Hi Catherine ~
I've never attached claws, only sewn on, but I was thinking of trying to sculpt of polymer clay and attaching. Would have to make some sort of attached flange I would think. But I couldn't figure out how then, you would get the entire ... say 1/8" flange secured in the paw. I'm glad you asked the question!
I sculpt mine from Polymer clay and sometimes even insert a small nail beofre heat setting them in the oven. Then I use a really good strong glue, like E600. I also custom fit each claw to where I want it attahced so it sits at the correct angle and usually have more than one side where it is glued so it really will stay put. Heres a picture but it is kind of hard to see the claws.
Judi, your bear is just darling! Did you sculpt the face from clay as well?
Catherine, sculpting your own is very easy to do! If you'd like more information on clay and how to make claws, please let me know. I am also a doll artist/sculptor and I can help. One thing to remember if you try it on your own, be careful about leaving your finger prints in the clay! Ü
Thanks a lot for all your help, amazing bear Judi. Linda I have just been to your website and WOW your sculpting is AMAZING. I would most certainly love any advice you could give me on creating claws (and noses!) for bears. My latest bear has my first attempt at a sculpted nose and I soon learnt about my fingerprints on the clay! Your bear is incredible and I just love your chimps too.
hi everyone, new here but been reading a lot of the posts on techniques. As for claws i was wondering about using the soft cat claw covers somehow as claws for the bears and was wondering if anyone would have an ideas on how to use them as such? or wether they would be appropriate to use at all?
Heather you will 1.2.
go to your hobby supply store and purchase a block of Sculpey or other brand of polymer clay in the shade that you want.
This is oven baked clay and depending on your size bear they will take 15-30 min ea at 275.
2. Knead the clay well,
3. roll it into a tube roll the size of an ink pen.
4. Slice off 1/4" pieces. Roll them into a claw shape, tapered at one end and put a slight bend to them so they
will look real .
5 Flatten out one end about 1/4" in lenth,
6.Take a large needle or ice pick type punch and make a hole through the flattened end for sewing through.
7.Place the claws on some aluminum foil on top of a cookie sheet unless you have a mini oven just for this.
8. Bake and cool
9. To sew on use waxed sinew type thread that doesn't slip or fine wire and to me these should be placed in between
the sections of paw pads so don't sew those ends up on the sewing machine.
It is a lot of time consuming work and some clays are stronger than others. I have also seen them made from rolled leather.
Some people carve theirs from wood or antlers or plastic so that they are un-breakable - I think this would make the bear un- safe
for children. I only use them on realistic type looking bears and not the cutie ones or the sweetie ones.
There is a parallel topic going on on the board - claws out of other-materials-than-the-polymer-clays )Sorry 'Oly'~
The Apoxie Sculpt and All Game are just are easy to work with—actually easier because they're not hard and in need of softening first. They are like window putty and just need blending together thoroughly.
This makes a huge difference on our finger joints which already suffer from arthritis due to all of the hand work involved in this arena.
Read here for links, opinions. etc:
It's really good of you to share your techniques with us. Your bear claws are superb.
I have used two different methods to attach claws.
I started off by creating individual claws using epoxy clay that were left thick at the back. I left the back half of each foot unsewn. I used an awl to make the holes for the claws to pass through. The claws were pushed partly through the hole(from the inside of the foot), superglued and stitched to ensure they couldn't move. I finished the foot by stitching the back of the foot using the same stitch I use for closing seams. I found this method very fiddly and occasionally a claw would break.
More recently, I have created the claws and then before clay has hardened, strung the claws onto a length of florist wire. For larger bears, I push a small bead of clay between each claw (threaded as before). When the clay has hardened, the ends of the wires are joined. The claws are then inserted into the front of the foot. (This has been left open and the cut edges hemmed). Strong thread is then used to anchor the feet firmly by sewing between each toe. The upside of this method is that the claws are very stable and there is no need for glue; downside of this is that the complete foot assembly can be bulky.