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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Non Gimmicked Production and Manipulation of Candles (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22437 Posts

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It seems there has been a little interest in the Multiplying Candles recently on this forum. Mostly these questions have been concerning the gimmicked sets sold in magic stores. As this is the Finger/Stage Manipulation topic, I thought I would discuss other sources of Candle Manipulation, namely the manipulation of real and dummy candles, which I have not seen mentioned.

Fred Kaps, Ger Copper, and Lance Burton were the 1st magicians go a little further with candle manipulation. Kaps in his early videos did use the standard set of gimmicked candles, but then added 6 single imitation candles to the mix, producing them in a unorthodox manner. Then Ger Copper manipulated some very slim kind of candle (I believe they are called Tappers in England) in other video I found on YouTube. Lance Burton choose to go beyond the simple production and produced 4 Fantasio Candles in a traditional looking production with an untraditional display. This of course helped him win FISM. All these performers are FISM winner, simply because of their talent and creative choices.

It is possible to manipulate and multiply real standard emergency candles as we call then here in the U.S. They are about 7/8" in diameter and about 4" in length. Fred Kaps choose to use imitation emergency type candles and later moved to giant candles. Ger Copper moved from his thin candles to a more realistic large candle.

There is a Manipulation book that was published by Supreme Magic about 40 years ago called, "Mainly Manipulative Magic by John Alborough who won a contest in England. It is a very thin and good hard bound book on Billiard Balls, Thimbles, Candles, and Reel magic with a silk and hoop. It just describes his act material that he won with, all routines are very short. It is easily looked over by most magicians. My reason for mentioning this book, is simply to say, one has to start somewhere with the creation of a routine. John's 4 candle production is very different them any I have seen or read. He products 4 electronic candles, but any dummy candle or even real could be used. They use real candles for the photos in the book.

I wish I would have known what an important candle U.F. Grant designed back in the 1960's. It was one of his 1st offering for the comedy Lite Candle from Pocket effect. What was so unique was the this dummy candle used the guts from the famous novelty item that was sold as the Classic Miniature Coke Bottle Lighter. I have found the best igniter for a dummy candle is to use the lighter fluid striker devices. It is a simple matter to use a wooden dowel and the fluid chamber to create a manipulative candle for productions. The newer Butane type of devices are sub-par to the lighter fluid model for magic purposes, in my opinion. But only one or two candles need the striker, as the rest will be lit by the 1st candle. If the 1st candle is to be produced lit, which is my preferred preference. If not a lighter or lit match production would be a good alternative.

It is also a simple matter to just attaché the device to a 7/8" brass tube and use it in this manner, which allows for better control and stealing of the candles. Of course this means more thought on the part of the magician. Now he has to figure out where to steal from and how he will display the candles. How many he would think would be magic and mystifying to his audiences. Clothing is another consideration of working with individual candles. Body movements, along with hand and arm movements and displays have to be considered. Depending on where in the act you will present your routine, gimmicks to hold the candles will have to be devised.

There is just so many pockets traditional clothing has, therefore creativity to alternatives is desirable to create a more magical approach to obtaining and producing the candles.

Just as manipulators work with Cards, Coins, Thimbles, Cigarettes, Balls, Doves, Parasols, CDs, Hand Fans, and even Eggs, so can Candles.

With Manipulation Magic, it is not simply the buying of a prop that makes the magic, but the Magician and his skill and knowledge, combined with his cloths, tables and containers.

James Rainho makes and sells an large Electronic Self-Lighting Candle that does work. He also sells a production device so it can be produced like a Dove Production.

Just thought I would mention this type of manipulation as there is an alternative to super expensive Multiplying Candles that do not allow for more creative style in a person's magic.
funsway
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Inner circle
old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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Your great efforts here deserve a response. I no longer perform in venues where such effects would be possible, but always got a great response from any use of candles "back when."

Producing candles unlit can be OK too if placed in a holder and all lit later on -- thus, having instant fire is not a limitation.

I have a 1925 set of Multiplying Candles that did not work well when someone opened a door to the side of the stage. Sigh!
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Thanks for all that information, Bill. I don't know if you recall, but many years ago, Cricket lighters (butane) used to be cylindrical. There was a marketed item, a tube that the lighter would fit into. Then with a bayonet-type notch in the tube, the lighter could be struck and then shifted to the side where it would lock in the ON position. They worked and the lighters were cheap to replace. But as you mentioned, lighter fluid devices are better. I think butane flames can be blown out too easily.

The old school style of production candles were nothing more than a wood dowel with a kitchen match.

If unlit candles are to be used, there are some sources for cigar manipulation that could be adapted to the shorter candles.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22437 Posts

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Hi funsway, candle flames and matches are usually permitted even in none fire effect buildings,or as the say pyro effects. Sort of the same use of a birthday candle, which are permitted almost everywhere. Check your local ordinances of course. Anything bigger is not allowed. Usually a candle routine only last several seconds to a minute, and if it is a real problem just have a fire extinguisher nearby to calm the nerves of others. Actually, Fred Kaps just placed the burning candles in his pant and breast pockets. He also had a box with lid to place the overflow of produced candles in.

Sorry to hear your candle went out. One way to get help prevent a light breeze snuffing out your candles is to use smokeless and odorless lamp oil. No need for lighter fluid unless they are be ignited with a flint striker or electronic ignition system. Then only the lead candle need be lighter fluid. Lamp Oil will not snuff out so easily. Even if it does, I believe I mentioned in the comments (and if I did not, I will here.) above using and having a lighter or match producer on your person. Easily relight, after all the trick is not "stay lit" candle, but the multiplication of the candles.

That brings up a good point as well, being prepared, simply by having an additional match or lighter, you can continue without incident. Every candle will go out at one time or another. So carry 2 matches with you to your magic shows, remember Murphy's Law, what goes wrong - can go wrong or something like that. So have a backup for your backup would be a good rule.

The reason I mention using a lighter, is because, I am reminded about Jeff McBride's lecture notes on his Commando Act. He used a Bic Lighter to light objects. He just hid the body of the lighter in his hand, behind his fingers. Strike the striker, and the flame was only appear above the index finger. Reaching out like to simulate producing the light magically.

The point of my post was to inform manipulators that there is an alternative to the traditional single purpose expensive candle devices magician usually associate as the only choice to candle manipulation.

Finally, practice the whole routine, with all the props and holders at hand. Know all that you can of any routine and try to foresee any problems.

Public announcement - Fire is dangerous and should always be handled in a safe and serious manner. Please be responsible.
Nick W
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Kaps had a wickedly beautiful candle routine.
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22437 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
Quote:
On Dec 1, 2014, Michael Baker wrote:
Thanks for all that information, Bill. I don't know if you recall, but many years ago, Cricket lighters (butane) used to be cylindrical. There was a marketed item, a tube that the lighter would fit into. Then with a bayonet-type notch in the tube, the lighter could be struck and then shifted to the side where it would lock in the ON position. They worked and the lighters were cheap to replace. But as you mentioned, lighter fluid devices are better. I think butane flames can be blown out too easily.

The old school style of production candles were nothing more than a wood dowel with a kitchen match.

If unlit candles are to be used, there are some sources for cigar manipulation that could be adapted to the shorter candles.


Recall, I have a small collection of out of date Candle from Pockets. That is one of the reasons I have given up on purchasing tricks that require consumer products.

The match in dowel stick is described in the Mechanical Science magazine from the 1960's.
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