It all starts with a good full size plan. Any tricky joinery can be worked out and most of the patterns can be made right from the full size plan.
Above on the right I have a solid billet of Honduras Mahogany(the real stuff) with the leg pattern marked out. I am drilling out the mortise while the leg is still square. My furniture has mortise and tenon joints whenever possible. Dowels are much easier but not as strong.
Here's the leg cut on the band saw. A lot of work still left to do.
Here is the foot marked with a various reference points such as claw width, ball height, etc. I am sawing the claws to make it easy to remove waste. If you are interested in learning how to make a ball and claw foot, I would suggest buying a guide from Olde Mill cabinet shoppe at http://www.oldemill.com/. I have no affiliation with them, but they have a great book on how to make a ball and claw foot.
Starting to shape the ball.
Top and bottom of ball complete.