Tombstone Rubbing Practices
The world of tombstone rubbing practices has been handed down from generation to generation, across the globe, in a way that the hobby has remained quite simple and true to its original nature. The hobby has been around for a very long time and even in its earliest form, it was a great way to maintain a record of the deceased. Over time, hobbyists may have started employing tombstone rubbing practices to capture the beauty of these age-old marks of respect.
Today, the hobby is mainly practiced by two kinds of people: Those who are interested in keeping a record of the people who are buried in one or more cemeteries, or those who are interested in keeping records of not just the people who are laid to rest in those tombs, but also the kind of designs that these tombstones have on them. The latter variety may or may not be emotionally connected to the individuals who are laid to rest in those tombs.
Preparation and Equipment for Tombstone Rubbing
Irrespective of which category you might fall in, you need the same kind of tools and equipment to carry out the recommended tombstone rubbing practices. Moreover, even the preparation of the tombstone has to happen in the exact same way for both formats. That means, you need to know exactly what you need, to work on tombstones, and you also need to know how to use those equipments to clean out the tombstone so that you can start the rubbing process.
To begin your tombstone rubbing practices, you need the following equipment: some water, a soft-bristled brush, masking tape, a pair of scissors, a paper and some rubbing wax. Depending on the quality of the markings the tombstone has, you might need some more equipment to help highlight the details a bit more. However, that is only if the markings aren't clear to begin with.
The first thing you need to do to prepare the tombstone is cleaning it. This means, removing all the dust and grime from its surface, getting rid of leaves, bird droppings and anything else that is not a normal part of the tombstone. Cleaning it will ensure that there aren't any impurities that damage the kind of impression you get, creating false bumps and destroying the actual image that you should be rubbing out onto your paper.
The Actual Tombstone Rubbing Practice
Once you have cleaned out the entire tombstone, you can now begin the rubbing process. First, make sure that you allow the tombstone to dry out completely, not leaving any water on it. Then, you can begin cutting out the paper into a size that fits right around the tombstone. The paper needs to be placed tightly on the tombstone, hugging it completely from edge to edge.
Once you have that kind of a setup, you can start taping the paper onto the tombstone using your masking tape. This is all you need to do to hold the paper in place. Once this step is complete, you can start putting the rubbing wax to the paper and gently rubbing it in a particular pattern.
If the tension on the paper is too high, it may tear upon application of the rubbing wax. So make sure that it is still a bit loose and you can simply put your other hand on it before rubbing the wax in carefully. Go from edge to edge, in a particular pattern that you can follow throughout the completion of the process. That is one of the most important bits to remember as it will help you get that perfect impression.
Finally, the last step in tombstone rubbing practices is to carefully remove the paper from the tombstone and clean-up. Once again, you can just use some water and slowly brush off the tombstone. This should be relatively easy considering that you've already done it once before - but you just have to repeat it to ensure that there isn't anything left on the tombstone after you have completed your rubbing.
Make sure you clean up behind you and leave nothing behind to litter the place. Ensuring that everything is perfect after you are done and possibly better than you had found it is an important part of the right tombstone rubbing practices! You need to ensure that everything is safe and secure, and that you do not cause any damage to the tombstone. If everyone follows these tombstone rubbing practices, then the hobby can remain open for all to consider as something we can all look at for a long time to come.