(Close Window)
Topic: Making Spring Bills/Flowers
Message: Posted by: Peter McMillan (Nov 2, 2013 12:02PM)
Working on making single spring bills and found info on the basics in Hugard and Lamonte but have a question on material for the spring.

Anyone tried an over sized bobby/hair pin? Suggestions on modern material for spring?

Pete
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Nov 2, 2013 12:33PM)
If you have to make your own, just go buy thin brass sheets at the hardware store. Cut in strips and then cut down the center and stop short of the end. Now take a round dowel, and put your thumb on the brass strip over the dowel. Now draw to the end, turn it over and do the same thing. This is similar to making those curled ribbons on Christmas presents. Best to cut up one bill to use as material to cover the brass on the outside.

The bills have to be folded on each side of the base inward. Like a paper shack is folded in on the sides.

I find plastic tape the best solution over ordinary transparent tape.

This was published in an old Genii Magazine, how to make spring bills.

Today most spring bills are made by gluing 2 bills together, but with the split brass, it is to thick and have to make like the old days of only one bill per spring.

This will cost you much more then the other suggestion I made in the Secret Section. Getting a bunch for $5 is cheaper and less work. Those spring bills are made with real spring tempered metal which is not available on the common market. I can't find any, anyways.
Message: Posted by: Craig Dickens (Nov 2, 2013 07:43PM)
Jim Sommers told me the source years back- Use tape measure metal. Buy cheap ones. 1/4 or 1/2 inch wide. You can cut it with strong scissors. You can strip the paint off if desired, but not necessary. Cut it down the center and stop about 1/2'' from the bottom. Bend each side in opposite directions over a pencil to shape and tape to the bills. If you put it inside, you only need one bill. Made lots of spring bills back in the day and this worked great.
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (Nov 2, 2013 07:48PM)
Thanks, Craig. That's good information to keep handy for someday when I need to make some spring bills.

Ron
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Nov 2, 2013 08:35PM)
That's what I use to make spring flowers. I use the yellow part, but a friend makes his using just the inner steel spring. Pick one up at the dollar store and you'll have enough springs for dozens.

You can curl the springs over the blade of a scissors like curling ribbon... just check for burrs on the steel before you drag your thumb over it, or wear gloves.

One other thing I've done is to take a worn out packet of spring flowers and just reclaim the springs. They are already to go.

Mary Mowder posted on another thread going awhile back that she has used strips cut horizontally from plastic soda bottles. Just fold them in half appropriately. I have not tried this, but it sounded like a good idea.

You can make the bills by simply folding them in half with the spring inside, or you can give it a few mountain and valley folds so it will appear "fluffier". This will cause the bunch of them to appear greater in volume because they cannot accidentally "nest" nearly as easily.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Nov 3, 2013 12:03AM)
Whenever I tried to bend spring steel, it would always break. It has to be heated to bend it properly, if not there is a process I know nothing about.

The original Genii article, said to use aluminum cans, the problem with that is that it was before the cans were less then paper thin and plastic coated. I don't believer that process is good any longer.

Owen's Magic used the brass as I described, I ordered a custom set from them years ago, just after Les Smith passed away. Took 5 months and several letters to get them made up.
Message: Posted by: Wizzard (Nov 3, 2013 03:18PM)
The spring steel I have used to make spring bills, come from retractable tape measures found here: http://www.orientaltrading.com/star-measuring-tape-key-chains-a2-14_1542-12-1.fltr?Ntt=tape%20measures. Take them apart and use the thin spring steel inside. It is bendable and cuts easily. Excelent for spring flowers also.
JMN
Message: Posted by: boxjumper (Nov 9, 2013 10:41AM)
I use steel shim material that you can buy in sheets or strips.

BJ
Message: Posted by: Matti Kaki (May 14, 2016 03:14PM)
Hello from Finland. I'd like to use some spring Bills, and perhaps some of my own design colorful things for children's magic, in my routine but it looks that those springy things are not available in EU. If I bought them from the States the postages are huge and even if those gimmicks are cheap there, it makes the buy expensive due to taxes. If I bought only one to see how it's made, it's under 22 Euroa, which is the limit.

But if I just could find a picture to see how these are constructed, I could make my own using tape measure. The idea how you add several bills so that they open easily and are neatly foldable to store in the holder. So, is there a clear picture of the mechanism somewhere? I have a shop where to make those. I couldn't find any using Google image search.
Message: Posted by: john wills (May 15, 2016 08:28AM)
Matti Kaki,
I can't help you out.
But did you already try the magic shop in your own country: Markku Purho Ky, to order from them.
Or you could order in Europe: Dynamite Magic Shop in Netherlands and look for: klapbankbiljetten.
Message: Posted by: Matti Kaki (May 15, 2016 10:49AM)
Hi. Yes, sure. Markku was my first choice. He has very good selection and really reasonable prices
and low shipping rates. I browsed Dynamite Magic and they have a great range of everything. BUT
unfortunately the shipping to Finland is at least 30 Euro. If I bought more, it gets better, so thanks
for the hint! But as I mentioned. Markku Purho, Aprilli.fi has good selection and I get a discount.
Also he sends the goods very quickly. The fastest webshop ever. Well, I can yet ask him.
Message: Posted by: Dan Ford (May 15, 2016 12:46PM)
I have found that in making spring flowers or bills, the best steel to use is the Craftsmen Brand replacement tape from Sears. Follow Bill Hegbli's post on how to cut it. I put two 3/16 rods together that were 4 inches long and only left enough space between them to get your tape measure through. Pull it through with pliers on a downward pull to get the curl you desire.
Message: Posted by: Matti Kaki (May 15, 2016 03:45PM)
I think that I imagine this gimmick just too complicated. If I just put some springs together
and twist them to make the bill bouquet fluffy, it's the solution. Because you pack it so that
it goes neatly to the holder, it must be quite simple and I just visualize it too knotty.
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (May 18, 2016 05:02PM)
Http://www.magicnook.com/WizJ21/wizj21-03FlowersThatBloom.htm
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 24, 2016 05:26PM)
[quote]On May 15, 2016, Matti Kaki wrote:
I think that I imagine this gimmick just too complicated. If I just put some springs together
and twist them to make the bill bouquet fluffy, it's the solution. Because you pack it so that
it goes neatly to the holder, it must be quite simple and I just visualize it too knotty. [/quote]

Yes, after several performances you have to straighten the strings out, so the bouquet will be large again.

Magic is work, and there it pays to take care of your props, so they last longer.
Message: Posted by: B.W. McCarron (May 26, 2016 11:10PM)
To go along with the person who mentioned a tape measure as a good source for paper flower spring material, Harbor Freight quite often has free 25 foot tape measures as a coupon item. Aside from the coupon in their mailer (you can sign up free online or at the store), they also advertise in the Sunday newspaper, and in regional shopper ads.

You'll have enough spring material to make dozens and dozens of bouquets.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 30, 2016 05:31PM)
If any of you are on Facebook (SMETalk Magic), I posted a complete tutorial on making spring flowers, with photos. You might have to search for it, as it was a few months ago.
Message: Posted by: Necromancer (Mar 10, 2017 10:16AM)
There's a lot of discussion about the type of spring to use. I've got another issue: I want to change the color of some of my spring flowers to shades of green (need more foliage for a specific effect). Buying flowers in just green doesn't seem possible/feasible. So, what kind of paint could one brush onto pre-made spring flowers without affecting compression and expansion?

Thanks,
Neil
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Mar 10, 2017 02:01PM)
[quote]On Mar 10, 2017, Necromancer wrote:
There's a lot of discussion about the type of spring to use. I've got another issue: I want to change the color of some of my spring flowers to shades of green (need more foliage for a specific effect). Buying flowers in just green doesn't seem possible/feasible. So, what kind of paint could one brush onto pre-made spring flowers without affecting compression and expansion?

Thanks,
Neil [/quote]

Hi Neil,

I understand your reason for wanting more green. Harks back to DeKolta.

Honestly, I think trying to paint on tissue paper would present more problems than it would be worth. I think your best bet would be to strip the paper, save the springs, and make new flowers using them. It will be faster and the results will be much better.

If you are on Facebook, I posted a tutorial on this in the SME Talk Magic group. You can go to the group and search spring flowers. If you are not a member, check my profile for my email, send me a note and I'll shoot a PDF to you.

~michael
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Apr 11, 2017 08:02PM)
Neil,
Your idea was popular with Ali Bongo also. Use dye or fabric markers to color the paper. I used to dye my own paper and make the flowers. A lot of work but really looked different. Just not worth the effort commercially speaking.
Richard
Message: Posted by: Matti Kaki (May 31, 2017 11:26AM)
I finally found spring biils from Tesmar Zauberartikel. These are Modern Magic brand bills and not very strongly opening ones. Not bad either. These are threaded together using thread and not connected using springs as I was somehow expecting. How usual this construction is? Or is this the only used? These are much easier to make than I tought. I was expecting some kind of spring hassle which opens the bundle really fast. Well, I think that tis is fast enough as the spectators are not expecting thhose to appear.
Message: Posted by: malaki (Jun 9, 2017 10:06AM)
As with most magic, the means of accomplishing the effect are often amazingly simple.

What you have described is how all the ones I have seen are made. The threads are used primarily to mount them to apparatus, for instance, inside a Zombie ball for a surprise finish - just open the two halves of the ball!

Occasionally you will need to untangle the threads, for they will start bunching up, robbing the flowers of their fullness upon opening. I usually use a twist tie (small piece of wire, covered in paper or plastic, used for closing trash bags) to group the flowers. When it comes time to untangle, open up the twist tie and pull it out. It will not completely eliminate the mess, but it will make it much easier to deal with.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Nov 30, 2021 03:12PM)
[quote]On May 30, 2016, Michael Baker wrote:
If any of you are on Facebook (SME Talk Magic), I posted a complete tutorial on making spring flowers, with photos. You might have to search for it, as it was a few months ago. [/quote]


Michael, I downloaded your tutorial from the SME Talk Magic group some time ago. It's very good. I'm not sure if I ever thanked you for that. (Thank you !) It's a great addition to the e-booklet that Magic Nook put out on Spring Flowers. (refer to this topic: [url=https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=269148&forum=8]Realistic Spring Flowers[/url] )


Another good resource , not so much for making spring flowers (he doesn't really go into the details about the springs, etc.) is on Dan Harlan's video [url=https://www.penguinmagic.com/p/10647]Tarbell 94: Further Unique Mysteries[/url] (from the series "Tarbell: Every Trick in the Book") where he briefly covers how to adapt/alter standard store-bought spring flowers to make them look better than what you can typically buy off-the-shelf from most magic dealers. Just the addition of some simple interior detail and edge detail (applied with markers) gives these flowers a more realistic appearance. Harlan shows how to do this on the video. He doesn't spend a lot of time on it, but he shows how to do it and how it can be done even by someone who doesn't consider themself to be an "artist". (of course, as with any sort of spring flower or feather flower, these are not intended to be looked at close-up as in the screen captures below , so keep in mind an audience would be viewing these from further away. At a distance the detailing will tend to blur together into an overall impression of more realistic flower shapes.)

[img]https://i.imgur.com/2ECwsEJ.jpg[/img]

These are all off-the-shelf single color flowers that have had the detailing added by Dan Harlan with Sharpie markers.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/EF3Pk1a.jpg[/img]


[img]https://i.imgur.com/NO0qxn0.jpg[/img]


Something that Dan Harlan did not address on his video is the ratio of colored blossoms to greenery. I think the advice previously given (coming from the practice of DeKolta, Devant, and others) of using a much higher ratio of green leaves than colored blossoms is an important detail. I also prefer having a predominant flower color, such as all red blossoms or all white blossoms with maybe a few pink blossoms in the mix , rather than red, yellow , blue, pink, purple, white, orange flowers mixed together. (in Harlan's bunches of flowers I wouldn't have minded seeing all the blue flowers replaced by green (leaves) to get more greenery)


The use of multi-colored tissue paper to form the blooms (as in Michael Baker's tutorial) or hand tinted tissue paper (using dye like food coloring to add soft gradients of blended color on the petals) can really help the appearance when using paper flowers (or else repurpose the more realistic silk flower petals as in the Magic Nook e-book ).

The images that Prof. Spellbinder posted at the beginning of this topic called [url=https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=269148&forum=8]Realistic Spring Flowers[/url] way back in 2008 have now vanished like a fading cloud , so for the benefit of those searching for information on how to make good looking flowers here are a few images to show you how good spring flowers can look if you follow his procedure for repurposing silk flowers from the craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Michael's , or from the Dollar Store. His e-book is called "Flowers that Bloom with a Spring", available from Magic Nook.
http://www.magicnook.com/WizJ21/wizj21-03FlowersThatBloom.htm

[img]https://i.imgur.com/hOHGuak.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i.imgur.com/Y8JKsBl.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i.imgur.com/O2Bpe5y.jpg[/img]


Here's an excerpt from an article which appeared in Genii magazine by Neil Tobin , describing how he created the magic props for a production of the musical "Barnum". He used the techniques in Prof. Spellbinder's e-book to make flower production props for this production. The director of the show said to Neil: [i]"Why don't all magicians have flowers like these ?"[/i]

[img]https://i.imgur.com/r0crcBv.jpg[/img]



-----

While we're on the subject , here's a video of French magician Dari Lary performing his Magical Gardener routine with the appearance of HUNDREDS of flowers. (imagine the set-up time! Oh, my ... but it is a beautiful effect with those hundreds of flowers cascading from the cone.)

[img]https://i.imgur.com/NM47F0H.gif[/img]

https://youtu.be/aleiI3OY5Pw

[youtube]aleiI3OY5Pw[/youtube]



.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Nov 30, 2021 04:45PM)
Continuing with a thought from above, about the idea of MORE GREEN (leaves), not as many colored Blossoms ,and keeping the color range of the blossoms either to a single color (red) or similar colors (so for example , all the blossoms on the red/pink end of scale) instead of multiple colors, here's an alteration I made in Photoshop to show what that might look like --

[img]https://i.imgur.com/PJHKTMv.png[/img]


.
Message: Posted by: Dan Ford (Nov 30, 2021 05:11PM)
I like your thinking David. I fully agree and the accents on the flowers with markers, make them 100% better.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Nov 30, 2021 09:34PM)
Ali Bongo always said put two green for every color. I stopped making them years ago. But I dyed my own paper, often tipping them with other colors. When it became too time consuming for what guys wanted to pay I stopped making them. There are pretty good directions in the Magic Handbook which was a trade paperback that came out in the 1970's or so.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Dec 1, 2021 08:33AM)
[quote]On Nov 30, 2021, hugmagic wrote:
There are pretty good directions in the Magic Handbook which was a trade paperback that came out in the 1970's or so. [/quote]

Do you remember the author? When I did a quick search I found at least a half-a-dozen books titled some variation of "Magic Handbook" or "Handbook of Magic". Are you thinking of the notorious [url=https://www.lybrary.com/magic-handbook-science-and-mechanics-p-922487.html]Science and Mechanics Magic Handbook[/url] that was released to mainstream newstands ?


Speaking of Ali Bongo and spring flowers, here is Paul Daniels performing an elaborate version of the Bongo routine "Bloomin' Stooge".

[img]https://i.imgur.com/DGIX2ok.png[/img]
(in addition the generous use of green leaves, notice that the edges of the flowers have uneven , hand-cut edges that also
contribute to the impression of real flower shapes , although this routine is played totally for laughs , so the
"realism" of the flowers is not really an issue here.)

From 0:37 - 6:57 in the video: https://youtu.be/vGcZZV5o_9g?t=37

[youtube]vGcZZV5o_9g[/youtube]


I believe a version of this routine is in one of Ali Bongo's books (or lecture notes), but it was also written up by Ali Bongo in his excellent Genii column "Under the Banyan Tree" in the October 1992 issue of Genii magazine. Here is Ali Bongo's advice on spring flowers from that article:

[i]"Most bunches of spring flowers bought from the dealers look more like some sort of Christmas decoration than real flowers, simply because there are too many colours! The secret is to use only two strong colours, such as red and yellow, and paint all the others green with waterproof coloured ink to give the effect of foliage.

Another tip is to use a felt pen to stipple the hearts of the flowers, thus giving a more textured look."[/i] [this is the technique Dan Harlan demonstrates in his video 'Tarbell 94: Further Unique Mysteries'.]

[i]"For purely practical purposes I glue a small loop of green ribbon to the stem of each flower, and then tie two flowers together with one strong linen thread. This makes resetting much faster and easier, and the need to untangle the strings becomes less frequent."[/i]


.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Dec 1, 2021 09:07AM)
This image from a Potter & Potter auction catalog may be of interest to those of you who are historically-minded magicians.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/1tXRX0M.png?1[/img]
[img]https://i.imgur.com/IYCVw2o.jpg[/img]


.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Dec 1, 2021 10:25AM)
I realize this topic is about MAKING your own Spring Flowers/Spring Bills (which is economically and aesthetically probably the best choice given that most commercially available spring flowers from dealers are dreadful; better to custom-make them yourself) , however , I have noticed these flowers from JL Magic in Korea:

https://www.jlmagic.net/product/the-real-spring-flower/16507/

These actually look rather nice to me in the photos. I wonder how the quality is? To me they look like a good representation of "tropical" type of flowers. These may give some ideas on how such flowers could be made by repurposing silk flowers from the craft stores as per Prof. Spellbinder's e-book "Flowers That Bloom With a Spring". Unfortunately these JL flowers only come in packets of 8 flowers (listed at $16.73 on the JL Magic website , but of course plan on some additional cost for shipping from Korea. Although the shipping cost should not be too bad because these are very lightweight, compact items) I'm curious to buy a packet of these to check out the quality of the actual flowers in handling . Unfortunately, to make an impressive production of flowers from a paper cone (in the classical presentation) it would probably need [i]at least[/i] 40 - 50 flowers (more would be better) . At $16.73 for a packet of 8 that would set you back $134.84 for 48 flowers. If you're not doing the classical flowers cascading from a cone you could probably use less flowers. I've also seen these type of flowers used in the "Dream Bag" type of production, where each flower box produced contains a single flower. In that case a packet of 8 flowers would do the job. These do not have the option of ordering a single color , only the multi-color packets , but I think for this style of tropical flower the "explosion of colors" works ok.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/QkxKMCe.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i.imgur.com/ruCbJ84.jpg[/img]

Not a great performance in the online demo video and the video quality is low-resolution , so it would be nice to see a high-resolution video to see how good these look in performance. Here's a somewhat blurry frame capture from the demo video:

[img]https://i.imgur.com/fT0gYhw.jpg[/img]

Also available here: https://stores.silkmagictricks.com/products/realistic-spring-flowers-by-jl-magic.html at $19.95 for a packet of 8 , but if you're in the U.S.A. the shipping cost if probably lower coming from Silk Magic Tricks.com so it might end up being less expensive than ordering directly from JL Magic in Korea (?) .




.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Dec 1, 2021 11:54AM)
Re: "tropical spring flowers" referenced above. Looks like you can get a package of 48 of these hibiscus blooms made from a silk-like polyester material for about $12.00. $24.00 will get you 96 flowers. I'm sure similar types of silk/polyester hibiscus flowers can be purchased for around the same cost.

https://www.amazon.com/KUUQA-Tropical-Hibiscus-Artificial-Decorations/dp/B075R2582Q/

Then get the e-book from Magic Nook "Flowers That Bloom With a Spring" or if you can find a copy of Michael Baker's spring flower tutorial (on Facebook, on the SME Talk Magic group) + add your time and labor to install the springs and there you go. (of course, you can probably glean enough necessary information just from the forum posts here and on other threads to understand how to install the springs, but those booklets mentioned have some good tips from the vantage point of people who have experience making these type of props.)
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Dec 1, 2021 02:02PM)
For anyone who is interested , here are instructions on how to cut the springs to attach to the tissue paper or silk blossoms and leaves to make spring flowers.

See: https://i.imgur.com/IMXqFpm.jpg


The article is actually about making [b]spring bills[/b] (paper money) , but the same technique applies to making spring flowers. (spring bills are comparatively easy to make look "realistic". You just need some good looking stage money and the springs. )

You're probably going to want to use the springy metal from a retractable tape measure. The author suggests recycling aluminum beer or soft drink cans , but back when the article was written in the mid-1970's beverage cans tended to have a thicker, springier aluminum, however modern beverage cans may not be thick enough so they don't have the required springy quality. A tape measure will work. Or just buy some cheap spring flowers from an online magic dealer to repurpose the springs for your own custom-made flowers. As has been noted previously, most of the pre-made spring flowers you can buy nowadays are atrocious (especially the horrid metallic foil "flowers" that look nothing like a flower), but you can strip away the tissue paper or foil and reuse the inner spring for your own flowers. If you can find some decent looking paper flowers that just need a little something extra to make them look better, you can use the technique that Dan Harlan demonstrates on his 'Tarbell 94: Further Unique Mysteries' video (get the video, it's got a lot of good material!) to add stippling and edge detail with markers , and also use the template that Dan Harlan shows on the video to shape the edges of the off-the-shelf flowers to have a more natural flower shape. Or if they are beyond any fixing up just use the bad off-the-shelf flowers to obtain the springs.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Dec 1, 2021 02:52PM)
Once you start looking for it there is a LOT of good information available on creating artificial flowers that can be adapted to making magic props. Check out the various crafting websites and YouTube channels that are devoted to creating artificial flowers , often with hand-tinted paper. Some very beautiful work that could be adapted to creating custom spring flowers.

See:

https://www.dreamyposy.com/flower-templates-free/

Check out what can be done by dying coffee filters to make flower blooms:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=coffee+filter+flowers

(the difference of course is that for our purposes we need to make the blooms relatively flat and compressible, not too "fluffy" , but there's still a lot of good information that can be gleaned from these flower crafting videos, especially in how they use food coloring dye to hand-tint the paper which automatically gives it more realism because of the blended gradient colors, instead of totally flat color like you see on most spring flowers from the magic store)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrVUJRsyzbg

.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Dec 1, 2021 06:16PM)
The Dekolta flowers are interesting. Realize that no one had a clue how he was doing the flowers. It was all his idea and very new. We might never have known had not one flower slipped out in front of the curtain and a magician got it and tore it apart.
A friend actually made spring flowers totally of silk. The looked great but definitely no something that would be commercially viable to make.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Dec 6, 2021 08:08AM)
For anyone interested , here are scans from the 'Science & Mechanics Magic Handbook' (1968) showing a template for making spring flowers:

[url=https://drive.google.com/file/d/18IG4uzblfX_EJnO2DbMWfgqJXwix7KQy/view]How to Make Spring Flowers[/url]



.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Dec 6, 2021 01:24PM)
Sorry I missed you original question. That is the one I was thinking of.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Dec 6, 2021 02:24PM)
[quote]On Dec 6, 2021, hugmagic wrote:
Sorry I missed you original question. That is the one I was thinking of. [/quote]

I thought that was the one you meant! I had to go dig up my copy of it. I did not remember that it had that template for making spring flowers. I think it's a pretty good explanation of how to make them , although not much detail about the "springs". (which is why I added a bit on the scans I posted.) I also cleaned-up the template a little bit to make it easier to print out and then mount it on heavy cardstock to use as guide to cut out the flower shapes.

Apparently back in the 1960's the good ones were made by a place called Madblood Creations (in San Francisco, I think ?). Supposedly those were the best spring flowers ever. The Madblood advertisements I've come across in old magic magazines do not have photographs. I'd be curious to see what they looked like.

I think this is one of those items that is just so labor intensive to make that the only way to get good ones now is to make them yourself. But I'll tell you something , Richard, I would be glad to [b]pay[/b] for a downloadable video tutorial showing step by step how to make the spring flowers properly. (hint - hint).


.
Message: Posted by: Russo (Dec 8, 2021 08:25AM)
Todd, Hi neighbor, I still have a copy of S & M's 1962 edition of MAGIC HANDBOOK. Wife and I were on tour assisting Ken & Bert Griffin's Illusion Show, when I picked up the copy. Being an Illusionist - Ken wasn't too happy about what the book showed. In it was "Famous Knife Head Box". I built it and used it often. At a cost of $35. -sold it for $350. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm 'flowers' wasn't in it - a lot of other stuff was. Ralph
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Dec 8, 2021 08:58PM)
Horace Marshall made all kinds of spring flowers for years. He made the ones for Neil Foster's zombie. He used a pastel paper that was 100% rag and no long made ( checked carefully). The pastels were in light blue, pink, cream, and white. By cutting the pattern and dipping the tips into dye, he created a very unique and colorful, non traditional spring flower. He also furnished them to P&L for the fireball. I think they were something like $2 a dozen back then. He also used silk outer leaves on them. When he sold the silk business to Ed Sequin in the 1970's, he sold the spring flowers with it. Years later, I can across an eBay auction from a local storage unit. I went to the store and tried to buy the two big rolls of spring steel without success.
So one of the reasons, I stopped making them besides the time involved is inability to get the proper materials. I used a 25% rag paper but it was only in white. Then I dyed it solid colors and tipped them. The spring steel was another problem getting.
Yes, the Magic Handbook has a template for the spring flowers. Or at least one variation of it. Look at Marshalls' 1930 Sphinx ads and see all the different types he made.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Dec 9, 2021 05:36PM)
Our fellow Magic Café forumite , Dan Ford, shared with me photos of the spring flowers he made from these tropical hibiscus flowers -

https://www.amazon.com/KUUQA-Tropical-Hibiscus-Artificial-Decorations/dp/B075R2582Q/

[img]https://i.imgur.com/W8Lxklt.jpg?1[/img]
Dan messaged me: [i]"Thank you very much for the link on Amazon for the tropical flowers. I ordered a package and I was able to make 2 dozen flowers from the kit. Took me about 6 hours to make the 2 dozen at about 15 minutes each. They are well worth the time, because they will not tear or rip and should last a lifetime."[/i]

I think they look great !

I'm posting these photos of the flowers Dan made with his permission. I hope these will inspire others to try their hand at making their own.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/8E85HCI.jpg?1[/img]

[img]https://i.imgur.com/QW12dpN.jpg?1[/img]

[img]https://i.imgur.com/WmzHLhi.jpg?1[/img]


.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Dec 19, 2021 08:16AM)
For anyone doing further research into making their own Spring Flowers (and making them have at least some resemblance to real flowers) here is a photo of Frederick Eugene Powell's blooming rosebush as it has been restored and with one example of a bloom from Powell's original bush.

Although in his later years Powell was associated with the P & L Magic Co., David Haversat notes: [i]"his blooming rose bush was unlike traditional P&L bushes in which live roses appeared. His are paper spring flowers that emerge from the tiny stems of the bush. One of Powell’s signature effects was the production of spring flowers from an empty paper cone; he poured these into an upturned transparent umbrella. Perhaps his version of the rosebush was used in connection with that effect."[/i]

(for comparison , an example of the metallic mylar "flowers" that one often encounters in magic shops nowadays. The sane person wonders in what kind of fever dream did someone imagine these things to resemble flowers ?)

[img]https://i.imgur.com/DT92xsY.png?2[/img]

The example of the red bloom used by Powell (upper left) reminds me of the few remaining examples of the original DeKolta flowers.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/1tXRX0M.png?2[/img]


.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Dec 30, 2021 01:03PM)
Another essential reference for making your own flowers is 'Victory Bouquet' by Francis B. Martineau . (Martineau is best known for his amazing artistic contribution to the three-volume Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic for which he drew thousands of illustrations and hand-lettered the entire text.)


https://www.lybrary.com/victory-bouquet-p-243.html

This is Martineau's method of making a large bouquet (complete with long stems) of spring flowers , but this book would also be enormously useful to anyone wanting to make individual spring flowers for the traditional Flowers from Paper Cone production.

$2.00 from Lybrary.com for an e-book (PDF) version.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Jan 18, 2022 03:58PM)
Another historical image of Spring Flowers for anyone researching how to make their own. This is scanned from Illustrated Magic by Ottokar Fischer. It would be nice to see this in color , but even in the black & white photo we can see how the inner part of the petals have a different color, so it gives a nice effect of having more realism than a single color petal.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/1KIL8bj.jpg[/img]
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Feb 5, 2022 10:16PM)
[quote]On Jan 18, 2022, David Todd wrote:
Another historical image of Spring Flowers for anyone researching how to make their own. This is scanned from Illustrated Magic by Ottokar Fischer. It would be nice to see this in color , but even in the black & white photo we can see how the inner part of the petals have a different color, so it gives a nice effect of having more realism than a single color petal.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/1KIL8bj.jpg[/img] [/quote]

David,

I just got back to this thread after several years. I rarely visit the Café these days (social media overload, I guess).

I'm sorry for not acknowledging your appreciation for the tutorial I posted on Facebook. So please accept a very long overdue thank you!

I am also enjoying the additional information you are supplying, especially the historical references.

Cheers!

~michael
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Feb 7, 2022 07:40PM)
Marshall used 100% rag paper with a cockle finish (think Onionskin). It came in various pastel colors of yellow, pink, blue, pale green, and red. He would then dye one end of the flower with one color of dye and use a second color on the other end. He made all of the flowers for Neil Foster's zombie. He also had many varieties of blooms. He sold the spring flower business with the silk business to the Sequins in the 1960's. They ran it a few years quit.
When I started making them, I hunted the paper. I finally found and old guy in NJ who remembered the paper. It had not be been made in over 40 years. It was made by a cigarette paper company.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Feb 8, 2022 06:59AM)
[quote]On Feb 7, 2022, hugmagic wrote:
Marshall used 100% rag paper with a cockle finish (think Onionskin). It came in various pastel colors of yellow, pink, blue, pale green, and red. He would then dye one end of the flower with one color of dye and use a second color on the other end. He made all of the flowers for Neil Foster's zombie. He also had many varieties of blooms. He sold the spring flower business with the silk business to the Sequins in the 1960's. They ran it a few years quit.
When I started making them, I hunted the paper. I finally found and old guy in NJ who remembered the paper. It had not be been made in over 40 years. It was made by a cigarette paper company. [/quote]


Thank you for the information, Richard. (too bad the specific rag paper that Marshall used is not available anymore , but it's still good information to know). Do any surviving examples of the Marshall spring flowers exist ? I would be interested to see photographs if you have any. I used the Ask Alexander database to search through Marshall's advertisements in Sphinx and Linking Ring (among others), but could not find any photos, only line drawing illustrations. (it's possible I overlooked some ads with photos; even so I expect any ads with photos from that era would be in black & white).

The other ones I've searched in vain to find photographs are the Madblood Creations spring flowers, which were advertised as being true-to-life, in a great variety of shapes and sizes. The only photo I could find is for a Madblood item called "Mad Hat Super Production" , which shows their spring Roses.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/JvZzDcI.jpg[/img]



[img]https://i.imgur.com/L2K6tY4.jpg[/img]

-------

One thing I came across in my research was David Devant's advice on using Spring Flowers:

[quote]
[i]"Spring flowers, surely the most misused articles in the whole gamut of a conjurer's apparatus, when in doubt the conjurer seems to produce a hundred bedraggled spring flowers, in the wrong places and under the wrong circumtances.

Bautier De Kolta the inventor of these flowers, twisted a piece of paper into a cornucopia and spring flowers flowed out of it until they filled an inverted sunshade (parasol) to overflowing. By the way, before I go any further, Bautier made every flower himself and he made them not of the watch spring as now, but of "thin" steel wire which took up much less room. It seems to me that the flowers are never used lavishly enough, it wants at least two thousand to make a show, but you seldom see a performer produce so many, but of course this is a big load. I had a method which arranged for that, but before I tell you this method I have another grouse to make. I had used these flowers for years and never realizing they look most unlike flowers, they look more like the paper decorations which are strung together for Christmas time. I was producing a Chinese act when I noticed this, and what I did was as follows:

[b]I had all the flowers dyed green so that they represented foliage only and then I added one flower representing a white or red rose one for every nine leaves of foliage; there you had the natural effect at once, a green mass jeweled with flowers. The flowers may be all one color or a couple of colors, and should look as much like roses as possible. I beg of you all who are using these flowers to copy this method and I am sure you will be pleased with the result.[/b]"[/i]

-David Devant[/quote]
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Feb 8, 2022 07:45AM)
[quote]On Feb 5, 2022, Michael Baker wrote:

David,

I just got back to this thread after several years. I rarely visit the Café these days (social media overload, I guess).

I'm sorry for not acknowledging your appreciation for the tutorial I posted on Facebook. So please accept a very long overdue thank you!

I am also enjoying the additional information you are supplying, especially the historical references.

Cheers!

~michael [/quote]


Hi, Michael -

Good to see you here again. I guess we're all burned out with too many social media options; I know how you feel !

Here is all the information I've collected so far: https://tinyurl.com/springflowersdoc
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Feb 9, 2022 11:00AM)
Yes, I have some originals that I will need to take photos of.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Feb 9, 2022 10:29PM)
[quote]On Feb 8, 2022, David Todd wrote:



Hi, Michael -

Good to see you here again. I guess we're all burned out with too many social media options; I know how you feel !

Here is all the information I've collected so far: https://tinyurl.com/springflowersdoc [/quote]

Great info. I tried to share my PDF tutorial here, but the Café system says the file is too big.
Message: Posted by: Jean André (Mar 18, 2022 10:51AM)
[quote]On Feb 9, 2022, Michael Baker wrote:
I tried to share my PDF tutorial here, but the Café system says the file is too big. [/quote]


I think to share a PDF or other large file the best method is to share it on Google Drive or Dropbox and post the link here. Both Google Drive and Dropbox offer a certain amount of free storage for file hosting (photos, documents) . Dropbox up to 2GB of storage for free. Google is up to 15GB free.

I think you can also publish on Lybrary.com . Most self-published works on Lybrary cost a certain price, but I have noticed some e-publications there offered for no cost. Or even if you only charged a nominal fee of $1.00 for your manuscript , that would return a bit on your investment of time for putting together the tutorial.


.



.