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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Carved Eagle Claw Necklace

 This is a necklace my husband Richard made, several years ago. He always wanted an Eagle Claw Necklace, but with the Laws governing Birds of Prey, he could not get one. He saw an artist at a knife show who made things from a tropical nut that looked like ivory and claws when he was done. They are called Tagua Palm Nuts and come from the Tropical regions of Central and South America. The Artist didn't give him any information about how to color it, so it took a lot of trial and error to get the results he wanted. This was before we had the internet to look for such information. Isn't it great to have access to people from all over the world willing to share art skills? Richard used a dye made from India Ink and alcohol to help it penetrate the dense nut. He had to dye them several times to achieve the desired color, then he baked it to harden it back. Some of the nuts have a hollow spot in the center while others are solid all the way through.
Necklace with Carved Eagle Claw by Husband
Side view showing Nut Spacers and Pipes made from Bone and Buffalo Horn. The accent beads are antiqued brass.
Closer view shows better detail of the claw. 
This shows the base of the claw and one of the spacers both made from the nut. The white pipes are cow bone and the black pipes are out of Buffalo Horn.
A Tagua Nut and a wedge of the nut dyed dark.
This shows how the dye was accepted in the nut grain.

This shows you the size of the nut. This is an average sized one. Since they are natural they vary greatly, some being larger or somewhat flat.

You can see how the dye shows the grain.


  1. You guys keep amazing me! This is a great job, Richard . The nevklass is beautiful and i am happy the birds of prey can keep their is nice when husband and wife show the same interests

  2. Thank you, tally we have fun even though this isn't tatting I wanted to show some of his carving skills. tatting will be tomorrow :)

  3. Wow, he went to a lot of trouble, and yes, it's good that 'no animals were harmed in the making of this product'! Does the claw have a specific symbolic meaning?

    1. Yes, it was part of something called "Counting coup" and more for the shaman or medicine man. The eagle took great skill to catch and the danger involved meant you had great wit and abilities facing danger with great patience. The Feathers were earned by the abilities to touch enemies or there things and sneak away.

  4. Great story and nice he shares interests with you, I am pleased no eagle lost a claw, the nut made a great claw for the necklace and the beads look ivory even though they are something different, great effect and without using endangered wildlife

  5. This is really clever, making it out of another substance and it looks like the real thing, the same thing could be done for ivory couldn't it?
    Looking back a bit on the posts, I like the little snowdrop and the book cover, very nice.

    1. Thanks Cat I don't mind this way of commenting on previous posts causerie it is hard to look back on older posts don't always catch it!

  6. Wow. That's really cool. Who knew a nut could be used that way.

  7. Really I know what you mean, this one is like Ivory and very hard!