A few years ago, Afro picks were seen just about everywhere. They shaped hairstyles of all kinds. Besides being necessary for picking out your "do," the long-toothed plastic combs were simply stuck in the hair and worn as an accessory. With the resurgence of big hair, picks are still popular styling tools. The shape has not changed much and colours can be pretty basic, but you can design and make your own custom model with a few basic supplies.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Polymer clay
- Florist's wire
- Wire cutters
- Flat glass or metal dish
- Pasta machine
- Large dowel
- Clay knife
- Glossy sealer
Draw a basic pattern of a 6-inch long fork with 4 to 6 teeth. The teeth should be 3 inches long with the remaining length for the handle. Begin with a rectangle 3 1/2 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide. Draw the pick teeth ending 1/2 inch from the top of the rectangle to form a crossbar. Make each tooth approximately 3/16 inches wide tapering to a point. Add a 2 1/2-inch handle centred at the top of the crossbar.
Use a pasta maker or a large dowel to roll polymer clay into 1/8-inch-thick pieces. Combine colours at this stage for unique designs. Use the paper pattern as a guide to cut and position the pick pieces on a glass or metal baking dish.
Cut a 3 1/4-inch length of wire for each tooth. Center a wire on each tooth so it reaches well into the crossbar. Leave the wire just short of the tip of the tooth to prevent scratching the scalp. Press the wire into the clay, but not all the way through it. Push the clay over the wire to cover it and gently roll it flat with a dowel.
Cut two pieces of wire the length of the crossbar and insert them in the clay. Roll the clay to cover the wire. Reinforce the handle with wire and clay. You may want to add another piece of 1/8-inch thick piece of clay to the crossbar and handle. Smooth any joints in the clay. Bake as directed by the package instructions.
Allow the pick to cool. Remove the pick from the dish. Apply sealer for a glossy finish. Allow the sealer to dry completely.
Tips and warnings
- You can make the clay thicker and skip the wire.
- Place several long strands of different-coloured clay together for a striped look. Create other patterns by placing different pieces of clay together into logs and slicing off pieces.
- Review the polymer clay instructions before you begin. Thickness and temperature are important when baking the clay.
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