Yellow Brick Road – Metalwork


This post shows the fabrication of the Archimedean spiral that begins the famous Yellow Brick Road in the Wizard of Oz.  I am using 24 gauge copper sheet for the base and 24 gauge yellow brass sheet cut into a spiral for the road.  My design drawing was transferred to the metal with pencil and compass and the metal was cut with a jewelers saw.  The first step is to cut the copper into 6 inch diameter disks.  One disk will be the base upon which the yellow brass road will be soldered.  Another disk is cut into a spiral to make the boundary edges for the road.

Copper BaseCopper Base


Copper BaseCopper Base


The 24 gauge yellow brass sheet was cut into a 6 inch circle and the brass road spiral was marked on the sheet using the copper boundary as a template.  The brick locations were scribed into the brass and numbered as my original plan thought to cut the bricks and individually solder them as if they had been separately laid.  But, on reflection this was thought to be far too difficult, so a new plan to etch the bricks was devised.

Brass SpiralBrass Spiral


Brass Brick RoadBrass Brick Road


Yellow Brick RoadYellow Brick Road


My figure of Alice will stand on one side of the road.  On the other side will be various talismans to remind us of the Wicked Witch of the East and the Queen of Hearts.  The witches hat is made from 24 gauge copper sheet.  The cone and brim are cut out and as the copper is soft the cone can be formed by hand.  When formed it can be soldered and the metal shaped and polished.

Witches HatWitches Hat


The talisman for the Queen of Hearts is a card image that I will etch into 20 gauge red brass.  The card image is converted to black and white and inverted and laser printed on Press-n-Peel blue transfer paper. The laser toner is transferred through heat and pressure onto the metal and acts as a resist to the etching chemical.

Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts

Inverted B&W

Queen of Hearts

Black and White


Etching is performed with ferric chloride.  With new active chemicals the metal is suspended for about an hour in the etching solution.

Ferric Chloride EtchingFerric Chloride Etching


Etched CardEtched Card


I also explored an idea to make a simple crown as another talisman.  This will be fabricated from sterling silver and copper.

Experimental CrownExperimental Crown