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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » Silk effect recommendations for beginners? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bob G
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Hi folks,


Can you suggest some simple silk effects that would be good for beginners? If you could include sources (books, pamphlets, DVD's, downloads) that would teach the tricks and describe what kinds and sizes of silks are needed for the tricks, that would also help. I have a few pamphlets on silks, and a few books that have sections on silks -- one is Mark Wilson's popular book (Complete Book of Magic??). I also have Karl Fulves' book on self-working handkerchief magic.


Part of my interest in silks stems from my love of color, so tricks that display the colors to advantage would be especially welcome.


My audiences are small, about one to three friends and family members, so the tricks would have to be suitable for close-up work, preferably at a dinner table. I've always performed seated; I don't know whether I'm putting on too many restrictions to be realistic, but that's one thing I want to learn about!


Thanks so much for your help.


Best Regards,


Bob
ray1
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Also see Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic. It has just about everything.
Bill Hegbli
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I suggest you browse this website

https://laflinmagicstore.com/

This is an excellent source for silk magic.
David Todd
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I would echo ray1 in suggesting the Rice Enycyclopedia of Silk Magic as a great resource. Although much of the material in the Rice books is intended for stage presentation some of the tricks can be adapted to performing seated at a table (for instance color changes using a dye tube or palmo ball). There is handkerchief magic covered in the Tarbell Course (various volumes). Again, most of the silk handkerchief magic in Tarbell is intended for stand-up performance , but some of it can be adapted for sitting down. In the situation you describe , even if your guests are seated , you could stand up to perform, using a small side table for any props you might use. Standing up gives you options such as using things like a hank pull.

You mentioned you have Karl Fulves' book on Self-working Handkerchief Magic. That book has some excellent material.

Slydini's knotted/unknotted handkerchiefs effect can be performed while seated at the table. Tony Clark (who studied with Slydini) markets it as "Sly Scarves": https://www.tonyclarkmagicstore.com/prod......-scarves

Various methods of burnt and restored or cut and restored handkerchief could be done seated at the table. It is infrequent nowadays to encounter social situations where smoking is acceptable , but if you ever do find yourself in such a setting , it's hard to beat the classic vanish of a lit cigarette in a handkerchief. I don't smoke , I don't suggest anyone should, but if I find myself in a venue where people are smoking I'll take the opportunity to perform this classic! (of course in the present situation -- re: coronavirus -- I don't know if any tricks involving borrowed items will be considered appropriate for a while, aside from however you or your guests may feel about smoking). I'm just saying , aside from however people may feel about smoking , it's a great effect using a handkerchief. If you are a subscriber to Genii magazine you have access to all the past issues in their digital archive. Look up the March 2003 issue with Ross Bertram on the cover. In that issue David Ben teaches Ross Bertram's refined handling of vanishing a cigarette in a handkerchief. Bertram's presentation is best done standing up, but it could be done while seated. In Dan Harlan's video series on the Tarbell Course "Tarbell: Every Trick in the Book" in Tarbell 6: Thumb Tip he shows a version of the vanishing cigarette where it is pushed into a borrowed baseball cap or jacket , rather than a borrowed handkerchief because it is less frequent to find people carrying handkerchiefs these days (you can get a quick glimpse of this in the preview video here: https://www.penguinmagic.com/p/4740 at 00:27 - 00:30 ... you can use your own handkerchief of course , but there is something significant about performing magic with borrowed items ... no possibility that it's a "trick handkerchief" ... Again, we're in a very odd time right now , so any sort of magic that involves using borrowed items or handling of items that are touched by both the performer and a spectator are out of bounds right now ...

There is a DVD called 'Examining The Thumb Tip' by Alexander de Cova https://magikraft.com/examining-the-thum......cription
The main three routines taught are stand-up effects , but at one point during the discussion/teaching portion of the DVD (with Martin Lewis) Alexander de Cova demonstrates his philosophy in handling the TT and shows how it is applied to something like the standard vanish of a small silk handkerchief which then reappears from a coin purse. (or the silk could be reproduced from a dinner roll) . It's worth getting this DVD for more reasons than one , but if you're looking for a silk trick you can work close-up at the table , just this one item where he demonstrates how to properly vanish and reproduce a silk with a TT is worth the price. (Sadly, you will find terrible examples all over YouTube of inept performers stuffing a little red hanky into their fist, finishing by rather awkwardly and obviously jamming it in with their thumb ... don't do it like that ! But then learn Alexander de Cova's handling and you'll have a miracle).

Several years ago Michael Ammar was teaching a version of Silk Thru Mic Stand that was adapted for close-up , where the silk penetrates through the handle of a coffee cup. The difficulty is finding the necessary item that is silent enough to use it close-up. The one that Micheal was recommending was the now nearly impossible to find El Duco
r _ _ l. (no longer being made) On stage a r _ _ l that makes a small noise isn't a problem , but if you're doing it close-up , you need a silent one. Someone may have a suggestion of a good one that is silent. I don't do this trick, so I don't know.
Bob G
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Thanks, David, for taking the time of offer this wealth of information. It will take *me* some time to look into it! I've been looking through the materials I already own and have found that Fulves is excellent. It's been sitting on my bookshelf patiently waiting for me to notice it.


Regards,


Bob
David Todd
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Yes, just save the information for future reference . It's possible to get overwhelmed with TOO MUCH reference material and then you wonder: "Where do I start?"

I agree with you that the Karl Fulves book is excellent (I would say it's "too good" for publishing to the general public , but that horse already escaped from the barn) and just to focus on really mastering some of those tricks in the Fulves book would be best. The Fulves book has one of my favorites: Phoa Yan Tiong's Cut and Restored Silk , called "Ultra Cut" in the Fulves book. You can do it with an ordinary white pocket handkerchief , so buy two dozen plain white handkerchiefs (as cheap as you can find online or at a Dollar Store) and start practicing. If you wash them first it will soften them , make them less stiff than they are when they come straight out of the package. Easier to work with if they aren't too stiff. Save the silk for using in a real performance (although you can also just use the plain white handkerchief in performance).

Here is DC performing it on one of his early TV specials:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl0-sjkkDbw




.
Bob G
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I will most certainly save your post for future reference. It's nice to have your affirmation on the Fulves book, as I haven't been in magic for long enough to always trust my judgment about these things. I see your point about the book being "too good," but in my mind this is a case where the chance of the book inspiring children (or potential grandfathers like me) outweighs worries about exposure.


I had seen the Phoa Yan Tiong trick in the book, but wasn't about to destroy my precious silks! But the idea of using cheap handkerchiefs is a good one. It was fun to watch the youtube clip; it really is amazing. Always fun to watch "old" bits of TV, too, to see what people thought was glamorous and sophisticated at the time.


I'm especially attracted to Sympathetic Silks and color changes, and have marked the relevant pages in Fulves.
FrankFindley
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Chameleon Silks is a closeup double color changing silk which can be done sitting down. It has very good angles when done properly with palm towards audience. You can also use it as a blendo such as a flag blendo - red silk turns to white, white silk turns to flag.

Twentieth century silk was a table trick early on. Two blue silks are tied together and placed in a glass handed to one spectator Red silk is placed in between two plates and handed to another spectator. Bam, red silk dissapears from plates and magically appears tied between two blue silks. Personally, I would ditch plate vanish and just do an in the hand vanish of red silk.

Silk through arm is a good table trick. You tie a silk around arm of person sitting next to you. It visibly passes through.

Coin through ring with a silk is a natural complement to the above. In this a coin is wrapped in silk, the ends of which are passed trough a smaller ring. Yet amazingly the coin passes through it.

Hyrum the hillarious haunted hank (aka glorpy) is a simple and fun table animation effect. People underestimate the impact it can create. I have recently also been playing with Puck's handout hank. That could be done at a table, though he tends to use a handkerchief instead of a silk.

Also with a handkerchief is the cut and restored handkerchief. However, it destroys a handkercief each time (cheap from dollar store).

While not a silk effect, if you like something beautiful while sitting down, check out Harlan's Starcle. It uses a paper napkin and really produces a big impact. It is a go to for sit down magic.
Bob G
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Thanks for all these appealing ideas, Frank. I appreciate your emphasizing tricks that can be done sitting at a table. I recognize many of the effects from books I own, especially Fulves. I don't think I've seen Coin through ring with a silk, though. Do you have a reference or two for it by any chance?
Ray Pierce
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Yes, I have a large collection of silk resource material including all of the Silk Encyclopedias but The one routine I still do 40 years later is material I pour together using a single silk out of Rice's "More Naughty Silks". I think it should be essential reading for beginners and experts alike. https://www.amazon.com/Rices-More-Naught......0FGHL1PU
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David Todd
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Quote:
On Jul 26, 2020, Ray Pierce wrote:
Yes, I have a large collection of silk resource material including all of the Silk Encyclopedias but The one routine I still do 40 years later is material I pour together using a single silk out of Rice's "More Naughty Silks". I think it should be essential reading for beginners and experts alike. https://www.amazon.com/Rices-More-Naught......0FGHL1PU



Listed for $14.50 (+ $3.99 shipping) on the Amazon link above.

Just thought I'd mention you can still get it from the original source, Rice Silk King Studios , for $8.00 :

http://www.silkkingmagic.com/Rice's%20M......ilks.htm



.
Bob G
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Thanks, Ray and David. I've bought some materials from Ruth Rice Crone of Rice Silk King Studios. She's great -- very helpful. I'd recommend her to anyone.


Bob
Magical Moments
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On Jul 26, 2020, Bob G wrote:
Thanks, Ray and David. I've bought some materials from Ruth Rice Crone of Rice Silk King Studios. She's great -- very helpful. I'd recommend her to anyone.


Bob


She is a fantastic lady and has the best silks and silk books in the biz! Her dad literally wrote the books on silk magic. There is enough material and top quality silks to go with the effects to be all set.
FrankFindley
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On Jul 26, 2020, Bob G wrote:
I don't think I've seen Coin through ring with a silk, though. Do you have a reference or two for it by any chance?


hugmagic
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I believe it is in Bobo.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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FrankFindley
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On Aug 6, 2020, hugmagic wrote:
I believe it is in Bobo.


If memory serves, in Bobo a business card with a hole cut in it is used instead of a ring. The card has something like "Challenge: can you pass a quarter through this hole?" Which is a neat idea for providing a unique keepsake.
hugmagic
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I know Bill Baird did that with a business card.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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FrankFindley
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On Aug 7, 2020, hugmagic wrote:
I know Bill Baird did that with a business card.


That is quite an endorsement. Mr Baird was a bit before my time but I have heard several fondly speak of him at Abbott get togethers.

Just checked Bobo. It contains both the coin through ring and coin through card done with the special something. There is also a gimmickless coin through ring method given. The coin through ring is in the classics section so it really has met the test of time. There is also presented a coin through handkerchief method which would make for a good pre-phase.

I really need to start rereading the classics. So much good material I have forgotten.
JNeal
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Isn't the The coin through card described in John Mulholland's "Book of Magic"..?
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martonikus
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Coin thru Silk (no gimmicks are needed)
Thimble thru Silk (same)
Silk thru Arm (same) - it's a killer
Chameleon Silks
Davey's Festival Rings is a beautiful dinner table effect using Silks

Tell us what you wind up using!
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