Rosetta Stone Project

Old 01-21-11, 08:41 AM
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Rosetta Stone Project

This is probably slightly off topic and I can't decide whether I should post this in "craft" or "flooring - tiles..." section but decided that this group might have the best answers for me.

I am working with my neighbor's kid on one of his school projects. His school is putting together a "museum" of sorts, and each kid would create an ancient artifact and write a story about it. His entire class will create artifacts from the ancient Egypt.

So this kid and I discussed it and he wanted to do some sort of a stone tablet, after some discussions we decided to do a piece of the Rosetta stone.

As you all know, the Rosetta stone is a piece of basalt with the writings carved onto the polished surface. The top portion of it is missing. So what he wanted to do is to create a piece that fits the upper right portion, and pretend it is a newly discovered fragment of it, and write some hieroglyphics on it etc...

The question is what is the best way to make it look as "real" as possible? He is 11 years old so stone carving with power tools is out of the question, and I am not supposed to help too much.

As a quick test, I used a piece of plywood 10"x12", and mounted 4 piece of 2x2s around the edge, sort of made a picture frame out of it. I then asked him to mix up some rapid set mortar and fold that into the frame, smoothed it off, then he tried to use a screw driver to write the hieroglyphics, the result is not very good. The mortar sets too quick and the writing looks good when the symbol is simple, but when the symbol is complex, it gets messy. Also the mortar is very rough when dried and I was thinking originally to use some black stain to stain it dark but I don't think it would work.

So question for the expert here is. Is there any sort of dry mix product when mixed with water, will allow a consistency that will give him say 10 minutes or more to write his hieroglyphics, and when dried will have a smoother finish then regular concrete?

Will construction grout have a better effect?
Old 01-21-11, 10:07 AM
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Drywall joint compound can be tinted with powder such as chalk box chalk. You would need to figure out how reinforce it to prevent it from breaking.
Old 01-21-11, 10:41 AM
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Maybe clay would work. Or something similar that you can harden after the hieroglyphics are written.

Check out polymer clay.
Old 01-22-11, 06:29 AM
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When reading the post, I also thought of polymer clay. You could get it just the way you want it and then bake it. It comes in a lot of different colors. Cost could be a factor though.
The other thing would be to make it out of plaster of paris (cheap), then carve the symbols in it after it set up. You could then paint it.
Old 01-23-11, 06:08 AM
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"Clay" was the first thing that popped to my mind, too.

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