Lawful Tombstone Rubbing

The concepts behind lawful tombstone rubbing have been created to ensure that you, and other hobbyists, maintain the integrity of the tombstones that are a part of this interesting hobby. These tombstones are reminders of the lives of individuals and are important to their family members. The fact that they have chosen to allow hobbyists to practice lawful tombstone rubbing is a trust that is placed on you, the hobbyist, and upholding their trust is also the responsibility of every hobbyist.

So to carry out lawful tombstone rubbing, you need to be aware of the laws that exist in your area, your state or your country and from there, you can go into the point of following the appropriate steps that are there to ensure that you do not break any laws or cause any damage.

The Lawful Tombstone Rubbing Technique

One of the first things you need to do when starting off in tombstone rubbing is understand how to study the stone. You need to determine whether the stone is fit to undergo the entire rubbing process. During the process, there will be some amount of stress placed on the tombstone, which it must be capable of withstanding and, in fact, coming through without any damage or distortions.

Any cracks or erosion or hollowed out surface on the stone will deem it ineligible for a rubbing. You cannot, legally, rub such a stone even if the rubbing process doesn't leave any additional damage on the stone. Any stone that has been cut out with a lot of relief work cannot be rubbed either, and nor can you safely rub a stone that has protruding parts, such as a face that has been carved on it or anything that is likely to break off if there is any kind of pressure placed on them.

The next thing, in lawful tombstone rubbing techniques, is the way you clean the stone. You need to ensure that only plain water is used for the cleaning process and even then, you can only start cleaning stones that have little or no spots of lichen on them. Surface erosion is one of the major problems that are caused by using improper cleaning techniques and damaging someone's tombstone for your own hobby is punishable by law and can, in some parts of the world, invite a heavy fine as well as a prison sentence.

Other Aspects of Lawful Tombstone Rubbing

While most cemeteries, where tombstone rubbing is allowed, will keep a record of whoever comes in for the hobby, you might want to keep a record yourself. This ensures that irrespective of the kind of outcome you have, you know about all the places you have been and have a record of every tombstone you have rubbed as well as the time and place of the rubbing. This is important if you are taking the hobby seriously.

Many people decide to do this bit right at the end but because of tiredness or fatigue, end up forgetting about it. Not only is this an important part of your hobby, it is something that is officially required to maintain authenticity of the tombstone rubbing works that you have done. The important elements to record are: location, the name of the deceased; the death-date; the name of the stone-carver (if it is known), and the date when the tombstone was rubbed.

It is after these steps that you can get into the actual process of laying the paper on the tombstone surface, taping it on tightly in place and then, using your rubbing wax or paint to get the impression of the stone. Something you can do here, to improve the outcome, is place the paper on the stone and before taping it in place, rub it all over the stone, slowly and carefully, in order to indent the paper over every spot on the tombstone that has an incision.

Another important aspect of lawful tombstone rubbing is the damage rubbing wax or paint can cause to the stone. You need to try out the wax or paint on a small piece of paper, similar to the paper you will be using, and see what the outcome is. This will also help you understand the qualities of the paper and give you an idea of how much wax or paint you can use without it seeping through the paper or just weakening the structure of the paper.

Finally, you need to remember to clean-up trash after you are done. An important part of lawful tombstone rubbing, cleaning up is important to maintain the sanctity of the cemetery and its environment. Irrespective of whether the trash around the gravesite is your doing or not, you need to clean up the area and ensure that everything is completely clean when you leave the area.

Tombstone rubbing is a wonderful hobby that can become a great way to spend your time outdoors, in a beautiful place, surrounded by the magical circle of life. However, if you are not practicing lawful tombstone rubbing, you might find yourself in a lot of trouble and that is something no one really wants. So make sure you are aware of the guidelines of lawful tombstone rubbing and enjoy a safe and interesting hobby.

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