A Summer Day: Bill Patton Garden

Brass rubbing, a popular activity in the U.K., remains largely undiscovered in the U.S. Only a few towns host it, with Ashland joining the ranks. Brass rubbing corresponds with our Shakespearean theme and it's a perfect way to spend a few minutes or a few hours on a cooler day.

If you've ever taken a coin, a leaf or even the sole of a shoe and put it under paper and rubbed a crayon on it, then you've done a very watered-down version of brass rubbing.

The activity consists of taking a brass image, ranging from Shakespearean dudes in full armor to a bony dog, then placing a special type of colored paper on top, taking some lightweight, colored wax, and rubbing over it.

The final image depends on how hard you work — you can have a roughly shaped lion with only a few hues or a full-on medieval battle scene that rivals the real deal.

Prices for brass rubbings range from $5 for a postcard-sized plaque, $10 for a medium one and $30 for one that's easily three feet tall. The activity benefits the nonprofit Tudor Guild and is run by volunteers from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday now through Aug. 27.

Although, at first, sitting in the shade by the duck pond and coloring with crayons may seem childish, it's a fun activity that will delight all ages.

Amelia Covert Zeve is an Ashland-based writer who explores the outdoors and chronicles her adventures for publications. Contact her at ameliacovertzeve@gmail.com

To get there: The Tudor Guild Brass Rubbing Center is in the Bill Patton Garden, behind the Elizabethan Theatre. It's the path that leads to the park. For more information, call 541-482-0940 or visit www.tudorguild.org.

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