece of baking paper. Since the baking paper is translucent, we are able to create a tessellated image or pattern by tracing over it.

The iron should be set to a significant hear (recommended the cotton setting), then it melts off the baking paper and transfers onto the cloth. The image can come off a few times if battered thick enough with crayon, the residue from the crayon could last a few rounds. The iron should round the paper slowly to yield the best results.

I scribbled some graphic drawing of people and traced over them with a crayon on the baking paper. I traced over it twice to create a pattern and then transferred it onto a cloth to create somewhat of a graphical pattern!


Pick up some Crayola Fabric Crayons to create an adorable DIY Rainbow Art T-Shirt! The possibilities are endless.

Image result for fabric heat transfer




Wet transfer is similar to dry transfer in a sense that it is a transfer of ink from one surface onto a textile with heat. However, working with a wet medium, we generate more unexpected shapes and textures. They are more organic and allow better blends of ink.

For this method, we used wet inks painted on paper, covered it with a sheet of baking paper, placed it on the cloth (wet side faced down) and ironed it on. I layered the wet paints and also created one that was mixed with a dry transfer. The outcome had a live edge effect and created unique, dynamic patterns.


This may be the coolest thing I've ever seen ... definitely the coolest use of gelatin EVER ... printmaking with leaves, printing ink, and a cookie sheet of gelatin. Who would of thought?


The Shibori Method


Shibori is commonly used in tie-dye. However, for this class, we manipulated thermoplastics with the Shibori method. This method creates three dimensional textures on a thermoplastic without the need for sewing. The materiel of the textile should be 100% polyester, and preferably a light one, to yield the most effective results.

We created our outcomes by creating folds in our fabric by tying it around objects or manipulating it in different forms, then wrapping them in aluminium foil (to preserve colour) and boiling it in water for around an hour.

After we remove it and allow it to cool, it retains the shape that we left it to boil it, therefore creating a texture on the fabric. This technique is useful in creating organic tessellations (with marbles or coins) or create complex geometric forms without smocking (origami method).


Related image

Related image



Knitting is a common hobby, mostly as an idle practice. It involves a repetitive motion of creating loops and knots in a series that ultimately forms a single piece. This motion is assisted by 2 rods where the piece is transferred at every change of direction. The pattern of the loops can be deliberate (purl stitch/knit stitch etc.) and alternate.

One can use unconventional materials to create knitted pieces. The pieces can also form unconventional shapes and even 3D forms. Here are some of my experimentation with raffia strings, cotton threads and conventional yarns.






Image result for unconventional fabrics using thread

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Smocking is an extremely tedious method that yields great results. It involves plotting a pattern on a grid drawn onto a piece of cloth, then hand sewing through that pattern. It creates a three-dimensional texture on what was once a two-dimensional cloth. The smaller the grid squares, the more intricate the pattern.

I created a smocked cloth with grid squares that were 2cm wide. It took almost a whole weeks idle time to finish sewing it. Mid-way through I tried it as a means for creating a poofy sleeve.


Plastics and Threads


Using a water-soluble stabilising agent, we are able to create a textile with a mesh-like quality. We start by arranging items (threads or cloths) within our stabilising agent, then pinning them down and sewing through the agent both horizontally and vertically.

We finish by dissolving the agent in water, and drying what’s left on a mould of the form that we’d like it to take shape in.


Image result for thread on water soluble

Image result for thread on water soluble

Creating new fabrics from scraps.



Plastics melt! Therefore, it is easy to combine them by simply ironing layers of thin plastics under a sheet of baking paper (so as to keep your iron and ironing board safe). One could even create patterns or graphics by combining different typer and colour of plastics together in a deliberate manner. Here I’ve created one reminiscent of fire.


Image result for plastic fusing

Image result for plastic fusing

Image result for plastic fusing


Wet Felting, Needle Felting and Appliqué


Appliqué involves stitching multiple fabrics together to form a single piece of fabric. In experimental explorations of this, it could also involve embedding other materials in it.

For my exploration of appliqué, I places some 3D pompoms inside pockets I created through sewing 2 pieces of cloth together in between the felt. I also embedded some threads and yarns in the felt to create a graphic outcome. To finish, I made a lining with pompom trimmings.



WET felting

Wet felting involves creating a felt by layering wool (they could be in different colours) and lathering them with soap and warm water. The arrangement of these wools could be deliberate to create a designed wool piece. Small items like yarn can also be embedded in them.

The more one lathers, the more dense the felt. It is also a choice to create shapes and holes with the felt. To finish off, we dry it in between sheets of paper.

You could also needle felt some eyes on after it’s dried.


Image result for wet felting

Image result for wet felting scarves


NEEDLE felting

Needle felting is a common technique used in puppetry. It is created with a felting needle (practically a normal needle with upward facing hooks) and wool. The needle agitates the wool and combines them into a felt. The more you agitate the wool, the denser the felt created by it.

I created a puppet had by felting some beads onto a sphere (felted previously in class). I also felted some wool yarns into the head to create hair.