Last year my Pathfinder Club worked on the Glass Etching honor. It was a lot easier than I had imagined it would be, and I realized that I could easily make a gift for my geologist brother which I had conceived many years ago – a set of Tectonic Plates. The constraint I had up until last month was that there just wasn’t time. Well, now there is, so I got busy. Here are the results.

The seven major tectonic plates

The seven major tectonic plates

Antarctic Plate

Antarctic Plate

Australian Plate

Australian Plate

South American Plate

South American Plate

African Plate

African Plate

Pacific Plate

Pacific Plate

North American Plate

North American Plate

Eurasian Plate

Eurasian Plate

There are a lot more than seven tectonic plates, but the rest of them are pretty small. Arguably, I could have added the Nazca Plate as well to round his set out to eight, but… I did not do that.

It took me a while to figure out the best way to depict both the plates and the land masses. I finally hit upon the idea of etching the tectonic plates on the back and etching the continents on the front. That seems to work well, and I was really pleased with the result, as it puts the continents on top of the plates. Nice.

As I was making this, my son David asked if this was the most effort I had ever undertaken for the sake of a pun. I couldn’t think of a time. Then he said, “You know, the only thing more nerdy than you spending all this time making these is how excited your brother is going to be to have them.” I think he could be right.

Maybe next year I can complete the set with some tectonic saucers.