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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » Diamond Shaped Silks in Magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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gerard1973
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Magicians normally use square shaped silks in the majority of their silk routines; however, I’ve heard some magicians tell others that they only use diamond shaped silks in the Silk Fountain Effect and in t***b tips.

From what I understand, diamond shaped silks were especially designed for magic. Their unique design allows them to be as large as possible while yet being able to be compressed into a small size.

You would think that with these great properties you would see diamond shaped silks used everywhere in magic, but I hardly ever see these silks used in magic. Why is this? Do diamond shaped silks have any other uses in magic besides the two above examples?
"Confusion is not magic."
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Dave Scribner
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You've probably seen diamond silks more often than you think. If handled properly, they look like regular silks. You don't produce them to show them as diamonds. Because of their design, they look like full size silks but take up a lot less space.
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Bob Sanders
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The diamond shaped silks are not without problems. The most obvious problem is that they are just for a flash held from the top corner to look like a full silk.

They are fine for canes, torches, etc. unless you plan to use them for cover of a production. Then you will know that they are more like a necktie than a square silk.

The second problem is that the hems are just not as good as the flat hems in a square silk and that in itself takes extra room.

Since a regular square silk is cheaper and more useful, diamond shaped ones only make sense where there is no option to use a real silk.

Currently I see a lot of magicians trying to use diamond shaped silks in TT vanishes. In a nutshell, I'm unimpressed. Often it looks fake as a vanish and is a disaster as a production from a TT. To me, that is a bad combination. There are lighter weight full silks that look fine with the TT.

And now for confession time: Do I have any? Yep! (a bunch of them) But I only use them with metal canes. I would also gladly trade them for regular silks. They weren't worth the money. Diamond shaped silks don't allow the routine to continue flowing. They are automatic endings that are not very spectacular. I rate them like an "almost perfect tattoo".

I have 2 dozen that are 18" and one dozen that are 24". Make me a deal! I'm all ears.

Bob Sanders
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Dave Scribner
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The best use of diamond silks that I've seen is General Grant's fountain of silks. If you've seen this you know that as the silks bubble out of your hands, they fall to the floor or receptacle. You can produce quite a large bubbling fountain with diamonds.

Bob is right though, they are good for vanishing cane and candle work.
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Alan Munro
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Quote:
On 2004-07-19 07:37, Bob Sanders wrote:
The second problem is that the hems are just not as good as the flat hems in a square silk and that in itself takes extra room.

It depends on who makes them. I have one with tight rolled hems.
Bob Sanders
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Quote:
On 2004-07-19 17:57, Alan Munro wrote:
Quote:
On 2004-07-19 07:37, Bob Sanders wrote:
The second problem is that the hems are just not as good as the flat hems in a square silk and that in itself takes extra room.

It depends on who makes them. I have one with tight rolled hems.

Alan,

My hems are rolled also. We just don't agree on that being better.

Bob Sanders
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hugmagic
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Rolled hems tend to be bulky and less durable. Some guys top stitch over them to make them more secure.

Are you sure Gen Grant does not use diagonals instead of Diamonds? I do not recall ever seeing him use diamonds.

I make up the 15" full silks for Dale Salwak to use in his cane to silk. It is a slightly lighter weight. The Japanese canes will take an 18" silk but is only about a 4mm.
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Dave Scribner
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Richard, You are correct about Gen Grant. I've confused the words Diamond and Diagonal. I've owned his fountain for a long time and it does use diagonals.
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hugmagic
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I just kind of guessed at that as diamond silks are a relatively new idea and Gen has been doing that act for years. Old Pros just do not change things.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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Kjellstrom
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Jay Scott Berry has very fine Diamond Silks:

http://www.jayscottberry.com/jsbsilks.html

I saw him in Sweden many years ago and he did some very powerful routines with his Eclipse thumb tip and diamond silks, looked like real magic Smile
I have his Eclipse TT and it's my favourite TT.
stephenbanning
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I've not been impressed with diamond silks as a whole, although I saw a reasonable routine using them a month ago with a dye tube. However, I don't find them as attractive in production. They don't "pop" open and drape as full silks do.
Bob Sanders
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One of the greatest problems with a gimmicked silk is that the magicians frequently handle them like a gimmicked silk. The reason they use real jewelry in movies is because the actors know the difference. Acting can only do so much.

Bob Sanders
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Powermagic
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I have a diamond silk from Berry and do not get it. They look scrawny to me when held by the end and NOT in any way like a full silk.
JNeal
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I would concur with Bob on this one. I have used only one 'diamond shaped silk' in all my years in magic and that was just in a trick where I wanted the look of a 30" in a load space that was designed for an 18". And the silk was never really clearly displayed...rather it was tucked into a plexiglas cylinder just before it vanished from sight!

The look is scrawny and as Bob points out..it limits the use of the silk in other effect either preceding or after.
I don't care for them in a fountain of silks...I'd rather produce 3 silks of regular proportions by palming than a dozen from a Th******p!
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Regan
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Quote:
On 2004-07-20 21:24, hugmagic wrote:
I just kind of guessed at that as diamond silks are a relatively new idea and Gen has been doing that act for years. Old Pros just do not change things.


I remember reading an article about General Grant and his version of the Silk Fountain. He does use diagonal silks. He described how to make them in the article. I also remember his suggestion for using a receptacle to 'catch' the silks. That was a great tip I have used for a long time.

Regan
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Yehuda
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As Dave said (5 years ago lol), you probably see diamond cut silks more than you think. They are used all of the time in stage manipulation. As one example, Jeff McBride recommends to use it in "Manipulation without Tears" for the card to silk effect.

Yehuda
magicians
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Bob taught me the volume difference using diamonds versus standard. I have greatly enhanced my silk effects.
I use three silks in my appearing cane instead of one.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
indomagic
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I am using diamond silks for my fantasio vanishing cane. It much faster than regular silks.
Bob Sanders
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Yes! The world changes. For years (look how far back even this thread goes) I was totally against diamond shaped silks. They have changed and so have I.

Early shots at creating partial silks to pass as square silks were truly very BAD news.

Some were actually only triangles (that looked like... triangles!) Others were not diamonds at all but "kites" with two size edges (short at one end and long at the other). Even worse were the ones much like them that had a short and long side at each end and two "center" corners nowhere near the center. Then once that they were finally true "diamond cut" with all four edges of equal length, because of the direction of the cut, they hung like bath mats instead of silk.) The only way I ever offered those for sale was as salvage. They were OK for tying tomato plants to stakes! Apparently some made it to magic shops anyway. I'm sorry!

Modern diamond cut silks are indeed cut diamond shaped with all four edges the same size, straight and the center corners are in the center of the diagonal. The angle of the cut even allows the silk to hang as if it were a square silk held by a corner rather than a straight edge. They look like a square silk!

I think of them as gimmicks rather than just silks. Today the good ones are true assets to a magic show. They look and behave like square silks and, we are proud to say, that our diamond cut silks are used by professional magicians all over the world. We've come a very long ways in the development of this product. And I was a very tough customer to sell on them. Now I use them in almost every show.

Not all diamond cut silks are equal. But the good ones are GREAT!

Give them a try!


Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

PS --- Don't over pay. Remember that silks are measured ONLY by hemmed edges and never diagonals. The price for the good diamond cut silks should be about the same as the square silk they appear to be. They should take about 1/4 the space of the square silk they appear to be.
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jimhlou
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I just bought my first diamond cut silks, and boy am I disappointed. I bought 18" silks thinking they would be equivalent to an 18" silk. WRONG! They are actually 15" long, and look more like a 9 or 12" silk. An 18" silk hangs down about 24", they hang about half that length.

I have two 24" silks in my vanishing cane, and I was thinking of replacing these with diamond cut silks, as Indomagic stated above. However, if my calculations are correct, I need two 32" diamond cut silks to give the same appearance as my current 24" silks? Right? Can I buy 32" diamond cut silks somewhere?

Thanks,

Jim
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