Themed competition at Storvik Novice Tourney this year on religious/spiritual items. I decided to look into the curse tablets of Roman Britian.
http://curses.csad.ox.ac.uk/index.shtml: Nice introductory site to the tablets, including 27 examples with images, text and translation of text.
http://www.csad.ox.ac.uk/rib/ribiv/jp4.htm: A more specific essay by the same folks.
http://bathsbloggers.blogspot.com/search/label/Curse%20tablets: Workers at the ruins of Bath, England have a blog. Some of the posts are about the curse tablets, and contain some more examples.
http://www.glasgowsteelnail.com/romans.HTM: Curses were often nailed shut (because the verb for 'to nail' and 'to curse' were the same) so here's a picture of a Roman nail found in Scotland.
I ordered a sheet of pewter (because the Bath 'lead' was actually a lead/tin alloy, aka pewter - and even though this is probably a lead-free pewter, I don't actually want lead in the house around the kids). AMOCO ArtEmboss Pure Metal Sheet, medium weight. I also ordered some square cut-nails from a specialty hardware store that looked about right.
I had been trying to learn Roman Rustic capitals (not the most common hand used on the tablets, but well-represented); last time I picked up a calligraphy pen was probably two years ago, but it's time to dust it off.
Now: just have to compose a curse or two! They come in a variety of flavors, but there are definitely common features. The ones from Bath are actually very consistent among themselves, and different from ones elsewhere in the Empire. In Continental cases, you often have the curse's victim named specifically. But many of the curses in Bath were placed on thieves who apparently stole the tourists' stuff while they were bathing! So they are phrased against a thief, 'be he man or woman, boy or girl, slave or free,' and so on.