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Kstcreates Posts: 2

I also posted in the new members areas, but figured I would go ahead and jump in and post here as well.
I’ve done clay pieces, and here recently started dabbling With soft bodies with clay faces and paws/feet/hands. I was researching cotter pins when I came across this site. I’m looking for the best method to attach the clay pieces that will also give the creation poseablity. I saw the stringing method mentioned somewhere and except for ball jointed dolls, know nothing of stringing dolls. How do you string a soft body creation? Also, with cotter pins and clay creations, keep in mind I have to bake the pieces and I’m thinking insert the cotter piece prebake. Are there all metal cotter pins/ washers - whatever is involved with that method? Any other methods I could research and learn that would help my pursuit to create these little creations? Also, what is the best way to make patterns for bears/bunnies/animals /fantasy creatures?
Thanks for any help,

dangerbears Dangerbears
Posts: 6,021

Welcome to Teddy Talk, Katie!
This is the right section for your technical questions, though they sound fairly specialized! I have not worked with clay, so I won’t weigh in, but did want to say hello.

CrawlyCreepies Posts: 89

Welcome to the forum! It's pretty slow around here, but there's tons of information in the library.

"String Jointing" in teddies means something different than it does for BJDs. The end result is basically the same as disc jointing. Here's a tutorial: … -bear.html

Anatomy of a Doll by Susan Oroyan covers a lot of different jointing methods. Cotter pins and washers are normally metal, only the ones labeled "safety joints" are plastic. If you plan to bake metal parts into the clay, I would reinforce it with epoxy post-baking. Wire or loc-line armatures provide the widest range of motion. Loc-line is pricey but very durable and holds positions well. Unfortunately smallest size (Labeled 1/4", but actually has a 3/5" outside diameter) is still too big for smaller plushies.

Soft bodies with clay/resin faces and paws aren't my thing, but I can point you in the direction of some artists who use it. You may be able to find some progress photos that show how the hard pieces are attached. If you have an account you could try asking them directly.

What style plush are you thinking of? How experienced are you with sewing? For simplified styles like classic teddies, a single base pattern can become very versatile by changing ears/tails/ect. If you want to make more complex or realistic stuff, that's a long, hard road fraught with pattern testing. If it interests you I can link a bunch of resources on plush pattern design.

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,803

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Hi, Katie, welcome to Teddy Talk!  If you haven't already looked in our LIBRARY, you might want to take a peek.  You'll find many categories that have very good suggestions and tips for making creatures.  For your questions, the categories of "Joints" and "Patterns" might be of interest.  Hope you find what you need.

BerLynne Ontario -GTA
Posts: 51

Hi there! I just thought I'd throw my minor experience into the ring here. Before starting teddies,  i started with clay featured plushes, andthe joining of clay to armature to fur was.. challenging.  I bake my clay pieces straight onto a braided wire skeleton,  and after cooling i glue  a layer of fur around where metal meets clay (ankles, necks etc) using either a really decent hot glue or an epoxy, both seem to work pretty well. And then guesstimate the fabric sizing with a lot of pinning and basting stitches before sewing what seams i can on the machine and ladder stitching the rest.
For smaller claw features plushes ive also added wire loops to the clay bits like the loop on a glass eye, sewn the body traditionally,  string jointed the clay pieces together and then glued a fur or lace detail around the wrist/ankles/etc. For the heads of smaller ones i add a thick neck piece like youd see on a plastic moulded doll head, if that makes sense  bear_flower

leiakay Posts: 0

if they are miniature clay arms and legs on a small (1-2inch) fabric body you can use the string method by poking tiny holes in the arms and legs before baking where the string joint will go through.  use a seed bead to secure the string on the ‘shoulders’ and ‘hips’

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