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Topic: Glasswalking Prep
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Mar 29, 2006 01:33PM)
I heard of an interesting glass prep method. Currently I use the rolling the glass in a barrel method. I heard this from a physics prof who uses this in demos-
He uses a long box with about 3" deep of bottle glass. He then covers the center with a piece of canvas and basically, beats the center flat with a cast iron frying pan leaving the edges sharp and jagged. His explanation is that the depth of the glass gives a bit of room for the glass to move, and the beating squishes down all of the tips that stick up in the center.(All of this is done before the audience arrives of course)
Is anyone using anything like this method? I like the box idea because it is easier to transport than the flat canvas.
Any thoughts?
Message: Posted by: erikkloeker (Mar 29, 2006 02:20PM)
Explain to me the "Rolling the Glass in a Barrell Method"
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Mar 29, 2006 02:42PM)
You take pieces of bottle glass (NO necks, bottoms or long pointy shards) put them in a barrel, seal it up and roll them around for a few HOURS. This takes a lot of the really jagged edges off. Then you select the least dangerous ones to use, spread 'em out on a piece of canvas and then plant a few bottle bottoms and really jagged pieces around the outside to make it look more dangerous.
That is the standard way to "Prep" the glass. After that (Or prefferably before that), go learn from someone who actually does this stunt.
For performance of this stunt, I think it is imperative to do a "convincer" to show how sharp the glass actually is. A good way to do this is to suspend a bowling ball or similarly heavy object from a string, grab a piece from the edge (The sharp, unrolled jagged pieces) and cut the string. You get a resounding thud which invariably startles the audience and adds to the tension. In my act, my lovely assistant does this, then takes a palmed piece of candy glass and starts munching on it.
It leaves the audience a bit bewildered, but that is my presentation.

Message: Posted by: erikkloeker (Mar 29, 2006 05:04PM)
Well.. I actually already perform this stunt... using unaltered glass, I DO take the bottle necks and bottoms out, but I do nothing to alter the "sharpness" of the glass. My method of proving it is real is to actually have an audience member smash a new unbroken bottle with a hammer and I add that on top. I also do the "face in glass" stunt and have an audience member stand ontop of my head. So my objective was not to learn the stunt, I had just never heard that term before. Oh yeah.. I also perform "real" glass eating, no candy glass.... is your effect to leave the audience thinking that the person ate the glass from the bottles, granite it can be done (and some members here are probably capable of it) but those beer bottles are pretty thick! .... also about this... "GET A COMPETENT TEACHER!

YOU WILL GET CUT!!!" ummm that kinda comes off to me as "if you get a competant teacher, you will get cut!" Granite thier is always the chance of injury, but the point of getting a good teacher would hopefully be to *Prevent* injury.
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Mar 29, 2006 06:26PM)

You are reading the physics prof at the psicops web site. I use this method, and started from the same information. It's wonderful. I would add, don't stare at your feet the way he does, it makes him look like a dork. Assume a yoga stance and pick your feet up high.

Pix at:


I also add a freshly smashed Mason jar to the top of the bed of shards. You will note, using this method, that shards break as you step on them, exposed freshly-broken, razor-sharp edges. I like to slice a tomato with the shards before walking on them.

Many people reading these posts have no business doing this. Take a class; Todd Robbins and Harley Newman both teach sideshow feats. I took Harley's course and cannot find enough superlatives to describe my experience. Criss Angel has sought Todd's help, so what more can I add to that.

Be careful!


Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Mar 29, 2006 08:16PM)
Since I don't own a barrel, I bought two used heavy cotton bedsheets. I folded one into quarters ( 4 layers) and took my glass and put it in the center. I cinched up the corners, making a satchel of glass. I then reapeated the entire procedure, so the sack of glass was now contained in another sack. I the put the sack(s) in the dryer for 20 min. MORE than enough time. The WHOLE process took 25 min. and was "automatic". I inspected my dryer and there were no shards that leaked out. (I guess an unscrupulous character could go to a laundry mat, if they didn't want to risk getting glass in their own dryer.) Best thing is...you can always put the glass in for longer if needed. I still use these sheets to dump my glass on before I perform.

Anybody doing this without one-on-one personal instruction is a fool. So CAVEAT EMPTOR
Message: Posted by: Slim Price (Mar 29, 2006 11:01PM)
Jeremy, that's brilliant! I'm gonna add that to Slim's notes... OK?
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Mar 30, 2006 08:21AM)
My apologies erikkloeker. Didn't mean anything at all, just covering my bum. And, yeah...Poor sentance structure...It does come off as "if you get a teacher, you will get cut..."
Paul...Been reading your posts quite a bit lately and am becoming quite an online fan. And yep! You nailed it! That is where I read the frying pan method. I've been walking for a while now (After learning from a real live warm human being with only a couple of scarrs on their feet)I was just curious how well it worked. It seemed that it would have a lot less edges standing up and might be a touch more comfortable.
I'll have to try the tomato slicing thing though...Easier set up than the bowling ball thing.
(Love the pics btw...Really good signage and the Medicine Show presentation is absolutely classic!! )
I do know people who do actually eat glass...Neither I or my assistant are one of those people. Heard too many stories about urm...Uncomfortable after effects to even want to try (Huge respect for those that do however).
My act flip flops between real stunts and illusions. Real bed of nails, fake fishhooking of my biceps, real glass walk, fake glass eating, real fire eating, fake sword swallow etc... I have enough to make a full show out of the "real" stuff, but the "fakes" are by choice. I just like to keep the lines blurred a bit.
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Mar 30, 2006 08:25AM)
Oh...And I will be seeking out some serious training very soon...Do Todd Robbins or Harley Newman teach Sword Ladder?
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Mar 30, 2006 10:32AM)
Dear Gwyd,

Many thanks for your kind words! I learned the Ladder of Swords from Harley. Please see:


Todd also teaches this.


Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Mar 30, 2006 04:12PM)
I do the same, and I suppose I am very lucky as I have have never been cut minus a few glass splinters in the 6 years I've been doing this stunt.
my partner however has not been so lucky.

Message: Posted by: erikkloeker (Mar 30, 2006 05:31PM)
Thank you gsidhe, I wasn't mad or anything, I know that It's hard to distinguish on here who is an amature/professional or the knowledge of the person posting, and I give those warnings to if I'm not sure of the knowledge of the poster. There is one thing I would like to pick on in your last post... it's a little off topic but about your fake sword swallow, I just look down on this, even though I'm not a sword swallower.. I do know a lot of them and know how much dedication it takes, when someone fakes it or does all magic (not you, just in general) then does the fake sword swallow, the audience looks on it as magic then when they see a real sword swallower they assume it is fake or that because they saw someone fake it once that all sword swallowers fake it, I'm not directing this to you it' just a rant of mine.

and to Brett,
I have been very lucky with this stunt also, I have never been cut, granted I don't perform this stunt often because the bed of nails fills the spot in my show where I would do glass walking/face in glass... and glass eating I only do this if the venue specifiaclly asks for it because simply it's just not good for your body. Anyways to add to this subjecct one thing I do, do if this is considered glass prep I take out all the very small slithers of glass or tiny peices of glass... because 1. they're not big enough for the audience to see 2. It makes the stunt a *little* safer. Obviously I don't do this after the audience member breaks the bottle... I just have to deal with those splinters... because taking them out during the middle of the show would just be REALLY BAD showmanship.

sorry for such a long post everyone
Message: Posted by: FacadeTheStiltBoy (Mar 30, 2006 09:57PM)
Funny, I managed to throw it all in a burlap bag, tie up the bag and toss it into my concrete mixer for a few minuites.

not a bad idea, nobody I know done it before seems like a good plan.....

I was picking shards out with pliars after the show.

But all in all a good experiement nether the less.
Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Mar 30, 2006 10:48PM)
I would be PROUD to be credited in Slim's notes. What an HONOR! 20 min = dull but would pass inspection. 40 min = glass with rounded edges. (I am also working on a new twist on the bed of nails--a way to make them look even more menacing with only a slight change. I'll keep you posted)

Both Todd and Harley teach it.
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Mar 31, 2006 01:20PM)
Gwyd, also check out Dan Meyer of the SSAI. I don't have the URL handy, I'm sure someone here has it.
Message: Posted by: erikkloeker (Mar 31, 2006 03:20PM)
Umm.... http://www.swordswallow.com or http://www.swordswallow.org or http://www.blue-n-gold.com/halfdan/dipstick.htm depending on which one your talkin about and the email is prolly dan@swordswallow.com

On 2006-03-31 14:20, thegreatnippulini wrote:
Gwyd, also check out Dan Meyer of the SSAI. I don't have the URL handy, I'm sure someone here has it.