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Brass Monuments and Rubbings Presented by Julie Cyr and Karen Scarseth

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A brass memorial is an accurate replica of a real medieval person made into a brass portrait. These portraits were placed over the persons burial vaults. The burial monuments were placed in local churches. The original brass monumental are life-sized portraits made by European artists. Memorial brasses are actually tombstones that were engraved in brass plate and laid into stone. Dating from the 12th Century, they are found in many English and a few European Cathedrals and Churches. Brass Memorial

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Dating from the 12th Century, they are found in many English and a few European Cathedrals and Churches. They depicted knights in full armor, royalty, military, clergy, merchants, and other wealthy medieval occupations. The Brasses are "living" history and enable us today to accurately depict how people lived, dressed and fought in the Middle Ages.

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In the Middle Ages wealthy landowners and Royalty were the only people that could afford to have artists create art for their homes. The story goes that a monk was cleaning a brass burial monument in church when he looked down at his cleaning rag and saw an impression of the brass he was cleaning. The common folk made rubbings of the beautiful artwork on the brass monuments. Therefore common folk were able have art to display in their homes.

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Many of the approximately 4,000 brass monuments that remain have been severely damaged through the centuries; and thus only a very small number of these are suitable for rubbing. In order to preserve the priceless originals, Brass Rubbings are today done on replicas.

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How do you create a ‘Brass Rubbing’? A Brass Rubbing is made by covering a medieval brass with special paper and rubbing black, gold or silver wax over the raised engraving until a accurate representation of the picture appears in detail.

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Today you will make your own brass rubbing from a replica of a brass burial monument. Choose your brass rubbing plate , paper and wax rubbing crayon.

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Tape your paper onto the rubbing plate or the table so the brass plate will not move while you are working.

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Move your hand over the paper to identify the outline of the figure on the brass rubbing plate Next using your colored wax carefully outline the figure on the rubbing plate

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After you have the outline of the figure you can fill in with a layer of colored wax. When you are rubbing the middle section and the details rub in a circular motion .

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When you are finished with the rubbing take the paper off the rubbing plate and roll up with a piece of tape. Finish your brass rubbing at home

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Remember to take a information sheet about the portrait you created.

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Now you have a brass rubbing, how can you use this in your classroom? Students explore textures that tell about the world around us.-Found objects and everyday objects-coins,keys,soles of student shoe,, license plates, house numbers,architectural jewelry, gravestones…

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Create a portfolio cover by rubbing crayon over stencils.

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Student work examples-life marker

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