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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Spring Flower Magic (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Tod Todson
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Any DVD's or good books on spring flower magic/production? Thanks in advance!
Mystifier, Youth Speaker
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SpellbinderEntertainment
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Though I've heard Spring Flowers mentioned in a few DVD's, there is a pretty good reason there is not more currently about them, they are very outdated in today's magic world.

Spring Flowers were invented by Bautier DeKolta well over a hundred years ago. Back then the theatres were huge, some sat over 3,000 people, and the stages were very large so the performer was far even from the front rows.

The old theatres were lit by gaslight, dim by today’s standards, and it had a slight flicker to it, as did the arc-spotlights.

When DeKolta used them, he had literally hundreds and hundreds, they were loose, and had long yarn “stems”, they were quite lovely, and all cascaded out of a huge paper cone and were caught by lovely young ladies, in many upturned parasols. It was very impressive.

About 2/3rds of the “flowers” were green, and only about 1/3 were colored, (as in nature with any bouquet of flowers, the greenery far outweighs the colored blossoms).

Due to the huge “barn” of a space he was playing, the dimmer and odd lighting of the time, the sheer number he produced, the distance he was from the spectators, the green outnumbering the (natural) colored buds, his production looked very realistic back in those days.

It was not until a gust of wind from a backstage door blew just one flower into the lap of a competitor magician that the secret was out, and now for over a century almost every magician has used these things in some form or other.

The Truth is (as should be obvious form my history lesson) is that Spring Flowers no longer make very good production items, they only look like “flowers” to magicians, but just “wads of tissue paper” to modern audiences.

Most are in garish colors, there is not enough green-to-color ratio, and they are used far too close, often in “bunches” like bouquets, rather than loose, and they are just not deceptive in today’s performance spaces.

If you must use them, make your own and only use them far upstage in very large auditoriums.

Anyway, my unpopular two-cents,.
Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
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Michael Baker
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Walt,

CONTEXT! CONTEXT!! CONTEXT!!!

Your comments are based on the assumption that these are being passed off as real flowers. Magic should not be defined by such limitations.

Suppose a magician were to take a couple pieces of tissue, and through some bits of paper folding, or tearing, his actions resulted in the transformation to a paper flower. Wow! Origami!!

Now, let's assume that this routine is taken a bit further... to say a color change, or a sudden increase in size, or quantity... one paper flower becomes two. A perpetual production or a gigantic explosion of paper flowers could easily be in the next few steps.

I don't think it's necessary to go on and completely write someone a new routine, because I am sure you understand my point.

Don't be too quick to dismiss something as outdated, or impractical. To use a terribly cliche phrase to suggest doing something that is not... think outside the box.

BTW - I made my own many years ago, and those used for single productions are quite different than ordinary, but I never tried to hide the fact that they were paper. Those I made for a huge explosion of flowers are much less detailed. They don't have to be. The suggestion has already been planted (ok, pun), and the ensuing barrage of colors (non-descript paper flowers) registers as only more (many more) of the same.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
hugmagic
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I am going to also state that spring flowers have a place in magic. Heck, the cups and ball are older than all that if that is basis we are going on. Dekolta's vanishing girl and birdcage are still being worked a lot.

Production items (silks, spring flowers, rubber goods, feather flowers) are a wow item. It is a flash of color that is eye candy to the audience. They are not set up to be a great mystery. More like how in the world did you get that all in there. Work for layman and it still plays. Forget the magicians!!

As to the original question..the best source is books. The old paper cone production is still very impressive if properly done. Jeff McBride's "Magic on Stage" has some spring flower items on them. Don Tanner had a book called "Flowers that Spring". I think Magic Inc. published it. Ali Bongo had some ideas on them as did Karrell Fox.

One point is correct in that there are two green flowers for every colored one to give it a more balanced look.

BTW, the people's choice winner at the IBM and SAM convention last summer featured thousands of spring flowers. So somebody must still like it.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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Darkwing
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I did a Eastern Indian style show a few years back and used part of the Silk Road routine featured in one of Jeff McBrides DVDs which produced spring flowers one by one. Lots of ooohs and ahhs from the crowd with a couple of comments "look at the pretty flowers".

It's the opinions of the people that write your paycheck that matter.

David
WagsterMagic
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There is a lot more of flower stuff on the McBride dvd as well.

It is McBride on stage vol. 2.

Good Luck!

-Brandon
The Wagsters: World Class Magic & Illusion
www.wagstermagic.com
Father Photius
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I've heard complaints about the practicality of spring flowers and feather flowers many times, but only coming from magicians, never audiences. One of the magicians who helped me get into school shows did a Botanica routine with both feather flowers, spring flowers, and feather dart flowers. He filled the stage with them. Most of the magicians in our magic club thought his whole routine was "hack" and way outdated (we are talking early 1970's) Yet it was one of the biggest hits of his shows with the audience. Magicians often fall into the delusion that unless something impresses magicians that it doesn't impress audiences. And to second what Richard said, I saw the young Chinese lady who did the massive spring flower production routine at the SAM convention and it got a raise the roof audience reaction (and a lot of the audience was composed of magicians). Also a couple of years ago at WMS a contestant in the stage competition did a comedy routine with bow ties that were basically spring flowers that not only won the competition, but had the audience rolling in the floor, and the audience was over 90% magicians. The spring flower is far from a dead prop.
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Paul Jester
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I do a spring flower segment in my act. People love it. I work this act a lot, and it's my most requested act. I use mostly single productions, with a silk fountain half-way and I end with a bunch (soon to be two...)

For sources I took what I knew about coin and card manipulations and applyed it to the flowers. My opening sequence is similar to Geoffrey Buckinghams Misers Dream, the silk fountain is from the gloves ala Invisible Dove Harness, and I end with two hands producing, then the bunch which is again a loop steal so the hands are empty.

I made some toys so that I can back-palm 7, or an adaptation lets me do 14, pivoting between Eclipse style productions, and perfect style productions.

I figure that the spring flowers are an artistic representation of what I'm trying to convey.

When I'm old and retiring, and learnt even more about the flowers, I'll publish the ultimate spring flower manipulation DVD hehe! Think it'd be popular?

Paul
Michael Baker
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In fairness, I should mention that when I was young(er) I fell into the trap of believing what I heard about feather flowers... that they looked more like feather dusters, than flowers. Then, I saw a Hibiscus plant for the first time!! I was stunned at how superbly nature had made them, so they resembled magicians' flowers! Smile

~michael
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Tod Todson
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The Chinese magician in question may be Xu Qiu.

Her beautiful routine can be seen on the "World Magic Seminar Japan 2001" dvd from Stevens Magic.

An explosion of colours that fills the stage with a mountain of flowers!

Much prettier, I admit, then the ubiquitous card flourishes done today by nearly everyone.

Which looks more beautiful to an audience, a hundred white cards at their feet, or a cascade of paper flowers in a rainbow of bright or pastel colours?

Remember, magic is an ART form. And beauty is very much art.

Best,
Tod
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Sealegs
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Well I don't use spring flowers but I've always really liked the effect of them when produced singly or individually in an overflowing torrent.

A friend of mine who works continually on the cryise ships includes a spring flower section in his act and it gets a great response as does his whole show. (He's usually booked up a year or more in advance)

So although I'd agree that buches of spring flowers prduced as an irrelevant 'colourful climax' inevitably looks twee and misses the mark I still think they can be used to good effect.

Neal
Neal Austin

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Magikrn
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I have an old magic catalogue, cleverly named "The Magic Catalogue", and it teaches how to make spring flowers. They are clever and I would actually use them in a show. I may have to make some one of these days.

Now back to the question at hand, are there any media that teach how to make and routines to use them?
hugmagic
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Read my earlier post.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
afoi
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Hey guys, I recently found a book that teaches few good stuff with stage magic.
It's by Kazu Katayama.
And also UGM have a good dvd on spring flower production too.
Without disclosing secret to the public, you may PM me, I can share with you what I learned about spring flowers.
- a f o i -
ufo
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Just another opinion here...Spring flowers likely wont pass for real. And the magic of the spring flower (or bill, etc) is the ability to create a large, space filling something from nothing.
If the presentation is fanciful and colorful and you remember to do the quantity to make the effect really magical it will work.
Case in point...see Simon Drake do it on "Secret Cabaret" dvds.
"What's your drug?" she asked. "Hope" he said, "The most addicting one of all."
Paul Jester
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Have you seen Shen Juan doing the spring flowers? I was so proud of my work with them, then I saw her, and now my work looks pathetic. But in a weird way I'm glad someone's taken them so far.
Paul
TheAmbitiousCard
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I sell the spring flowers from TORA if you're looking for a good deal on these kinds of items. The people that have bought them from me really like them. I don't use them personally.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
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Bill Hegbli
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I use spring paper flowers in my confette bowl routine. The audience goes wild over the surprise and beauty.

As for source material, try 'Flowers that Bloom with a Spring' is one small book.
donrodrigo
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Wasn't Thayer one of the leading flower makers?? Hope I spelled it ok.Correct me if you will.
Bob Sanders
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I think one of the real short-comings of modern "entertainers" is that they treat avoiding "eye candy" for the audience as a virtue.

To me that is a great mistake! Celebrations are marked by "eye candy". Take advantage of the opportunity. Otherwise, you have only produced part of the show.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

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