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Topic: IT work
Message: Posted by: Chintamani (Jan 11, 2003 10:29AM)
I have never used IT but am interested in learning some effects and techniques. What would be a good starting point? I have heard of the LeClair(?) hookup...where could I find further info about this? Any pointers from you guys who are IT experts would be very much appreciated.
Message: Posted by: bigchuck (Jan 12, 2003 02:53PM)
The LeClair hook-up can be found on his video 'Who's Afraid of Invisible Thread'.

For me it's been an effective method - it has an almost instant reset, it's very natural and some of the effects can be pretty mind-blowing to laymen in the right situations.

It also comes with a small amount of putty and thread & gives a method for harvesting thread VERY cheaply.

FWIW, I've also heard nothing but good things about Ammar's Invisible Thread videos which also teaches various hookups including the LeClair method.
Message: Posted by: Andy G (Jan 12, 2003 03:39PM)
The Ammar tape doesn't really cover the LeClair hook up in much detail, so if you want to use it you should really go for the book or video. When I first tried it I didn't like it at all, and it will take a fair amount of work to get the best from it, but now for me it's the only way to go. The major factor for me is that you can do it anytime anywhere (within limits!). I also tried loops but I don't like em!
Message: Posted by: jkvand (Jan 13, 2003 01:08AM)
I just got Jon Allen's video, 'Spectators Don't Exist' and it has a KILLER effect using IT. He has a very deceptive hookup that I love, because it's fast and easy. I hate clipping pulls up my sleeve and having to take off my shirt to hood something up. This one hooks up easily. Anyway, the effect is an animated borrowed bill in a wine glass, that can be held by the spectator. The kicker finish is when the bill actually jumps out of the glass and flies into your hand. This is a borrowed bill and an ungimmicked wine glass, both of which can be examined before and after. I highly recommend this video for that trick alone, as well as the others on it.
Message: Posted by: Brett Cantrell (Jan 13, 2003 05:12PM)
Check out the Leclair Animator at:

In the Craft,
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jan 14, 2003 12:11AM)
I was told that there was some discussion going on here about IT work. So I thought I'd pop in and see if I can be of any assistance. I do quite a bit of IT work. This is my first post here so I thought I'd jump right in.

The hook ups that have been mentioned in this discussion are great ones. When I think about it though, I've never seen a bad IT hook up. If it causes the object to do what I want it to do and the movent of the object and the performer looks magical. Then the effect will be successful.

My point is. The best way to master IT work is to actually play around with it. Experiment. That includes experimenting with what others have come up with. This will not only allow you to use invisible thread for what it is. Which is an invisible means of support. You'll also get to know the thread you are working with. The better you know it the less trouble you'll have. It'll break less often on you and you'll have more control over the object you are animating.

Then it's a simple matter of thinking up what you want to accomplish then working out a way to do it. Knowing what the IT can do will allow this.

I have lengths of thread all over my house right now. Running from floor to ceiling. Wall to wall (Not everywhere. I mean I do live here too.. lol) I use lengths of IT that are 30 feet long for some things. Two inches long for others. So a lot can be done with IT.

Before I get any responses that to much IT work in one show isn't good. I'll just say that I completely agree to that. All though a lot more can be done with IT then just making things move or float.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Pablo Tejero (Jan 14, 2003 04:17AM)
The IT allows you to do a lot of effects. Now I am thinking of Steve Fearson´s Cigarrette routine (http://www.downloadmagic.com)

A great great floating cigarrette.

Or you could do a lot of stuff with a deck of cards... and so on.

The limit... your imagination.

All the best magic,

Pablo Tejero :bikes:
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jan 15, 2003 08:08AM)
I agree. Fearsons hook up is great.

There is a lot about that hook up that is very over looked though. It seems so many limit themselves to just making a cigarette, a ball or a dollar bill float.
I use this hook up to cause an ice cube to rise and sink in a glass of water. Then float out of the glass. It ends up floating into my mouth.
I also use it to make a coin visibly float from one hand to the other. Adding a visual, or slow motion phase to a coins across.

I use another set up that is part Fearsons and part my own. The effect looks the same until at one point the floating object stops moving, then I just walk away from it while it's floating in one spot. From across the room I cause it to float around the room.

So as you said. Your only limited to your imagination.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Chintamani (Jan 16, 2003 09:33AM)
Thanks to all...I will get a copy of The Art of Invisible Thread to get me started.
Message: Posted by: Graham_Salisbury (Jan 17, 2003 08:59AM)
I have also never used IT but would like to start using some IT effects. I was considering purchasing Ammar's Invisible Thread DVD's.

You guys know what you're talking about so is this DVD set good for someone who has NEVER worked with IT before?
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jan 17, 2003 01:53PM)
The DVD set is pretty good. It's kind of hard for me to give an accurate answer to that questions though because I only learned a couple of small things from them. Mainly because I've used it a lot already.

At the moment I'm writing a book on IT work. It'll be a while before it's out though. A lot of detail on IT work will be covered in this book. It will have some tricks, routines and hook ups in it, but more importantly it'll go over how to perform with IT.

Just to share a little of what's in the book. I'll share a few of the points that it'll go over.

The first thing you'll want to do when attempting to do thread work is to really get to know the thread you are using. It's kind of like in martial arts when learning to use a weapon. They sometimes say that the weapon is an extension of yourself and you really have to know it that well in order to master it.
In IT work. The thread really is an extension of yourself in a lot of hook ups. So the more you know about it's limits and strengths, the better you'll be able to control it and it'll break less often on you.
The best way to get to know the thread is to actually just play with it. I've spent hours playing with my cat with something attached to the end of the thread. :rotf:

Of course you'll have to learn about proper performing situations such as lighting. Just as importunely, you have to learn to make the effect look like magic. This includes making the object move smoothly and also you're actions have to suggest that you are causing it to happen.

This is what make a lot of magicians turn away from IT work. It's so unlike other forms of magic. For example card magic. In card magic you may use a magical gesture or two, but you really don't have to look like you, and you alone are making the magic happen.
I call this "Using the force." I know it's a little corny, but you really do have to kind of act like you're Luke Skywalker using the force to cause an object to move. This doesn't always have to be serious though. I could just as easily see Skywalker cause objects to come to life using the force to get a laugh too so a comical presentation is possible.

I also go over basic hook ups and tricks and the proper way to do them. When I say proper, I'm talking about how to rig the bill on the thread so it doesn't look like you're putting the bill on anything. That can be just as much of a give away as them actually seeing the thread.

Well, I'll post to let everyone know when it is available. I've already got a small list of people who are waiting. Writing a book of this type is a lot of work..

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Timbo637 (Jan 17, 2003 05:36PM)
I have Ammar thread miracles. They have a lot of valuable info on them.
Message: Posted by: Graham_Salisbury (Jan 18, 2003 06:32AM)
Excellent, thanks everyone. I'll take the plunge and invest in them.

Ron, I'd be very interested in your book, do you have a mailing list that will notify interested parties when it is ready?
Message: Posted by: nalu_magic (Jan 18, 2003 09:44AM)
Can anyone recommend reputable types of IT as well as reputable sources? I've heard Z-Webs is good. Is string IT better than elastic IT?

Also, what's the best kind of wax? The one I received from a vendor is too hard. Anyone know where I can find stickier wax that is transparent, not like putty?
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jan 18, 2003 02:08PM)
"Is strong IT better than elastic IT?".

That depends on the person.
I personally prefer non-elastic thread. It's only a personal preference though. I do use some elastic thread for a few tricks I do. I've also seen some amazing things done with the invisible elastic. They both have their uses.
Another thought I have on this is that with an ITR, it's almost like using elastic thread in some routines in a way that the thread can get longer or shorted like it was stretching.

On the issue of the wax. I wonder why you would need transparent wax. I'm not questioning your need for it. I just wonder if it's because you feel that transparent wax will be unseen on the object you're sticking it to.
If that is the case. Transparent wax won't be much good. Because the thread isn't transparent so it'll make the wax dark. It'll also still get darker color after it's used a bit.

The putty is the way to go. If you want it to be invisible you can color it any color you want. You can use a marker to make it black or what ever. You can mix woman's foundation make up to it to make it flesh color and so forth. This way you can make it match the color of the object you are sticking it to.

Let me know if it's another reason you are looking for transparency. You can also just use scotch tape or clear mounting tabs that are found in some stores.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Graham_Salisbury (Jan 20, 2003 08:43AM)
Wow! Nice website, thanks for that link and for all your other help.

Make sure you announce the book's release here at the Café as well, you're bound to get a lot of interest in it.
Message: Posted by: nalu_magic (Jan 20, 2003 11:51AM)
Thank you, Jaxon for answering all my questions in a very informative manner. I'm looking forward to the publishing of your book.

nalu :bikes:
Message: Posted by: Dark (Jan 24, 2003 01:46PM)
Hi, Jaxon, can you recommend certain types of puttys? The stuff I keep seeing is blue, so the coloring doesn't work well...
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jan 24, 2003 05:15PM)
[url=http://www.keysan.com/ksu0501a.htm]Click here to go to a site that sells it.[/url]

This is the kind of putty I use. You may be able to find it at stores in your area. I find mine at a local convenience store. I've seen it at hardware stores too.

Another kind of putty you can look for is the putty made for covering air leaks around windows. This is usually a light gray.

Well, there is more I can share on this but time is short at the moment. I'll write more a little later.

Hope that helps.
Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Bill Beach (Jan 24, 2003 11:32PM)
Ron, you mentioned women's foundation in a previous post, can this be used to make this mounting putty flesh color similar to LeClair's? If so, could you go into more detail as to how to color the putty?

I'm almost out of the additional supply I ordered through his website, he is currently out of stock and has been for weeks.

Bill Beach -avid LeClair Animator user
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jan 25, 2003 12:55PM)
I just take the putty. Spread it out flat and add a couple drops of the makeup to it. Then I just fold and twist the putty to mix the makeup in. Experiment with how much you want to use. Don't use to much though or the putty will get kind of oily.

You can also use the powder type makeup for this. This is a little better because it won't get oily. But, to much of this can make it kind of dry and loose some of it's tackiness. So with either kind of makeup use it sparingly. Start with a little then keep adding until it's how you want it.

To make it black I flatten it out on a sheet of paper and color with a marker. Fold and twist it up. It'll first turn a light gray. Then repeat the entire process until it's really dark. Your fingers will get a little dirty so you may want to wear gloves if that bothers you. The ink washes off your hands pretty easily though.

Here's another putty tip. Take a very small piece of tissue paper and work that into the putty. This will prevent the thread from cutting through. So the putty will have more of a solid core in it that the thread will wrap around.

Let me know if that answers your question.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Bill Beach (Jan 25, 2003 09:10PM)
That's what I was looking for. Thanks, Ron.

Bill Beach
Ohio USA
Message: Posted by: Dark (Jan 27, 2003 01:09AM)
Ah thanks Jaxon, you answered my question before I even asked. :) I "borrowed" some of my girlfriend's foundation (hope she doesn't find out) and found that it makes the putty kinda soft. I guess I'm putting too much... must wait till the right moment ;) to try again.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jan 27, 2003 10:41PM)
Well, when she runs out of the makeup just hand her a ball of putty.. ;)

Seriously though. I just realized that there is something on that that I forgot to mention. I have come across some makeup that wouldn't work to well. It was to oily so I couldn't get it the right color without getting to soft. So that's something you might want to think about.

The powder does work better for this. It takes a little more time because you have to put powder on it, mix it in then keep adding more. The outcome is better though. I don't know to much about makeup so you might need to experiment.

I'm glad this came up though. I'll do some research so I'll have more detail on it in for my book.

Speaking of that. The best thing I can do when making this book is to find out what most need to know. So if there are any particular aspects of thread work you need advice or tips on, please let me know. Either here, in Email or on my I.T. Board. Maybe it'll be on an issue I can cover that I hadn't thought about yet.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Dark (Jan 29, 2003 02:06AM)
Thanks again jaxon, let me know when your book comes out, I'm interested in getting it. :)
Message: Posted by: Nikos (Mar 27, 2003 06:03AM)
"I also use it to make a coin visibly float from one hand to the other. Adding a visual, or slow motion phase to a coins across."
What a great idea Jaxon...I just signed up with your site...very nice it is too!!
I am thinking of adding the floating of the coin at the end of the routine...by saying something along the lines I'll show you "the move" in slow motion.
Message: Posted by: Timotheous (Mar 29, 2003 07:17PM)
Hi Nikos....

Have we met on magic talk?

To all... Jaxon is the thread king...

He's great... :)

Nikos... I agree the slow levitation of the last coin is strong... This will be an awesome effect.. with whatever method you choose to 'move it' ... :)

Many magicians fear theadwork... :) good for us... the laymen absolutly love it.. :)

I too am awaiting Jaxon's book... and I know that a good thing is worth the wait. And I'm sure that this book will be well worth any price he puts on it.... hmmm as long as it's less than a grand.... hehehe


Message: Posted by: Clayman (Mar 30, 2003 02:09PM)
Ron Jaxon is a very dedicated and gifted Magician. He is willing to share his imagination with others as well as answer any questions one might have concerning Magic in general. For those who are unfamiliar with Ron, you may want to do yourself a favor and go to his newly developed site and forum, to sign up. He has a special section for tricks and effects that cost a small fee, but one trick alone is 10 x the value of what he charges. He has a new effect that is his creation called "Wrapped" and It is a reputation maker. I am thoroughly appreciative for all the tips and handlings he has gave me. I am just sharing this resource with you guys, cause I know it is well worth it.

Here's is the link :

Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Apr 14, 2003 12:09AM)
Man Oh Man! I've been pretty busy working on my site lately, and I haven't had much time to visit this board. Thanks so much for the kind words guys!

I gotta tell you. With all the books and DVD's that have hit the market over the past couple of years, I sometimes wonder if I should continue to work on the book. I wonder if I'd have anything to offer that those books and videos haven't already gone over. I visit here, and I get the feeling that I should keep working on it. I hope I can live up to these expectations.
My focus is different than most sources out there on IT work, though. While many of them are great, informative and contain some originality, most of them are focused on showing the reader how to do various tricks with IT. They also go over some limitations and strengths.
What I'm hoping to share is how to work with IT. Not just how to do tricks with it. It's my hope that after reading the book, the reader will have the knowledge, technique and confidence to use IT whenever it is the best solution to the illusion they want to create. So, when you dream up a trick or routine, It will be one of the methods you'll consider and decide if it is the best solution. When it is the best solution, I want you to be able to know how to use IT to make it happen.
It took some good magician friends to convince me of my different approach to using IT. So I'm still working on it. A lot of ground is going to be covered so like I've said. It's gonna take some time.
It's kind of funny and kind of annoying. Whenever I feel a chapter is finished, I think of something else to add. This usually takes some rewriting.. :shrug:

Well, thanks again everyone. If you have any more IT questions feel free to ask. If I can help, I will and questions alone are helpful to me. It lets me know what other things I should go over in the book. Shoot, I just set myself more work.. :rotf:

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Angus (Apr 15, 2003 10:34AM)
I was one of those who had no interest in threadwork until I actually took the time to stop at a Houdini's magic shop and saw the UFO gag. That got me started and I've found a lot of things that can be done with it.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (May 7, 2003 08:13PM)
I just thought you all might like to know what I just added to my JaxonMagic Notes section of the board.
As some of you may know, I'm working on a book on IT work. What I just added to the JaxonMagic notes is something called [b]Invisible Thread book sneak peak[/b].
What you'll find in this "sneak peak" is some of the chapters that'll be gone over in the book.
I just added this to the notes today and there's already a lot of information on thread work covered. Although it only scratches the surface of what the finished book will go over.
Here are the things that you'd find in this Sneak peak so far:
A short introduction to the book. A little about what you'll find in it and why I'm writing this book in the first place
[*][b]IT Accessories[/b]
I'll go over some of the basic accessories you'd need to do thread work such as wax, putty and other props and objects.
[*][b]How to find IT[/b]
In this section, you'll learn how to discover your own invisible thread as well as find ones that are already known. I explain how you can tell if a thread might work as invisible thread before you even buy it from a fabric store.
I'll also go over some of the threads that are already used by magicians (Such as kevlar, W. nylon, My Jaxon Thread and others). Where you can get it and their strengths and weakness's.
[i]I've shown this section to some pretty known magicians and they feel this section alone would be worth the price of a book[/i].
[*][b]Stripping Thread[/b]
In here you'll find out how to strip various kinds of IT and some tips that'll make the process much easier.
[*][b]Getting to know your thread.[/b]
In here I talk about what's possibly the most important thing you'd need to learn in order to be successful with thread work. the better you know the thread you're using the more success you'll have with it. You'll have more control and it'll break less often. In here's I'll share some ways to help you "get to know your thread".

All this is in there already and I just started this addition to the notes today. More will be added over time and remember, so far over 14 tricks are in the notes as well.

I just thought some of you might be interested in this. If you have any questions feel free to ask me or anyone who is already a member of the JaxonMagic Notes. I'm sure they'll give you an honest review (There is a review of the notes in the "The Good, the bad and the garbage" section of this board if you want to take a look).

The board with the JaxonMagic notes is at:

Ron Jaxon

I just added something else to the "sneak Peak" section of the notes.
I teach how to do the floating dollar bill. In this, I go into great detail on all aspects of the trick. A lot of information in this post alone.

Already, there is a good half hour read of information on thread work. So some of you who are interested in IT work would find this information useful.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: dmk_kirkland (May 28, 2003 02:59PM)
Jaxon, This is some great information you've put togther. I really appreciate your website and the effort you've put in to making this kind of information available.
Message: Posted by: Gambit242 (Sep 9, 2003 08:32PM)

Thanks for sharing that MOST HELPFUL info!!!

Good luck with the book,

Message: Posted by: Dbzkid999 (Sep 9, 2003 08:57PM)
Should I do IT tricks Close-up?
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Sep 11, 2003 12:46PM)
Man, Jaxon's site is awesome! Unfortunately, it wont let me register! I click on the "13 or over" tab, and immediately get an "error" message. Oh well, still had a ball surfing the message board!

Dbzkid999 wanted to know if close-up work is advisable...that depends on the lighting. 40 watt lamp off to one side about ten feet away, and the right angle with "busy" clothing pattern, and it's impossible to see. Dark blue works better for me than black, but that's just a personal preference.

Flourescent lights are a no-no. I got busted in a classroom once, in front of several people, and it was quite embarrassing. :hmm: I've since never performed in broad daylight, or natural light of any kind. One thing, too, is not to "lower" the lights before the effect, as that tips people off that something tricky's going on.

If your clothing is "busy" enough, the straight-on angle works great if your right up close, but I don't like to push it...it's too good.