When I started making miniatures I realized the huge variety in skills & crafts needed. That, combined with all the different styles to choose from is what keeps me going. It never ceases to challenge me, and keeps me interested. It's fun to examine and learn about the history of furniture styles and lot's has been written about joinery, carving wood and constructions. Reading about it is one thing, trying it out is an other.
One of the things on my list was to have a go at carving claw and ball feet (or ball and claw feet, just as you prefer). You may find it in many pieces of furniture; tables, chairs and cabinets. It is said to have originated in the early 18th century in Europe and it has spread from England further on to America. Very much associated with Chippendale and Queen Ann furniture.
For convenience reasons i used ordinary cabriole legs that are sold by the million in every dolls house shop. Too big & no detail, so perfect to practice on. I had to work with the given shape, and the amount of wood available. I am pleased with the outcome, but can still see lots and lots of room for improvement. The wood for instance is ordinary basswood or limewood. Easy to carve but too soft for greater detail.
The ball is too small in comparison to the claw. I was too conservative in carving the claw, cos I'm always scared to carve away too much. It's a cliché but you can carve some more, but you can never add : )
I did all to be symmetrical in lining up the claws. Pleased with that but the amount the flesh or web that retracts upwards between the two front talons isn't equal.
I over sanded the right side of the ball, and lost detail there. I did that late last night, after being at it for a some time. I know that isn't the right time to finish a piece. I should have set it aside it till the morning so I would start at it with a fresh mind. But hey! I was having fun and lost the patience, for I was eager for the end result.
And finally, the back claw doesn't look right. Too odd, too straight... Anyway, it's a practice piece so I'm allowed to make some mistakes. Now it's a case of transforming those mistakes into something better.