Goblin Gal’s Crafty Corner: Eye of Sauron Hairsticks

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front hair pair

Greetings fellow Crafters, Fangirls and Fanboys alike! I’m Goblin Gal, and every month I’m going to be bringing you a fun new geeky craft to try out! This month we will be making these Eye of Sauron hair sticks out of chopsticks and polymer clay. It’s my first month writing this column and I am so excited to be here sharing my love of geek crafting with you all. Now on with the hair sticks!

Tired of your friends, family, and the general public not bowing before you? Wish you had a giant eye on top of a tower to keep everyone in line? Look no further than these Eye of Sauron hair sticks from one of my favorite Fandoms, Lord of the Rings. How would Tolkien feel about his great literary villain decorating your hair? I don’t know, let’s make them anyway! If you don’t have long hair, stick them in your garden as a sort or scarecrow. No one will dare touch your begonias.

Difficulty- Intermediate

You will need

  • 1 pair of chopsticks (from a fast food location of your choice)
  • 2 blocks of black polymer clay (you will have left overs of the clays)
  • 1 block red polymer clay
  • 1 block orange clay
  • 8 inches of 20 gauge wire Appox.
  • 12 inches of 26 gauge wire
  • Some sort of wire cutting device
  •  A sharp object for etching: an awl, a knife, any pointy, thin object
  •  Work surface that can get dirty: Parchment paper, plastic cutting board etc

***warning*** if you use a cutting board it must become a “crafts only” board. A surface is NOT FOODSAFE after being exposed to polymer clay

Optional

  • Small Paintbrush with short bristles
  • Clay softener/rubbing alcohol
  • Fine grit sand paper

 

Step One: Building an Armature.

1 Armatures with size

An armature is the structural base of a sculpted piece. It allows for extra strength, and helps us less clay. We will be using the chopsticks for the body of the tower, and the 20 gauge wire for the curved spikes at the top. Standard chopsticks may be too long for your taste. I have a lot of hair so they work for me, but you may want to cut the down a couple inches.

Cut two pieces of 20 gauge wire at 4 inches each. Curve each piece of wire into a “U” shape. The exact curve/angle can be adjusted to taste. The thinner wire will be used to attach the “U” to the chopstick as seen below.

 

 

Step Two- Base layer of clay.

Next we break out our black clay to build a base layer on our armature. I prefer Sculpey due to its easy to use texture and low bake-time. You may use another brand.

Roll out a snake about the length of your chopstick and then flatten it. Place the stick on the flattened clay and then wrap in around as seen below. The seams can be smoothed out by rubbing gently with your finger. If you have an older pack of clay that it too tough, use a small amount of clay softener or rubbing alcohol on the clay.

You want to clay on the chopstick to be thick enough to be a solid layer, but thin enough to keep the chopstick from getting to bulky.

Roll the chopstick in your hand or against a flat surface to even out the surface. As the clay thins, you will need to remove excess material. Be patient, this part may take longer than you may think, (especially if you have OCD like me). Don’t worry if you get a hole, just take a little extra material, place it over the hole, then smooth it out with your finger! Don’t forget to make sure the end of your chopstick is brought to a point.

Next we cover the horns. Start with a cone of clay, so that you have a wider base. Smooth the pieces together with your finger, add material to change the thickness as you see fit.

2  Covering Base

 

Next we cover the horns. Start with a cone of clay, so that you have a wider base. Smooth the pieces together with your finger, add material to change the thickness as you see fit.

3 tower top on

 

Step Three: Tower Details

Now to make your tower look more fearsome! (No one will bow to a wimpy tower).

 

4 press resultA) Angled Front

Pick a side to be your front. Gently press a finger along the base of the “U” to make it a bit concave. It will look something like this:

 

 

 

B) Rectangular neck piece

Next we are going to add a rectangular strip around the base of the tower. This does a couple of things. First, it gives the piece more stability and helps cover where the horns and base meet. Second, it give it a better aesthetic. It’s more… building like? (Yay, architecture!)

 

5 Brick band

C) Spikes!

Next we will add some fun spikes. Spikes make everything more evil! Make three small cones out of clay, their size is up to you (the good part about clay is as if you hate it, you can rip it off and start again). Always make them a little larger than you think, because you will use some of that material while attaching and smoothing it to the main piece. I chose two large spikes, an one slightly smaller one higher up.

* Note, this is where that optional paintbrush comes in handy. Your fingers may be a bit too big to get in and smooth the spikes to the base. But the paintbrush isn’t. If you are still having problems, dip the brush in softener/ rubbing alcohol.

6 Spikes

D) Etched brick pattern

7 brick pattern startThis is optional, but I like to do it because it really drive home the “this is a building in my hair” concept. I take my pointy object, (I have an awl) and etch in a basic brick pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations, Evil Overlord; you have finished a tower! But what good is a tower without your disembodied eye at the top?

8 tower finished

 

Step Four: ON TO THE EYE!!
A) Color Mixing!

For the actual Eye of Sauron, since it’s a giant ball of fire, I start by mixing a small chunk or red and orange clay together, until it looks…er, flame-y? You won’t need very much, take just the top segment of the clay, as the packages come divided, kind of like a chocolate bar. (DO NOT eat the clay. Pretty, pretty please.)

9 clay mixing

B) Eyeball formation

10 eye shapeNext we form the eyeball shape. You will want to make this to size, depending how your tower came out. Mine ended up approximately one and a half inches long by a half an inch thick. Have your eyeball near your tower so you can line it up to check for size. When it’s all set, attach your eyeball to your tower by blending it onto the horns. If you prefer a cleaner look, you could cover bits of orange clay on the tower with some black clay to hide it, but I preferred the look of the flame hitting the horns. (Fire is not usually neatly contained.)

 

C) Adding eye details.

If there is any one part of this project that may make you say, “Goblin Gal, kindly go jump off a cliff.” it may be this part. (Please don’t.) We are now into the ‘fine detail’ phase, which means tiny bits of very thin clay.

 

11 attach pupilFirst the pupil. Make a tiny clay snake (nope, tinier). Flatten it. Cut a very thin cat’s eye shape. Again, test for fit. If your eye looks to cartoon-y, your pupil is likely too large. It should be small enough that it can be placed completely on the front surface of the eye with border space left on all sides. Don’t worry too much about the edges being perfectly even. We will adjust for that with the iris.


D) The iris

Roll a tiny snake out of pure orange clay (nope, tinier.) Place it bordering the pupil. It can be placed just barely on the edge of the pupil as a means of hiding those crooked edges. Next flatten the iris into the piece and use your finger or brush to ever so slightly blend it in to blur the line.

12 iris

 

E) The outer eye

We are going to repeat this process, but this time we will be making a circular border along the outside of the eye. This establishes where the eye ends and where the fiery bits that connect it to the tower begins, and establishes a round shape for the eye. Again, add the snake and blend it in. This ring I blended much more heavily than the iris, and I also drew some orange color towards connection point to the tower.

13 outer eye

Congratulations, you have completed one dark tower of subjugation! Now make another one!

 

Step five: Baking and finishing

You are ready to bake! Place your pieces on aluminum foil, this protects your bake ware /oven from the non-food safe clay, and also prevents your pieces for picking up unusual grill marks on the back.

For temperature and time, follow the instructions on your polymer clay package. It will say something like “Bake at ___ temp for 10 mins per every ¼ inch thick.” For me that meant about 20 minutes at 275, but it will vary.

You’re almost there! One last optional, but highly suggested step. Once the piece has cooled, ( patience, my child, please don’t burn yourself,) take your fine grit sand paper and give the parts of the piece that have the brick etching a once over. This will remove and uneven bits and crumbs that will have formed, and prevent them from pulling your hair (unless you’re into that sort of thing.)

You’ve done it! Now stick those towers in your hair and go take over the world!

front hair

back hair

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