Thursday, April 7, 2011

Do It Yourself: Metal Codex Edition

With Easter just around the corner the time is ripe for new discoveries challenging the history of Christianity as we know it. If you want to keep this age old tradition alive we have some handy hints for you. This week we will we be showing you how to make your very own metallic tablet.

Before you get started ensure you have all the necessary materials (pictured).

The first step is to outline various shapes on cardboard and cut them out. A variety of shapes and symbols can be used. Favourites include:
  • Crosses
  • Palm Trees
  • Crocodiles
  • Alexander the Great. If you are unable to locate an ancient engraving of Alexander, you may find him on selected Greek Drachma coins.
You are not limited to Christian icons. To give an air of authenticity, I will also be using a Pegasus. How about spice it up with a Buddha?

Step two involves transferring these images to foil and creating a border. Metal coins are relatively easy and you can rub the image on with your hands. Cardboard outlines are generally harder, and you may use a sponge so you do not break the foil. To create the frame, I used a chain necklace.

I suggest getting a feel with a practice version, and playing around with it for some time. For example, I tried having Alexander the Great with Queen Elizabeth II (picture here). We would expect Alexander's face to be on a Christian text, but why would Queen Elizabeth II be on it? Silly.

The third step is quite simple, and involves attaching the foil (with imprints) onto cardboard. I wrapped the foil around the cardboard and used a clear sticky tape to finish off the attachment. By this stage your metallic Christian artifact should be close to completion.

The final step will require the addition of text. For an early  Christian theme I suggest Greek although others have had some success combining it with Hebrew. If you do not know what to write, why not visit your local museum and copy a text? Write the text with the felt pen, then wash off the ink. Do not be worried if you do not know the script, most letters look the same so just write them how you see it.  For this version I have taken a text from some third century letter. If you can figure out what letter it is I will send you an Amazon giftcard I have no use with (I think it's $10.50).

If you really want to have some fun, hide it outside and pretend to find it while a journalist is around.
Should a collector be interested I will be posting this item on Ebay.


  1. Perhaps a bespoke bronze edition for those special occasions, like press-conferences?

  2. It will be in the works should the British media catch on!

  3. This would have been a great April first post : )


  4. If I could afford it, I would go all out and use gold leaf.

  5. This is cool. You might be interested in my blog showing that The Mona Lisa of Galilee is the source of the supposed image of Jesus on one of the codices.