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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Boxes, tubes & bags » » Sand Frames in 2017 (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

marduk41162
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Hello all.

I've read the prior threads and clicked all the dead links. I'm hopeful fresh eyes and brainpower will offer new leads.

I'm looking for a sand frame. A nice one, made of (preferably exotic hard) wood and glass. And big enough to display an 8 x 10 photograph. I've never seen any that go bigger than Jumbo Card size.

Portrait & landscape operation is a plus (the Mikames do it).

Any help out there please?

- Mark
jimgerrish
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In 2017, there are several alternatives to the old "sand frame" that don't use sand as their modus operandi. There are electronic versions, like "Ghost Frame" by Jolyon Jenkins at the Magic Nook in the Magi-tronics section, and those made from LED flat screen TV sets by enterprising (and wealthy) experimenters. At the low price end, there are card frames made from Dollar Store picture frames, as well as more expensive frames which use polarized or colored lights to accomplish the magic. All of these can be made to accommodate an 8" x 10" photograph. So if you don't need the sand and the problems associated with using it, you can probably find what you are looking for without too much difficulty. If you insist on sand, good luck!
marduk41162
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Thanks jimgerrish and others who offered interesting lines of thought.

I once had a wristwatch with a polarized crystal and rotating "plate" second hand. Every 15 seconds it would cycle through opaque to transparent revealing the true watch face -- the one with the King of Diamonds emblazoned on it.

And I get your overall point that by stepping away from 19th technology there are a lot of clever options. I especially enjoyed the idea of creating a miniaturized self contained Pepper's Ghost. Arthur Clarke put it best.

I guess I am appealing to an old school, ineffable quality of the sand frame. It may be old and simple, but on the other hand it's old and simple.

- M
Wizard of Oz
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I think there is also something to be said for anti-technology magic. IPhone app tricks can be awesome...or any other effect that plays off of today's technology...but they can be immediately suspect and the magic discounted based on possible technological solutions alone.

Present an old antique frame with nothing in it, and something real suddenly appears, trapped under the glass...I don't know, there still seems something very magical about that.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
docguitarman
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Quote:
On Sep 6, 2017, Wizard of Oz wrote:
I think there is also something to be said for anti-technology magic. IPhone app tricks can be awesome...or any other effect that plays off of today's technology...but they can be immediately suspect and the magic discounted based on possible technological solutions alone.

Present an old antique frame with nothing in it, and something real suddenly appears, trapped under the glass...I don't know, there still seems something very magical about that.


I was just searching for DIY ghost frame plans which led me here. I agree with the wizard of Oz. There is so much hi tech stuff in the public awareness these days that using a modern device gets too close to the "it's technology that did it" suspicions. Anytime a computer (that includes a smartphone, BTW !) is employed red flags should go up. With CGI and all that, anything on a screen is a ho-hum to me. I've watched the reviews of some of the effects with modern electronic gizmos and props and I have thought some are very clever and cute but so far I have no desire to get one of the ones I've seen. With many card based effects it's clearly just physics allied with a f*rce. A simple thin frame with some fine salt/sand embedded seems good to me.



Back in the late 1800's electro-magnets and electric circuits had a very brief life time before public awareness made them too obvious.
jimgerrish
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And yet, knowledge about the technology by the public can also lead them astray with simple things, like the flashlight that has no battery and yet still lights up. They know about flashlights, they know about batteries, and in their experience, not having a battery means the electric marvel won't work... yet it does. I refer to The Wizards' Journal #11 -05 - "This Little Light of Mine - my version of Trevor Lewis' "Trevor Torch".
docguitarman
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Hi Jim,

Good point. Yes, but the flashlight has a battery chamber to hold batteries. So the "old fashioned" flash light used suggests it needs batteries, and that leads the audience astray -- using a flashlight gimmicked with modern technology is okay with me. In that regard, your "Little Light of Mine" effect looks like a nice routine to me. In my post I was speaking particularly of effects that in fact directly use modern technological items that most people would suspect, in a certain sense, as "having a gimmick out of the box."

Regards,
Phil
jimgerrish
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Following that line of thought, anyone who has a pair of sunglasses that automatically darken in sunlight, and become transparent in low light, OUGHT to be suspecting that particular technology is used when they see a sand frame being used. WOW shouldn't be so wonderful, either. That's one of the reasons why I am constantly working on ways to get the props into their hands, because if I were them, that's the only way I would be amazed to have a card appear out of nowhere, if it happened inside something I had already taken apart and examined, and even then I would suspect technology if there were the slightest room for it. We are just going to have to keep one step ahead of the times, as magicians have done for centuries. In the end, all we can really rely on is lying, cheating and stealing to make magic occur in the minds of the masses.
Julie
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If the methodology of a sand frame worries you (useless magician's guilt?) you might consider just a regular ungimmicked picture frame using the time-proven black art principle.

I imagine this is still being sold by someone as a complete set. If not, you can certainly find it thoroughly described in more than one of the old magic books...

Julie
Wizard of Oz
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Julie, you just reminded me of one of the first props I ever made when I was a teen. I purchased a "raw" wood frame at a hobby store (yes, they did exist when I was at this age in the early '70s), and painted it to look more "magical." I then went to the same store to purchase some felt. There was no glass in the frame, it was just a frame with a black back.

My effect was to have the spectator choose a card and I would cover the frame with a silk. After the spectator revealed her or his card, I would lift the silk and there was the card. Amazing!!!

I believe I have given enough information here to piece together the workings. Anyway, I performed then at birthday parties and small classroom shows. The effect was, well, effective.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Julie
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Hello Wiz

Good trick! Embellish the card appearance with a torn-and-restored premise where the audience helper keeps one piece for identification and you have a very effective interlude.

Julie
Moxahalla
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There is no reason at all that the "sand frame" gaff would ever be suspected by an audience.

...The Sand Frame is so old, that it is brand new to today's audience. I love them.

The best models are of course the Owen ones...but you are right--I have never seen one that would actually hold a 8 x 10 photograph.

...and hence, for that reason, and that reason alone (aside from the Large expense of getting a custom-size sand frame made)...there are plenty of alternative methods, as mentioned above, that may suit your needs.
chmara
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Several years back I got a wonderful Sand Frame from Hocus-Pocus that holds 8x10 easily. However it is built with a b;acl finish painted frame unlike my smaller natural wood frame made by wen which indeed only fits a Jumbo card. I have another frame wich does manage a reveal faster than a sand frame on the black art principle but set-up MUST be done out of sight of the audience, unlike the easy to reset sandframe. I do use an easel with them, not wall space -- where I use a fallong picture.
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

Commercial Operations, LLC

Tucson, AZ



C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
goodingda
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The only sand frame I know of that will hold an 8 X 10 is the jumbo frame by Milson-Worth, and they are hard to find.
marduk41162
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Yeah I like antiques. I'll keep looking. Things pop on auction sites now and then.
Saint-Pol
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Like goodingda said, the Milson Worth version is great, but yes, very hard to find.
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