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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » Silk and gimmicks advice (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Ben_Fox
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Hello, everyone. Long-time lurker here, finally stepping into the light.

I'm a hobbyist who "does tricks" (I wouldn't really call it "performing") for family, friends, coworkers, etc. Recently, I've found that my interest has really been piqued by silk effects, so I dug in and got to reading and researching. It looks like something that's great fun to do, and I'm ready to pick up a gimmick and some silks and start to practice in earnest. However, before I start placing orders, I was hoping to get some advice regarding silks and gimmicks.

My first question is about silk sizes for effects like the color-changing silk. Is 18" a good, all-purpose size for silks or would I find it too large for the generally closer, more informal settings I imagine I'll normally find myself performing this effect in? My next question is, if the general consensus is that 12" silks are probably better, is the Palmo still a good gimmick for silks of that size, or would I be better suited stepping over to a gimmick like the Simplex? Obviously I wouldn't mind having both in the long run if I find I'm enjoying the silk, but for the moment my plan is to start with one Palmo-like gimmick and one dye tube and go from there. Does this sound like a good plan? Am I going about this all wrong?

Thank you very much in advance to anyone and everyone who takes the time to respond, I sincerely appreciate and value any advice you all are willing to give!
JNeal
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Silks are available in different 'weights' and consequently, heavier silks take up more space than thinner silks of the same size.... so the dimensions we use (12", 18", etc;) are only relative terms. But in general, 12" silks look great and work well in closer situations and 18" are suitable for stage or parlor settings.

When you are new to working with silks, the tendency is to use smaller silks, under the assumption that hiding a gimmick for a smaller silk is easier to hide than anything larger. But over time, you may discover that the larger volume of a larger silk works to your advantage to hide the gimmick and its transfer from hand to hand.

As for gimmicks, a Simplex is just fine for a 12" silk or color change and I find 15" -18" silks work well in a Palmo. Both gimmicks are worth having in your 'arsenal' of tools.
visit me @ JNealShow.com
Dick Oslund
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All like JNeal said!

In my school assembly program, I used 18" (color change thru hand, and "visible" golf ball penetration thru a silk, and 20th Century. I use the "old standard" dye tube (Senor Mardo helped me learn how to use the dye tube, in Bob Stull's shop in 1947!) I've always used Burling Hull's "Elusive" vanish (w/a TT) for 20th C.)

For the Serpentine Silk, and Silk Thru Mike Stand, a 24" looks better.

Rice no longer has Palmo. (I've never used one, but, those who do, LIKE them!) I believe that Pop Haydn has had some made, and, they're for sale.

Oh! For the "classic" (?) vanish of a small silk, using a TT, I usually use a 12" 4 momme, although, when I can't get 4 mm 12s, I use 18" half silk or diamond cut, and an extra long TT.

When I did strolling gigs, I also would just do "my" version of Hull's Elusive. I worked out an easier technique, and, the routine is immediately repeatable. (I wrote that up in my book.)

In general, silks add color and flash, pack small and light, and, the tricks that I do with them, have visual effects.
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Donald Dunphy
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Laflin Magic Store sells a Palmo gimmick and DVD combo set:

https://www.laflinmagicstore.com/product-p/mpgpdvd.htm

They also sell them individually.

https://www.laflinmagicstore.com/SearchR......ch=palmo

They also sell a Hank Ball and DVD individually.

https://www.laflinmagicstore.com/SearchR......ank+ball

You also might be interested in this DVD set that they sell, with 6 DVDs, including the one on the Palmo and the one on the Hank Ball.

It's called "Expert Silk Magic":

https://www.laflinmagicstore.com/product-p/dvdesm.htm

And of course, they sell a variety of solid colour silks and picture silks:

https://www.laflinmagicstore.com/Silks-s/1513.htm

- Donald

P.S. My favourite silk set to perform with is the Rabbit Out of the Hat Silk Set.

https://www.laflinmagicstore.com/product-p/mssrooh.htm
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
JNeal
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As always..... 'just like Dick Oslund says!' (especially the part where he is seconding me!)

A Palmo can also be easily constructed out of a plastic Easter Egg than has two holes cut (one in each 'end') in it. then glue the two halves together, and paint in a flesh-like color.
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Ben_Fox
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I'm sorry, everybody, every time I try to reply to this thread I keep getting an error. I'm hoping this will go through, at least. I've read everything and am very thankful for your insights. I'll try to post a more comprehensive reply later when, hopefully, whatever error is happening settles down.
BeThePlunk
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Pop Hadyn's dye tube was specially constructed for a 24" silk but has sold out. Laflin sells a very good Palmo with generous capacity. Joe Porper has designed a compact item with good capacity. I've played with a few of them and find this one very comfortable to use.

http://illusion.works/product/dye-tube/
Dick Oslund
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I had forgotten that Duane Laflin had a Palmo for sale. Anything that Duane sells is good!

Hey "Be the"~ I just checked out the link you provided. YI! $40.! (I guess that I was "born too soon"!)

I bought my FIRST DYE TUBE in '47 in Bob Stull's shop in San Francisco. I was 16. I tell the story in my book. I paid SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS for it!

The late Senor Charled MARDO was in the shop, and, he spent almost a half hour, showing me how to use it! I've been doing the color changing silk, since 1947. For many years, it has opened the show. It's 3 minutes of FUN. I do it with a "soft suckering" presentation, that gets LAUGHS, and APPLAUSE. It sets the tone of the show, and, the audience knows, when I finish it, that, I'm going to fool 'em, without making fools of them.

I wrote up the presentation in the book, along with an essay on the three types of SUCKER TRICKS.
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Pop Haydn
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I find that a larger silk plays better, even in more intimate situations. It draws more attention, looks more impressive and amazing, and gets stronger response.

BeThePlunk
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Sorry to mis-type your name, Pop.
Jef Eaton
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I have seen this trick done by lots of magicians (including me) and I saw Doc do this live at Wizardz Magic Theater in Orlando (which you shouldn't miss if ever in Orlando on Monday nights only.) His is the cleanest handling I have ever seen. It does look like magic and his personality and character are so well thought out. The man is a great entertainer.
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Ben_Fox
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Let's try this again. ("This time for sure," said the moose, "Nothing up my sleeve...")

I want to thank everyone again for all the invaluable insight you've given me in this thread. I've been reading carefully and considering what other silk effects I might want to try if I find I like working with silks. I also took 2 store-bought bandanas and folded then down to get a rough idea of what a 12" and 18" square piece of fabric looked like resting on, draped over and, very roughly, what it might look like in the middle of the color change effect, which was illuminating, to say the least.

In the middle of all this, my "CFO" came into the room and asked what I was doing. When I explained, she looked at the carts and said "Why don't you just get them [the Simplex and Palmo/DVD combo] both?" My inner tightwad, aghast, responded "But what if I find out silk isn't for me?"

"Then you've spent that money on a lesson -- learning that silk isn't for you," she replied, matter-of-fact and, with that, the matter was settled.

So, with that squared away, it leads to another question. After I'm acquainted with the gimmicks and, to at least some extent, the color changes, vanishes, productions and penetrations they can facilitate, what would a good "next step" be? I don't mean this so much in the way of "what's another neat trick to learn" so much as are there effects or handlings that are useful in giving me experience with different ways of handling the silks or that you, in your experience, found led to greater overall proficiency? After all, I may not do it for a living, but that's no excuse for being bad at it!

Thank you again, everybody, for all the advice you've offered so far. With the insights you've shared, I feel a lot more comfortable giving silks a go!
BeThePlunk
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As others probably know, Pop had a special gimmick made by Jim Riser to handle a 24" silk. That supply has sold out. Ever the experimenter, I created one of my own by taking two Palmos, carefully cutting them with a pipe cutter 2/3 of the way up the barrel, and then joining the two large pieces to create a Palmo with half again as much volume. This will handle a 24" silk and also do the Half-Dyed Silk routine with a single gimmick. Kind of an expensive experiment, but here it is. That's just masking tape holding it together at the moment.

http://s984.photobucket.com/user/bethepl......rt=3&o=0
Jef Eaton
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In my previous post I wrote "Doc" instead of "Pop" by mistake. Sorry Pop, sometime the old brain does things on it's own.
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BeThePlunk
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In my description of making a larger Palmo, I should have written the cutting at 3/4 of the barrel and noted that all edges have to be sanded extra smooth so the silk won't snag.
Dick Oslund
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It's a good thing that I'm retired! --Otherwise, I would very likely try that, too!

I've used an "ordinary" dye tube since 1947, and, I'm a bit of a "traditionalist", but, between you and Pop Haydn, I'm (as Jack Benny said) "thinking it over"!
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Bill Hegbli
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Quote:
On Apr 13, 2017, Ben_Fox wrote:

So, with that squared away, it leads to another question. After I'm acquainted with the gimmicks and, to at least some extent, the color changes, vanishes, productions and penetrations they can facilitate, what would a good "next step" be? I don't mean this so much in the way of "what's another neat trick to learn" so much as are there effects or handlings that are useful in giving me experience with different ways of handling the silks or that you, in your experience, found led to greater overall proficiency? After all, I may not do it for a living, but that's no excuse for being bad at it!

Thank you again, everybody, for all the advice you've offered so far. With the insights you've shared, I feel a lot more comfortable giving silks a go!


The next step is deciding what routine you wish to learn, Bev Taylor, Pat Page, Billy McComb, Ken Brooke, or Pop Haydn. Then with the knowledge of the handling of the gimmick, and the sequence of the routine memorized, you being practicing. During your practice, you pay close attention to your movements and the movements of the gimmick and silks. You analyze each point to see what you are not doing correctly, or may be flashing. Along with this, you learn a your patter and develop what you say, and how you say it.

After all that, you go and try it out on a person, and watch their reactions to the total effect. If you really trust their honest opinion, ask them for it. It has nothing to with they liked a silk trick, but more on your presentation and the overall effect. There is a difference, and you should weigh what they say, and consider if they are answering what you asked.

Good Luck!
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Pop Haydn
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The routine is important. Learn a good routine first. There are many great routines available in the marketplace, including those mentioned by Bill.

Here is mine:

bowers
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Start off with a smaller dye tube and silk.
Untill you get the feel of the handling of
the effect.And then work up to a bigger size.
This can be a miracle in the right hands.
Todd
Mary Mowder
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I've found my Pal** to be a little too big for me to use successfully. This could be an issue of not being familiar enough with it (as I've said when people say their hands are too small to use poker cards). I know I'm not the only one having a problem because I see *almos peeking in others hands as well. SOME of our many *implex and variations will also peek out from my hand (when held like a sap) unless I angle them back a bit. It is good if you can check the size in person or have an experienced silk person tell you how much of a fit problem is a practice and technique problem. I'd welcome more information on this.

Choosing the right venue for the gimmick is important.

I think for me, the hankb*** delivers the most impact for my experience. The Laughlin instructional DVD was GREAT. Honestly, one evening in front of a mirror (at various angles) and I was shocked at the good result.

-Mary Mowder
Bill Hegbli
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Besides the Palmo and Simplex, there is also the tape dye tube. They are harder to find these days since Morrissey went out of business and Johnson Products sold off their stock and decided to not make more. The only draw back is the turn over move required, but Pat Page and Ken Brooke favored this gimmick over others. I believe General Grant may have a few left.
Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

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Mary Mowder
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Un-fortunately, the best place to find these is in Magician's estate sales.

-Mary
jimgerrish
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Frederick Goode uses a gimmick he made himself from a plastic toothbrush holder purchased from a Dollar Store. It is a bright red color. If you perform it well, you don't need to have it made of metal, or flesh colored, or expensive. It should never be seen or expected. It is one of many described in Dollar Store Magic Book 2 at The Magic Nook.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxwhPIVUskU&feature=youtu.be
Jim Gerrish

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Bill Hegbli
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I have 6 tape dye tubes in my estate. Smile
Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

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Dick Oslund
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OOOOH! I only have three!

Here comes the "but": >>>but, ONE of them is "brand" NEW!!!<<< HEE HEE HEE HEE, So there!

(Not only THAT, one is from the original Tarbell Correspondence Course gimmick kit!)
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Mary Mowder
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Another piker with only three (that I can put my hand on) but mine don't get any use. There is also a version with a cork plug.

-Mary
55Hudson
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Ben,

Good advice from your CFO.

I have both the Rice Palmo and Simplex. Learned routines with both of them - first the routine from Laflin's and then Pop's. Multiple references are a good thing - I learned small pointers from each that helped improve my presentation.

I'm glad I got the Rice products when I did. Their palmo is sold out now, not sure about the simplex. Spending $10 or $20 on a prop that will last a lifetime is nothing in the magic world. Spend the $ and learn the routine. Once learned, you have it for life.

Hudson
Ben_Fox
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Is this the tape-style tube that's being referred to?
http://stores.silkmagictricks.com/produc......ght.html

Edit: Also, the Simplex and the "pocket" size Baker-style dye tubes are still in stock, as they should be waiting for me in my mailbox when I get home from work today.

For routines, I was honestly already considering grabbing Pop's color-changing routine to supplement the Palmo DVD, mostly by virtue of how happy I was with the Intricate Web of Distraction. With the added push from here, I went on and pulled the trigger. I also went looking for the other suggested routines, but I couldn't find too many leads on them. Probably due to poor searching on my part.

One thing I've learned from lurking here, however, is that many popular routines have storied lineages, and I may yet turn up a routine that has one of the above-mentioned routines in its "family tree," as it were.
Bill Hegbli
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Ben, yes, hat is the tape dye tube.

Billy McComb Half dyed silk routine.

http://www.abbottmagic.com/Instant-Instr......oryId=-1

This question has been asked many time in this topic of the Café. You can search this section as well. The search engine works very well on the Café now.

You should have purchased Thru-the-Dye tube booklet from Rice as well, being you got the Baker style tube, aka plunger style dye tube, that is for rolling in a paper tube more then a hand held device. Don't know who you ordered from, but I know of only one old routine that used this dye tube for hand use, it was by Sam Berland some 50 years ago.

My 1st introduction to the Al Baker EZ Dyeing Silks, comes with dye tube and silks.

http://www.abbottmagic.com/Abbotts-EZ-Dy......oryId=-1
Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Ben_Fox
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Bill,

In an odd twist, I'd already purchased a CD-ROM with all 4 volumes of the Encyclopedia of Silk Magic in PDF format several years ago -- I got it for its extensive reference on production apparatus in Volume 1. Because I already had all 4 volumes, I passed on Thru the Dye-Tube.

I got the dye tube in addition to the hand gimmicks, so if I decide I like silk I have a dye tube already ready for additional effects.

Speaking of the gimmicks, all of them arrived yesterday and I spent some time in front of the mirror with the Simplex and the Palmo by themselves, no silks at all, before I even popped the shrink wrap on the DVD. They're quite intuitive to work with. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with this. Smile
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