Surprisingly, it takes very little time to unfold hundreds and hundreds of paper clips, specifically chosen for uniformity in size and a specific colour palate.
When I thought of this idea, I assumed it would take a week to a week and a half of “shifts,” enabling me to slowly (but steadily) build up a large pile. I also thought my fingers would become sore and callused, which might require the use of gloves and perhaps needle-nose pliers to aid in the task, but…I was wrong.
…none of that happened at all.
Anyway, this represents ten to twenty minutes of the work and thought.