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Topic: Thread Workers
Message: Posted by: Bradley Morgan (Apr 26, 2002 07:48PM)
Can you give me some cool ideas for floating objects. I am looking for something cool that will make the person watching do this. :wow:
Message: Posted by: Bernard Sim (Apr 26, 2002 09:24PM)
Post up to fifty and you'll be able to go to The Banquet Room. There's a room specially for threads.
Message: Posted by: Dr. JK (Apr 26, 2002 09:51PM)
Well, since you don't have 50 posts yet, we'll just have to "make-do." :)

To get a great reaction, float something that has a lot of emotional value to it. If you want to give an eerie feeling, have them write the name of someone (living or dead) on a card and float a match on it ala Ben Harris' Cosmosis. Or, you could have them volunteer some small personal items that have a lot of emotional value (such as rings), and float them. The idea here is that to get the best reactions, you need to involve the spectator emotionally. Once you have acheived this, you'll get the reactions like :wow: . Hope this helps!
Message: Posted by: Bradley Morgan (Apr 27, 2002 12:37PM)
Cool idea thanks Mr. Jeff.
:dancing: :dancing: :dancing:
Message: Posted by: mambra (Apr 29, 2002 07:12AM)

"Floating" objects??? How can you stop people thinking "...there is a thread!!!".

I love threads, and I tend to use them, but possibly to *move* things. I love, for instance, the Burger's version of the Haunted pack, because he seems to be motionless, but the deck is moving!

Miracle! Miracle!


Stefano Mambretti
Message: Posted by: stevenking (Apr 29, 2002 12:05PM)
Another good animation effect along the line of Bergers is Nick Einhorns Spooked ... this used to freak people out when I performed it!


Steven King

P.S You could also check out Mike Smiths Floating Ring Miracle Video available in the U.K
Message: Posted by: Magnus Maccormack (May 6, 2002 10:56AM)
One my favorites lately has been using everyone's favorite three letter gimmick (for reasons of secrecy I won't release it here).

I've had lots of success floating borrowed money which if you crumple it just right you can manipulate in three dimensions. This is especially good if you are in a party setting where there is music as you can make the money "dance." Night clubs tend to get the most :wow: but then maybe it's the alcohol...
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (May 6, 2002 03:31PM)
I float a rubber band after doing several band effects. And after floating the little guy who gets knotted up a bit to form a bit of personality - I stretch it across my hands and let it fly - "Setting him free" which often gets a cheer from the audience.

Not the most dramatic effect, but it is one that folks dont see very often :cool:

Message: Posted by: Geoff Williams (May 7, 2002 11:59AM)
I levitate a playing card vertically between my hands by using "static electricity."
Message: Posted by: Corey K (May 7, 2002 01:41PM)
As previously mentioned, a ring has a good emotional impact, as it is borrowed and there is therefore "no place for trickery". Glenn Gareau, a magician from RI who currently resides in Germany, has a GREAT handling (two versions) to make a ring float with a reel. He calls it "Ring Flight", and no, it doesn't float to a key case.

Also, a playing card from a borrowed pack is good, as is someone's credit card ala hummer card. Think of borrowing stuff. IT always gets a better reaction.

Message: Posted by: Kaliix (May 11, 2002 09:27AM)
One thing that could work is to float a butterfly. Any crafts store probably sells butterfly stickers. If you bend the wings down just a bit so it will "float" properly, it looks really good. It's harder to do with an ITR but if you use a Leclairs or Fearsons setup, it should be a breeze. :angel:
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (May 11, 2002 10:02AM)
In January, I tried to convince a friend of mine in the Magic Castle to focus more on animations than on floatations. Nick Einhorn's Spooked is stupendous...
Two days later I had to reconsider everything after Dean Dill showed me his floating ring. It has none of the weaknesses other floatings have (pendulum fallacy) ;)
If you ever see Dean ask him for it!

BTW Nice to be in the house, this is my first posting.
Message: Posted by: John (May 13, 2002 07:10AM)
I've found that floating objects up from and into people's hands makes a strong effect. Also its hard to improve upon the romantic plot of Kevin James' "Floating Rose."

Message: Posted by: cardstain (May 14, 2002 03:23PM)
John LeClair has some really cool stuff in his book as well as his video. The LeClair hook-up is perfect for walk around. You should check it out.

Message: Posted by: Bradley Morgan (May 17, 2002 10:08PM)
Thank you all for the advice.

:dancing: :dancing:
Message: Posted by: bekralik (Jun 3, 2002 05:42PM)
Michael Ammar had an interesting idea to float a piece of rice and pretend to fight it with chopsticks. I was eating sushi once and tried it, but one of my friends turned out to be paranoid of bugs and could NOT get over how much the piece of rice resembled a bug. Just couldn't stop screaming! I still think the effect warrants an attempt.

And then there's the Floating Glasses by Yigal Mesika, I think. Quite an expensive gimmick and I can't say it's incredibly practical and can't be done toooooo close-up. But I'm just a sucker for any and all IT work.
Message: Posted by: kris attard (Jun 3, 2002 11:35PM)
Cardstain, what book is that?
Message: Posted by: J_C (Jun 4, 2002 05:34AM)
Kris, Jon LeClair's book is "The Art of Invisible Thread", & he also has a video to go with the book which is "Who's Afraid of Invisible Thread?"

http://www.magicsmith.com supply both.
Message: Posted by: bekralik (Jun 4, 2002 07:39AM)
>Kris, Jon LeClair's book is "The Art of
>Invisible Thread", & he also has a video to
>go with the book which is "Who's Afraid of
>Invisible Thread?"

I've always wondered: I bought the video, but does the book have more routines in it?
Also, is it just me, or does the putty that goes behind the fingernail stand out a little much? Am I putting too much on, or am I supposed to be trying to hide it better with longer fingernails or a different angle or something?

Does anybody own a product called the Ultimate Float Controller? I have this thing on order, but I don't know if it's still in production. If so, can you potentially levitate heavier objects than standard IT?
Message: Posted by: blurr (Jun 4, 2002 02:35PM)
I sometmes borrow a drivers license since it has a picture on it. Then ask if they had ever wanted to fly? Then levitate the drivers license. This gets a great reaction.

Message: Posted by: John (Jun 5, 2002 11:42AM)
Another thread here suggests some success with floating a feather and theming it in terms of Harry Potter.

I'd also love a review on the "Ultimate Float Controller."
Message: Posted by: Jon Allen (Jun 18, 2002 03:15AM)
I agree that animation can be more powerful than elavation. I perform an effect called 'Ghost" which is an animated bill routine.

It's a 3-phase effect wherein a bill is placed into a wine glass and proceeds to become animated, even with someone else holding the glass. Then you cover the mouth of the glass and the bill starts to rise up and finally it jumps out of the glass into your outstretched hand.

There are a number of reasons I like the routine, one of which is the fact that the glass helps to shield the bill from potential grabbers and also deflects light away from the modus operanti.

"Ghost" is one of the routines on my video, 'Spectators Don't Exist' which is coming out in the summer.

Message: Posted by: MAGICTOM (Jun 18, 2002 12:41PM)
I have a question about the LeClair video and book, I have a S**TLOAD of I.T. that is too weak for use in the ITR. Does LeClair's video use the ITR?? as the main hook up? or will i be able to utilize the I.T. that I have for many of the tricks on the video?
Tom Defrange :)
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Jun 24, 2002 07:52PM)

LeClaire's hookup does not use an ITR. With his book, he supplies IT and putty and tells you how to inexpensively get your own.

On 2002-04-26 20:48, magicbrad wrote:
Can you give me some cool ideas for floating objects. I am looking for somthing cool that will make the persone watching do this :wow:

I've had great luck with the old Wunderbar by Steve Dusheck. I don't like his hookup, but it is easily modified. The effect is that a metalic bar, sealed in a test tube with a cork on top, starts to hop around, then exits the tube and floats about.
Message: Posted by: Monkey (Jul 29, 2002 07:01PM)
The creepiest IT floatations are Steve Fearson's Floating Cigarette and the Animated self-lighting cigarette.
Check the video of Fearson's on his website
As for the animated cig... picture this... A cigarette floats out of the pack to your mouth, then a match box opens itself, a match floats out, strikes itself on the side of the box, then floats up to light your cig and the back to your hand. Very cool!

Search it up, learn it, scare the c*** outta some people. :huh:
Message: Posted by: Shenaniganz (Jul 31, 2002 10:35AM)
Get a book on oragami- learn to make a few animals. Swans and frogs work great. After you fold your paper or bill, or playing card float it around and give it out as a souvenir
Message: Posted by: Magnus Maccormack (Aug 1, 2002 10:29AM)

I've always wondered: I bought the video, but does the book have more routines in it?
Also, is it just me, or does the putty that goes behind the fingernail stand out a little much? Am I putting too much on, or am I supposed to be trying to hide it better with longer fingernails or a different angle or something?


A longer middle finger nail helps. I have also found that if you flatten out your hand (if you are levitating from your palm) your fingers will slightly bend down. This will point your nail slightly toward the floor. Combine this with a little patter for misdirection and the fact that an object is moving (and not your hand) and the spectator won't even think to look at your finger...or you could use wax for your finger instead, it's clear.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Aug 2, 2002 06:18PM)
I use HARD magiicans wax. It's a good match,
with the Le Claire there is no "hanging" sensation or "pendulum" effect either.

even when my daughter knew there was a thread, she had no idea how or where it could possibly be because of the nature of the hook-up.

wonderful stuff!
Message: Posted by: Bobcape (Nov 19, 2002 09:42AM)
I recently saw Losander perform and bought his tapes. He has a hookup that is a little different than the LeClair that is very versatile. Check it out.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Nov 20, 2002 07:49PM)
Personally, I think floating effects done close up where the object floats for an extended period of time are obvious. The only solution in laymens' minds is thread or magnets. If you do a floating effect close up, I recommend that you make the object float for a VERY short period of time. I perform a routine using Mesika's loops where I first balance the ring on different fingers, and then balance it on thin air (float) for less than 2 seconds after which I immediately return it to the spectator. It kills!
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Nov 21, 2002 06:47AM)
For my children shows I levitate a butterfly. Same method as the cigarette. You can buy fake but realistic butterflies at craft stores. It starts in my hand and slowly flies to the other hand among other things without me visibly moving. I get a really good reaction from the kids.

The thing is people will guess thread. You have to use psychology against them. They will think it is hanging. Then, destroy what they thought by waving your hands above and below. Now, their minds crash so to speak as they try to come up with an alternative. There are many hook ups and manuveurs that can be done to pick away at people perceptions.
Message: Posted by: Mister Hyde (Nov 21, 2002 05:25PM)
Great advice by Larry and Guardian. For the cigarette, what Guardian says is the passage of the cigarette through a loop made with your fingers...for the dollar it's the waving the heads all ;) around the object..
Message: Posted by: tom_d2 (Dec 9, 2002 11:40AM)
Hi I recently bought floating cig but I can't do the hookup. Can someone who knows it well please email me and explain it at;tom_d2@hotmail.com thanks.
Message: Posted by: tim_mantis (Dec 11, 2002 10:28AM)
I can recommend the floating ring video by Mike Smith. I'm not sure where it is available now, but in the routine the ring passes through a loop made by the fingers, then lands on the ring finger to be removed by the spectator - a nice finish! It also goes down well close-up with such a personal object too.
Message: Posted by: DonB (Dec 13, 2002 06:58PM)
I believe that LeClair book and/or tape has everything one would need to animate or levitate objects. The tape is video of LeClair performing the effects explained in the book(and on the tape). That being said...
Jon Allen has an animation effect on his No Spectators Required video that is worthy of your consideration. A dollar bill is borrowed, balled and placed into a brady snifter type class. The bill is swirled around in the glass to 'gather energy' and the bill animates. This is repeated with stronger reactions and finally the bill flies out of the glass and back to the magician's hand. All is well explained along with the reasons why Jon does what he does. An excellent tape for many effects.

Message: Posted by: idreamz (Feb 19, 2003 08:07AM)
I did some floating once with a bill, and that poor guy thought I was using some sort of magnet :approve:
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Feb 19, 2003 10:11AM)
Wow! A long Thread on thread and I haven't participated in it yet...lol
A lot of points have been made and I'll try to address some of them that really stuck out to me.

-The Floating Butterfly-

This can be a beautiful piece of magic. Especially if you blend in various methods of producing a real live butter fly at the end. You can find realistic looking fake ones at craft stores as already has been mentioned. I've also seen them sold in those fake roses you see at gas stations. The wings of those are usually made out of feathers and look pretty nice.

-The object looks like it's hanging and they always think it's thread-

Here's a response from the book I'm working on:


Of course it does. To you, the one who is doing it and knows the secret, because it is hanging. There are times when we magicians have a hard time not thinking like a magician. A magician would think thread first but most laymen don't. If you ask, which I have done, the most common explanation laymen give when they see a dollar bill float in the air is static electricity or magnetism. The second most common assumption is actually mirrors believe it or not.
Then there are those who will think thread. Fine, let them think it. If you perform it well enough they won't think about it for very long because your actions and presentation will erase some of those assumptions. When done well enough they won't think at all. They'll only respond. If you present it well enough most people will sit back (Or lean forward) and just enjoy it.

I'll also add that there is a right and wrong way to make something float. If you feel it swinging is making it look like it's hanging from something, then practice not letting it swing. There are techniques to make or prevent the floating object from moving in a peculiar way and we'll go over them later in this book.


This is a long post so I'll stop here and make another... :)

Ron Jaxon

-The putty under the finger nail seems to obvious-

If growing a little longer finger nail doesn't work for you. Play around with sticking it in other locations near by. One possibility is to stick it in the entrance of your sleeve. Then let it run out between your fingers. Play around and maybe you'll find something that works well for you.

-Floating effects shouldn't last to long-

I completely agree with this. Even longer Floating tricks usually have a break and don't just keep doing the same thing. Kevin James' Rose is a perfect example. The entire act lasts about 5 to 7 minutes. It could be stretched a little longer or made a little shorter but that's about the time it takes to perform the entire routine. But an object isn't floating that entire time. There are breaks in the presentation and after each break it gets a little neater or more astonishing.
In close up especially, you should keep it fairly short. One shouldn't do to many levitations in one act either. In one half-hour show I do an average of 5 or 6 I. T. tricks. Some might think that would be over-kill but not all of them are levitations. Only one or two of them are actually. I might open a show with a floating cigarette or ball or what ever fits that show. Then during the show I might do a haunted deck, boomerang card, use I. T. to vanish something or any number of other I. T. tricks. Then I might end the show with the floating rose (All this is just example).

There are times in an act where making something float is one of the most logical things you can do. You're a magician after all. If I'm standing here and what I want is over there, if I where a magician why would I walk over and get it? If I whee a magician couldn't I make it float to me?

Think about that if you want to add a levitation to an act. During the floating rose I cause the candle to float to my hand. I'm standing there making a rose levitate, why would I need to stop and go grab the candle. "Why doesn't he just make the candle float to him?" they might think.

How about a situation where you have something in both hands but you need to get that cigarette on the table into your mouth. Why not make it float there. Things like this can really add a moment of shock to a show. These are the kind of things that take the spectators by surprise. They usually react in a way of "Wow, did you see that?" Or "Did I just see what I think I saw?" Some pretty powerful stuff if you ask me...:wow:

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: idreamz (Feb 22, 2003 05:13AM)
Hmm.. I was wondering if there is a way to float cards with ITRs? :vcool:
Message: Posted by: MagicallyDelicious (Apr 23, 2003 01:25AM)
I find that floating a nice crisp gum wrapper gives a great effect with my ITR. I just take out a pack of Extra and offer some to my friends. I float my own wrapper or borrow one of theirs. I leave the wrapper open and loosely bend it in half. I place it on my hand so that is stands up on my hand. I then float it about 3-4 inches in between my 2 hands.

The effect is really great due to the shiney wrapper. I also have done the effect and then immedately WALKED over to my friend to examine the wrapper. I then do the levitation a second time from a different spot. This really blows any theory they might have had about how the levitation was done. They almost always think it was some thing to do with a magnet or something. They rule out thread due to the immediate reset in a different spot and my hand waving on all four planes of the wrapper.

Hope this makes sense...Enjoy!!!

Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Apr 27, 2003 10:57PM)
Great idea Nate!

Speaking of floating a gum wrapper. It's also neat to make a piece of candy float to your mouth. Have it rigged up in the wrapper first. This adds a little impossibility to the effect because first you unwrap it, then it floats out of the wrapper to your mouth. The fact that it was wrapped up kind of makes it harder to believe thread is involved.

Now, since Nates great idea uses an ITR, you can combine these two. Shoot, you can add even more to it. I visualize the following effect when you put them together.

The magicians offers chewing gum to the spectators. Then he causes a stick to float out of the pack into his other hand. The gum is removed from the wrapper then the gum floats up into the magicians mouth. All attention is then brought to he gum wrapper, it stands up on end and starts to float. It floats back into his hand and everything can be examined.
A great follow up would be "A sticky situation."

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: schmitty65 (Jun 13, 2003 04:11PM)
Does anybody know how to dump the Steve Fearson hookup without breaking the IT? If anybody knows could you PM me. thanks
Message: Posted by: Zap (Jun 15, 2003 06:50AM)
Any comments on Penguin Magic's new system for making "Hoops" (rhymes with----). See link here: http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=551
Message: Posted by: cheaptrick (Jun 15, 2003 10:05AM)
If you want to watch some really amazing thread work check out Ryusei Kamaguchi's
butterfly routine at:


Message: Posted by: Sean Macfarlane (Jun 15, 2003 01:35PM)
Who else has seen Dean Dill's floating ring routine? I would like to learn more about it.
Message: Posted by: Jesse Dains (Jun 17, 2003 01:47PM)
A thought on the IT and I have used a lot - without trouble.

It’s OK if someone thinks its thread, but shame on you if they find out for sure!
Message: Posted by: Vibono Magic (Jun 17, 2003 04:19PM)
Ok Floating things...
I own two of Stefan Schütsers "The Ultimate Float Control", (TUFC for short) With this I can make miracles. One of my favorite things (using one TUFC) to do with it is the flying bill. A bill is borrowed and signed, ask the spectator to hold his/her hand out place the bill on her hand and tell her to put one finger on it using the other hand. Now I will back up 10m (if space allows), tell her that I will count to 3 and she will remove her finger. When she removes her fingers the bill will come FLYING back to me.
Owning two TUFC me and my assistant used to do the #D floating silk.

If you don't own a TUFC but still want to do some great levitation AND animation I strongly recommend Stefans "Self floating folding bill" is's a real killer.

Jonas Karlsson
Vibono Magic
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Sep 8, 2003 12:53PM)
Hello all!

Great to see Ron Jaxon posting here, as IMHO, he is an authority on the subject of IT.

That said, I've been using IT since I bought the "Wunderbar" at Steve Dacri's shop in Worcester Mass, so many years ago.

Floating objects DOES seem to "give it away", especially when it swings. Even on TWO anchor points, I find trouble more often than not.

IT does lend itself to other, non-floating effects, Haunted Pack, Static Charge, among others. LeClair's hookup seems to be the best for me.

Anyone ever seen the book "The I.T. Manual", by Ralph Wichmann? Not sure where to get it, but is one of the best info sources on the subject.

Nice to join you! Hope to find further enlightenment in the Magic Café!