Skip to main content

Banner Sponsors

Past Time Bears - Artist bears designed and handcrafted by Sue Ann Holcomb
Shelli Makes - Teddy bears & other cheerful things by Shelli Quinn

Elli wrote:

It's a kangaroo paw. bear_happy
Since most of my creations have an armature the simplest way for me is to just poke the armature-wires from inside through the paws before stuffing. But you can also form a wire-loop and pull it into the paw, then you have the two open ends sticking out of the toe and form one claw, which can be cut to lenght and covered with glue.

I hope my English is understandable. :angel:

Although I rarely do super small bears, I love the above idea using the wire especially because you have the ability to direct the wired claws and avoid a splayed out look. I am anxious to try this now that I saw this post. I think I might lack the patience to do the PVA glue (doing larger claws) or worry that I will smear onto my fur. I will try using Apoxie resin clay. It is similar to Fimo or Sculpey but you do not have to bake it. It is a two part epoxy clay that comes in various colors and you can form it over the wires (I would actually make a tiny coil for more surface support) and you have a long working time before it fully cures. After it cures you still have ability to take xacto knife and carve it or shape with a file and it is paintable/stainable as well. I use this resin clay for all my 'realistic' dog or grizzly noses and for teeth and for alternative art projects due to it's durability and not needing baked. I believe there is another similar product called Magi-Sculpt.

Forming mutiple matching size balls of clay, then slicing in half and sandwiching the wire between and smoothing the top spine should make a nice claw. Thanks for the tip!!

Michelle Helen wrote:

I double the length of the foot and use a thin wire to create the shape of the paw pad. I found using wire help keep the shape when tracing the pattern. Once traced, I put in a seam allowance.

The above sounds really effective especially when you want a variety of paw pad shapes, such as perfect oval or wider and squared off top for multiple toes. I always add a generous seam allowance because you can always keep trimming paw pad as you baste into position and make it smaller. If I want super puffy pulled toes (depending on material) then I keep it larger to compensate for being pulled in, but if I want the fur to roll around than I make it a touch smaller and ease it in when sewing.


When I have a super problematic bear, which usually means more than one issue, I set it on my stairs along with other unfinished bears. Then as I am working I can look up at all of them and eventually they "tell" me what they need or who they want to become. I've had some there for a year or more. Oftentimes, it requires the laborious task of opening up/unstuffing and unjointing because I need to add length to the torso or make head larger or smaller. Sometimes I was forcing a fully costumed bear to be girl when in reality it was meant to be a boy and it needed to be undressed and left to stare out to see this. If however, I have just one particular issue that is problematic, I stick to it like a bulldog for as long as necessary until I solve it.

If it seems an unredeemable mistake (IT USUALLY NEVER IS) then I use that opportunity to be riskier, such as cut all fur off the face up past the brow line, or make an unusually shaped or super large nose or experiment with a radical ear or eye placement that I'm usually too conservative to try. Oftentimes, this freedom can create not just the solution to the problem, but has invented a whole new look that you will pursue purposely. Mistakes are more the mother of invention than necessity. Happy bearmaking!


Hi All UK bear artists,
I will be visiting the UK in September of 2014 and offering lessons whether private or in workshop format while I am there. I will be in Aberdeen area close to Sept. 4-8 and London Sept. 12-16 and can travel to outlying areas if need be. I am gathering interest to help me form specific dates/curriculum well in advance of arriving. I will be doing a "demo" at Silly Bears in Aberdeen on Sept. 7th if anyone is interested and will have details posted nearer the event. Happy bearmaking! Michelle Lamb "One&Only"Bears

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB

Banner Sponsors

No Monkey Biz - Domain name registration, hosting
Intercal Trading Group - Your mohair supplier