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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » Charlie Miller: Hank Knots vs. Dissolving Knots? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Merenkov
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On the Charlie Miller Greater Magic Video Library #17, there's a trick there listed as Dissolving Knots. On Disc #18, also devoted to the magic of Charlie Miller, there's a trick called Hank Knots. Does anyone happen to know specifically what each of these are? I was interested in finding Charlie Miller's Left-Handed Hank routine on video, and also his Seven Cornered Handkerchief. Do the the GMVL discs cover either of these?
Dick Oslund
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One of them, I believe it's #18 "HANKY KNOTS, is the "Dissolving Single "overhand" Knot, used in the Al Baker Hanky thru spectator's arm. (cf. Tarbell).

I think that the #17 is the Left Handed Knot. I haven't looked at them in eons, so, as soon as I can find a free minute, I'll pop them into the player and let you know.

I don't remember Charlie doing the 7 corner hank on any tape. I know Billy McComb did it on one of his tapes.

I'm retired, but, still do a lot of handkerchief knot bits in casual work,

You should have been in Jay Marshall's kitchen after a Collector's Weekend, about 40 years ago! Harry B. Jr. George Johnstone, Al Flosso, Jay, I think John Shirley, Karrell Fox, and I were gathered around that big round table, for a session. After an hour or so, Karrell dragged a 24" silk out of a pocket and did the Left Handed bit. Conversation came to a STOP! "Do that again, Karrell!" was heard from everyone. He did. "Do it again!" He did. He was killing us! Finally, after threats of great bodily harm, he tipped it. A "line formed, and everyone ran downstairs to the stock room and bought every 24' silk in the drawer! I've used it ever since!! I'm the only of the group still living.

I do the LH first, then follow it with the Dissolving Knot. I call it the RightHanded Knot. (Tarbell) then the Fadeaway (also Tarbell) Karrell and I worked out a better handling for the Dissolving and the Fadeaway so they really look great. I wrote up the improved handling in the book. Usually, I finish the routine with what the young guys today call the "Slydini Silks".
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Merenkov
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The session in Jay Marshall's kitchen sounds fun, wish I could have been there. I appreciate the tip regarding the Billy McComb disc, and if you happen to find the time to review the Charlie Miller videos, well, that would be most appreciated too.
Rainboguy
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Charlie Miller's Left-Handed hank routine published in Ron Bauer's Booklet...is A SLEEPER!......It's GREAT, commercial, and highly recommended.

Dick Oslund is coming over to my house tomorrow and I'm going to show him the set of Slydini Silks given to me by Quintino Marucci at the Faucett Ross Magic Fest. Dick doesn't know it yet, but he's going to show me his version of the Left handed hank!
Cameron Roat
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I agree with Rainboguy. I know you were looking for a video, but the $10 booklet by Ron Bauer is WAY WORTH IT! It's #10 in the Ron Bauer Private Studies Series. You'll learn Charlie Miller's "Left-Handed Hank," which is his version of "The Knot That Just Won't" from Al Baker's Magical Ways and Means. Also explained is Charlie's follow-up, "The Handkerchief with Seven Corners," which he adapted from Hatton and Plate.

Like the rest of the Private Studies Series, this is an "annotated performance script," with a full explanation of the procedure, plus the entire word-for-word script, and lots of tips and techniques. Also, there is a removable center spread with color illustrations detailing the various knots used. Like I said, I think it's a bargain at $10!

Best... Cameron

P.S. RB demonstrates just the moves (in this case, the three knots) in several short video clips on the Ron Bauer Private Studies Series website. Check out http://thinklikeaconjurer.com.
Merenkov
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I appreciate the suggestions, and in fact already have Ron Bauer's booklet. I just wanted to see Charlie Miller performing the routine!
Dick Oslund
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I "thought" that I responded yesterday!

I'm having a problem with my VCR. I'll keep trying!

I agree! Ron Bauer's Private Studies Series is very good.
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SpellbinderEntertainment
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Far longer ago than Dick talked about when Charlie Miller was (what seemed permanently) ensconced at Magic, Inc. For some reason he took this geeky dumb unskilled kid under his wing. This thread has inspired me to go back to those two classic silk pieces, why they faded from my repertoire I'll never really figure out. Thanks for the reminder of all those great guys who gave so much and passed on to magiheaven! Magically, Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
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Dick Oslund
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Yes! The only two missing from that session in Jay & Fran's kitchen were Charlie Miller,and,Billy McComb! Karrell "knew" when he "had" us, --and, he took full advantage of it!

Oh! Fran was very happy, too! She sold seven 24" silks!

I've worn out a few,doing that "left handed knot"!

Walt! They have a chair waiting for me, "up there"! (I hope!!!)
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SpellbinderEntertainment
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Dick I know we met somtime in the dark ages, don't remember where or when though. Passing ships on the sea of Magic, Inc.
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
Dick Oslund
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Hi Walt! I was "around" Inc. from about the fall of '68 thru about the fall of "80. I think Charlie and I hold the record for long term guests!

Is it possible that we met, then? I remember going to California for a vacation in summer of '71, and Frances booked a bunch of lectures...Denver...Oakland...Castle, etc. Possibly, then?

When I was about 15, Vincent Malmstrom (he has a trick in Tarbell #7)loaned me his Tarbell(s). I've been doing those silk knots ever since. Back in the'70s,I was a guest of Karrell Fox for a week while I played a mall in northern Detroit. We had a seven day "session"! He showed me his ideas on those knots (from Tarbell). I've written them up in the book, as I don't think that Karrell ever wrote them anywhere.

Time for early breakfast!

O
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SpellbinderEntertainment
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What book of yours Dick? With all this talk I’m thinking of bringing Charlie’s one back. I spent every weekend glued to the counters of Magic, Inc. from maybe earlier than the 70's until I moved to CA in '88. So we must be ships passing in the night. BTW, I'm not old... I've just been young for a very l-o-n-g time. <grin> Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
Dick Oslund
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Jay said that he had a hekkuva time removing that glue! But, being Jay, he put it in a little box, and saved it!

I wrote up Karrell's ideas in my book, which aint a book yet! I'm heading to Minnesota next Monday to hopefully (is hopefully a word?) complete the necessary preliminaries. (I never knew that publishing a book was this much "trouble". --and, I blame Jon Racherbaumer. (He "made me do it".)

Karrell had worked out a little technique for 'releasing' the dissolving knot with one hand, and no apparent movement. I know of one other magician (there may be a few more) who use the technique.
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SpellbinderEntertainment
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Dick. Your book? Piece of cake (not.)

What was supposed to be a three month project turned out of be two years of my life. But at least it’s sold well. http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/5214

(Hopefully is indeed a word.)

I've sent for the Ron Bauer manuscript on the knots.
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
Rainboguy
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I feel VERY fortunate, and indeed privileged, that Dick Oslund gave me a "preview" of his upcoming book, in note form, the last time he came over to my house, a couple of months ago. As a matter of fact, Dick, I have still have your thumb drive with your notes in my kitchen Mac computer......I need to get it back to you.....

Let me say this: Once Dick's book is published and promoted, I predict that it will be a "Magical Best-Seller". In my entire life of performing Magic (since 1956)...I have NEVER known any magician who has been such a storehouse and "Living Encyclopedia" of all things related to performing Magic as Dick has been. His Magical knowledge and mentoring has been priceless to me........
Merenkov
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Interestingly, I don't believe I ever received a definitive answer to my original question in this thread. I just purchased the two GMVL videos in question, and thought I'd answer my own question (for the benefit of anyone who happens across this thread in the future). The "Dissolving Knots" on Disc #17 is the trick where the ends of two silks are tied, and then found untied (phase 1). In phase 2 the ends are tied again, but then slowly and visibly untie in a ghostly manner (John Carney has been doing this one in some of his recent lectures). The "Hanky Knots" on Disc #18, also known as "The Left-Handed Knot", is a false knot in a single silk routine, followed by a silk through spectator's wrist effect (where the silk is tied onto the spectator's wrist, which then penetrates the wrist while the knot in the silk stays intact). All classics, but it would have been nice if they had included both silk routines on the same video...
Dick Oslund
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Friend Merenkov~!

My tape player has died, so I gave tapes #17 & 18 to Colton Raelund.

In writing up the description of the knots, above, you've inadvertently got it, "somewhat wrong"!

The first knot that you describe is NOT, the Dissolving Knot, it's the "Fade-Away Double Knot", on page 368-369 in Tarbell, Vol I. The "display" of the two untied silks (you could do it with diagonally opposite corners of one silk -- That's what Harry Blackstone, both pere et fils, did.) as described by Tarbell is weak. I know John Carney, but, haven't seen him in YEARS. The Blackstones JERKED the silk, "before you can say, BLACKSTONE!" and the knot was gone. Karrell and I SLOWLY and GENTLY put pressure on the silk, and the two ends untwisted, and appeared to untie themselves. From your description, Carney is now doing it that way, too.

The Dissolving Single Knot, page 365, Tarbell, Vol I, is a SINGLE knot! Karrell Fox had developed a technique for the vanish that was 300% better than what Tarbell "taught". (see Figure 12) Pulling on the ends of the silk is a dead giveaway that it is a slip knot. Karrell showed his handling to me about 35 years ago. As far as I know, he never wrote it up. I've described it with credit to Karrell, in detail in my book.

The Silk Thru Wrist (or length of rope or a cane or wand, held horizontally at both ends by two spectators. is on page 385, Tarbell, Vol. I. Tarbell calls it the "Al Baker Handkerchief Thru The Arm. After tying the DISSOLVING KNOT around the spec's arm, Tarbell ties the ends of the silk together with a double knot. (Not good!) It's much more effective to tie a single knot, and pull the ends to "loosely" tighten the knot on the silk which has had the DISSOLVING SINGLE KNOT tied.

Then, when you pull the ends of the silk, it will apparently pass thru the wrist, rope, or cane. (The DISSOLVING SINGLE KNOT, "DISSOLVES", but the second knot, if not pulled tightly, will remain. You can then pretend to untie BOTH knots. It looks much better this way!!!

I've used the silk thru wrist (or rope or wand) for about 65 years. It's very effective. Ditto, the Dissolving Single Knot and, the Fade-Away Knot

I use Charlie Miller's "left handed" patter, with the left handed knot. I follow it with a "right handed" knot (it's the Dissolving single knot.)

I usually finish the routine with the Fade-Away Knot.

The "Seven cornered Silk, plays well, as a "second finish".

I hope this has helped.
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Merenkov
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Dick, you are probably correct that "Dissolving Knots" is an imprecise name, but it's the name used on the contents (and on the video menu) of GMVL #17, hence the difficulty in figuring out beforehand what trick was actually being taught on the video. If the video producers had used the proper names of the tricks, I wouldn't have had to start this thread in the first place. The trick we all know as the "Left-Handed Knot" is labeled as "Hanky Knots" on GMVL #18. Again, it's an imprecise name, which is why I couldn't figure out what the trick really was until I bought the video.
Dick Oslund
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Not "probably correct". It's CORRECT. It has been called THAT since 1941, when Lou Tannen published the hard bound edition! It most likely was called that since 1927 when Tarbell published the correspondence course. I've sold my correspondence edition, so I can't quote it directly.

Check my post again. I NEVER said that the "Dissolving Knot" was an imprecise name.

I made a living with this stuff, and, Karrell Fox did, too.

I TEACH knot tying to adult volunteer leaders in the Boy Scouts. I've written a booklet about knots, to clarify errors in the Boy Scout Handbook!
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Alan Munro
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I remember John Carney tipping some of the work on Fadeaway Knot in one of his lectures. He said Dai Vernon showed the details to him. It was a valuable piece in the routine I perform, today.
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