*Earthenware produced by the potter Bernard Palissy (1510–90) at Saintes and in Paris. Palissy was a scientist and a geologist and he created pieces in imitation of ponds and rivers, with naturalistically modelled snakes, lizards, snails, and foliage. He cast from life reptiles, crustaceans, and leaves and attached them to plates, dishes, and plaques, which were then covered with greenish-grey glazes to give a slimy appearance. Palissy's style was very popular, much copied in his lifetime, and revived in the 19th century.
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/cera/hd_cera.htm Description and illustrations on Metropolitan Museum of Art website.