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Topic: Help with Sympathetic Silks
Message: Posted by: Shafique (Feb 11, 2003 06:05AM)

Relatively new to silk effects - a coin man at heart. However, I have recently started doing some children shows on TV for MTA International (http://www.mta.tv for info or http://www.alislam.org/mta for live video feed).

I'm thinking of doing this routine on Saturday and would like some help with one aspect.

I'm using the description in Tarbell 1, and what I'd like help on is the part after the three silks are tied together and displayed.

Are the silks meant to be completely separated by the time you set them down, or are the knots just supposed to be loose enough so that they separate easily?

I'm thinking of using two children to hold the 2 sets of silks and currently gathering up the silks is fine, loosening the knots isn't..

Any pointers here would be appreciated.

Message: Posted by: Magicduck (Feb 19, 2003 03:50PM)
I do not have Tarbell open here, but I think I can answer the question. Many symp silk knots, for the tying, involve basically nothing more than a couple twists, then the familiar loop. Basically, when you put them down.... they will come apart with the slightest of tension. Obviously you want them to appear to be together as you hand the silks to another person... it takes away if they clearly come undone.

There are many different ways of doing this. Book after book has methods. Al Baker had a good one in one of his books. As with most magic, the answer is that it depends on how you want to do it. But, if it were me, I would want knots that look okay at least until you give them to another.
Message: Posted by: Rice (Feb 19, 2003 05:35PM)
My dad's book, Rice's Selected Sympathetic Silks Routines (48 page paperback), covers 29 routines, so there are many approaches! Approaches included in this publication are those of: Harlan Tarbell, Joe Berg, Edward Victor, Percy Abbott, Harold Rice, Al Baker, Keith Clark, and many others. Thus, there is no one approach or right way to do this routine.

I realize that this information is too late for your show, but you may wish to consult some of the techniques used by some of the greats for future reference.

I hope this information is helpful.

Ruth Rice Crone
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (May 25, 2003 07:34PM)
Check out the Ron Bauer Private Studies series - thinklikeaconjuror.com - for a great sympathetic silk routine (4 silks and a knot, I think it's called). It is a version of the Al Baker routine that makes theatrical sense! So, great method, combined with theatrically strong presentation, streamlined for easy handling - what more could you ask for?!

By the way, don't fall into the trap of thinking that because it is "scripted" you are going to become a clone - I have seen 5 different people do a Bauer piece, and, though they all follow the script, they all appear different.

That is the beauty of professional scripts. Look at Shakespeare - you can hardly call Mel Gibson an Olivier clone, yet they followed the same script!

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: MiNiM (Jun 29, 2003 02:39AM)
Another excellent source for detailed handling of the Sympathetic Silks is in Lewis Gansons Teach In series book of the same title. His explanations are absolutely foolproof - well, I could follow them, anyway! Check somewhere like H & R Magic Books, or Magic Books By Post for it.


Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Dec 14, 2003 02:14AM)

Be kind to yourself. Do not let the children hold the silks. This is my favorite silk routine. The only way I would let children hold them is if I let the child hold a large glass or a bowl and I put the silks into it all by myself. I would let them pull them out.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Dec 14, 2003 08:42AM)

Since no one else mentioned it, may I personally welcome Ruth Rice Crone to the Magic Café, on behalf of everyone here? Her dad, I believe, was the inventor of Rice's Palmo Ball, a device I've cherished for almost thirty years!Anything written by Mr. Rice, IMHO, would be first and foremost as to silk reference.

Also, the tied silks can be laid upon the back of a chair, and made to look completely separate, as I used to perform the effect using two chairs.

Great stuff. Long live SKS!

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Dec 16, 2003 08:48AM)

I fully agree about SKS. Rice is the set of books that stay in my bedroom. The others come and go. (We actually have a real library in this house.)

Since you live in Florida, did you know that Harold Rice was once on the faculty at the University of Alabama? There are somethings we do right down here.

Week before last, I was in Woods Hall where he taught. I wrote Ruth and told her it is still the artists' hangout it was when he was there.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Vibono Magic (Dec 16, 2003 12:44PM)
I belive Paul Dimond has a video on the silks
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Dec 21, 2003 10:24AM)

I did NOT know Mr. Rice was a faculty member at U of A!

And, I am looking forward to obtaining a set of the Rice Encyclopedias. In fact, I've begun some research on the subject, and have found some very interesting things. The Zombie Silk being just one of them. I've got some further inquiring to do, and I'm trying not to bother Ms. Rice too much, as I imagine she's a very busy person.

Silk work has been one of my most treasured effects in magic, and there is some stuff out there that is still untapped. Anything with the Rice name on it or SKS (Silk King Studios), is number ONE in my book! (now, if I could only find another Kirkendall Reel).

Message: Posted by: Rice (Dec 24, 2003 05:14PM)
Thank you Doug for all the nice comments about Silk King Studios products. It is greatly appreciated. I just what to tell you and others that I am happy to answer as many questions as I can about silk magic. I'm not a magician, just a lover of magic having grown up with my dad (Harold Rice). I went to magic convertions all my life and watched Dad write the Encyclopedias into the wee hours of the night! You'd have to fall in love with magic!
Happy Holidays to all lovers of silk magic!
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jan 4, 2004 09:26AM)
Well, the Vol 3 Encyclopedia arrived, and I'm thrilled to say, it's better than I expected. Not only an original (2nd Printing, 1974), but written in the same style and format as Thru The Dye Tube! A very pleasant surprise, wonderfully illustrated.

If you don't want to spring for the whole encyclopedia vol.3 for Sympathetic Silks, they sell a 48 page booklet called, "Rice's Selected Sympathetic Silks Routines". It's a very well spent 10 bucks. Included are 29 selections taken directly from chapter 18 of Vol 3. It's all you will ever need.

Hope this is of some help!

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jan 8, 2004 03:07PM)

I have good news. Those original books are not type set. They were hand lettered and photographed. The whole set is matching that way.

Call Paul Diamond about your reel. I got one from him in the 80s that is all brass except for a piece of playing card used as a bearing. Can you believe that? It will out last me!

I'm happy for you about your books. Don't forget to sleep!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jan 12, 2004 09:56PM)

Sorry I haven't replied until now. You're right, I haven't slept much.

HAND-lettered? How in the? That's Martineau's own hand-PRINTED type? Good-NESS! Imagine, 1542 pages (that's what vol.3 ends with!)all done by hand.

How do I get in touch with Paul Diamond? Is he over on the east coast of FL? How much for one of those.? Questions, and more questions. Ha ha!

Thanks again, my friend!

Message: Posted by: magic mike (Jan 14, 2004 11:30AM)
Hi All,
I remember buying silks from Silk King Studios. I read on this forum that Harold Rice, the owner of SKS, was on the faculty of the University of Alabama. Does anyone know which academic department he was in? I teach in a college that had a professor, in the 1960's, by the same name as Mr.Rice. I was wondering if there is any connection. BTW, I still own a set of Twentieth Century Silks by SKS and THEY STILL ARE IN GREAT SHAPE. The 18'' set cost $5.50, I bought these in 1955. I also have various other silks from SKS.


Hi again folks,
I forgot to mention that I saw Gen. Grant perform the Sympathetic Silks recently. He uses Slydini's method, as finish to the routine he produces a giant white pigeon (30'' wing span) from the silks. A very nice handling of the effect. :dancing:
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jan 15, 2004 09:41PM)
Magic Mike:

1955??? :wow: That's the year I was BORN! Still in great shape, eh? Not surprised.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Feb 7, 2004 04:48PM)
Magic Mike,

Ruth could give you the real years Harold Rice was at Alabama but I'm reasonably sure he was in Ohio by the 60s.

He was in the Art Department.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander