While at several recent Scouting events I've come across several people who had both real and carved wood bear claws, as necklaces, walking stick decorations, or just hanging from a string on a pocket. Bear claws have always caught my attention when used for decoration so I talked with a lot of these folks and they allowed me to photograph their claws.
About a month ago I began researching bear claws and the picture to the left shows my progress as I search in quest for carving my own bear claws.
From the tip of the claws root to the tip of the claw, they measure 2-1/4" long and I used basswood. As seen in the pictures to the right I first cut out the claws using a scroll saw then used my v-parting tool to separate the root from the claw, then proceeded to shape up the remainder with my jack knife.
After the initial carving I then applied a bit of dark maroon acrylic paint to the root of the claw, then used my propane torch to char the entire claw being careful not to actually catch it on fire. I then read somewhere about running a project like this through clear candle wax so that's how I finished my first claw after lightly sanding it after torching. Looks like a pretty good finish to me but I'll be trying other options too.
Although I haven't gotten that far yet, I would now like to carve several more claws and then work on making a necklace. I'm also thinking that they will also make a great addition to a walking stick wrist strap. Maybe one day I'll get some real bear claws like in the picture to the left, but until then I'm going with wood!
Living in the mountains of North Carolina I have spent almost 30 very
rewarding years working with at-risk kids in a wilderness camping program as a counselor, outdoor educator, and woodshop teacher. To learn more about what my blog is all about, just scroll down this sidebar to "About my blog..."
1. Woodcarving/Woodwork: Working wood has been a lifetime obsession for me and I enjoy sharing what I know. It is my belief that hands-on and experiential learning has a direct and profound effect on the development of a child's intellect, confidence, and character. Projects of mine (and my students) will be posted as they progress and I will occasionally include a video tutorial. All of my videos can be found here .
2. Bushcraft/Primitive Living Skills: Finding ways to live closer to the land has always fascinated me. Whether it's building a shelter, fire starting, animal tracking, or just making rustic furniture... you'll eventually see some of it here.
3. Long Distance backpacking, canoeing, & bicycling: Some of my long distance adventures include thru-hiking the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail, Mexico to Canada and I solo paddled the 1,800 mile Yukon river across northwest Canada and Alaska to the Bering sea. More detailed accounts of these and many other adventures can be found here
4. Sustainable Living: I'm always looking for better ways to do more by using less. It's not so much an "environmental" thing to me as it is a quest for personal independence from material things and finding a path to more substantive living .
5. Scouting Activity: As a scoutmaster of 6 years (and currently assistant scoutmaster) I'm actively involved with the troop and "Order of the Arrow" where it is a joy to volunteer hundreds of hours each year because investing in the next generation insures a better tomorrow for everyone. In an era when most schools don't value hands-on learning, outdoor education, and the arts... scouting soars in meeting these critical experiences for boys.
6. Profiles: Behind everyone's success you can usually find a trail of some very significant mentors and teachers along the way. And sometimes you don't completely understand how someone affected your life for the better until many years later. You'll find some of those stories here.