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Topic: Silk Fountain
Message: Posted by: kennethoverturf (Dec 28, 2006 04:51PM)
I am looking to purchase a silk fountain. Which is the best? Diamond Silk Fountain, Silk fountain produced by Duane Laflin, or Grant's Silk Fountain (also where can I get info on Grant's?)


Ken Overturf
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Dec 28, 2006 05:00PM)
My problem with silk fountains is that other than to us magicians, they never seemed very deceptive or magical in nature.

They are usually a poorly obtained huge ball, that unfurls into a pretty mess of silk. The exception for me is Jay Scott Berry’s wonderful improvement, which is very deceptively and simply obtained, is not a huge balled up load, and then makes for a very pretty and delicate appearance of color.

You then have the option of producing something from the silks.

It’s the only one I’d consider. My two-cents,
Message: Posted by: Darkwing (Dec 28, 2006 05:54PM)
I use a silk fountain as the finale to a silk production and have never failed to get a positive response from the lay audience.
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (Dec 28, 2006 08:04PM)
Hi Ken:

The Laflin silk fountain is excellent, but since you asked for the best one, I'd have to go with Richard Hughes' silk fountain. They'll cost you quite a bit more than Laflin's, but Richard's quality cannot be beat.

Message: Posted by: mattmccoy (Dec 28, 2006 08:17PM)
I absolutely love the silk fountain. I agree with others it can look really bad and not magical at all. When done right I think it is a master piece. My problem is I usually perform for big audiences. I thougth Berry's and Laughlin's was way too small. Hughe's was big enough but not exactly what I wanted. I think if it is a fountain it should really look like a "fountain." I ended up making my own and used it for three years before making another one. It has turned out to be a really good thing. I have only performed at two conventions but have had magicians ask where I got my silk fountain. When I told them I made it my self they offered money to buy the one I had at hand. Maybe I will start making them, who knows? I say, try making your own with some old silks laying around. Once you have discovered the sewing technique buy fresh silks to make a new one. I also use just a 36" silk finally. I bought a white one and died it myself. Only took one try to get the dying right. It is a a lot easier than most people think. Just time consuming. Good luck.

Message: Posted by: Destiny (Dec 29, 2006 03:32PM)
I use the large fountain by Richard Hughes, and love it.

It is a big ball to steal. I studied Duanne Laflins excellent Silk Fountain DVD and took an idea or two from The Magic of Marvyn Roy and Carol. With a bit of effort and sufficient practice it is no problem to make the fountains initial appearance 'magical'.

I think of it more as a transition and a 'build' than a trick - the load at the end being the 'trick'.

Audience response to the bubbling silk is wonderful and the Hughes Magic fountain produces an incredible amount of silk.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Dec 29, 2006 06:15PM)
Silk Fountains are great productions. They even can be used to take the routine to other productions. Sophistocated audiences love them. They don't require patter and language is no problem.

Since many of my friends manufacture and sell them (and I am the magicians' silk importer), I won't risk endorsing any specific ones. However, don't forget that they can custom make them for you too with sponsor, team, or other color combinations to enhance your show. Go for it!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Dec 29, 2006 09:21PM)
Plastic- Glad it is working out for you. Yes, the large fountain is a large load (about the size of small volley ball) but it does make and impact.

I agree the fountain is not a trick but the perfect climax to production of silks by other means. The big silk at the end is a nice finish to itself.

As for custom colors, I have done some really interesting colors and combinations. I do a bunch of shades of blue and purple for Dale Salwak. I have also done a variety of red shades for another one.
It is unique but you have to know what final look you are going for.

Message: Posted by: RJE (Dec 31, 2006 12:43AM)
I agree with the positive reviews for silk fountains. We find that audiences always respond in a positive way to the multi colored silks bubbling up out of your hand. We also like the fact that a live dove appears out of ours too.

All the best,

Message: Posted by: magicdoctor (Dec 31, 2006 09:17PM)
I love my silk fountain I use it at the end of my opening routine with great crowd reactions I produce a dove with mine also.
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Jan 1, 2007 08:53AM)
The Spellbinders are in agreement on this one. If you just gotta spill silks all over the place, the Jay Scott Berry Diamond Silk Fountain seems to be the most magical version of them all. But some people have to learn the hard way, so just make sure you iron all those silks before your next performance.
Message: Posted by: graywolf (Jan 3, 2007 06:22PM)
I use one all the time. Why buy one when you can make one for the cost of the silks? Cordially,HOward
Message: Posted by: GWSchott (Jan 15, 2007 12:58AM)
I just ordered one from Dazzling Magic that ends with a 36" tie-dyed silk. Can't wait for it to arrive. Everything I've ever bought from Marty & Brenda Hahne has been top notch quality. I've never owned a fountain before but have always been impressed with the effect. So much color just bubbling up out of nowhere!
Message: Posted by: Magicdoc88 (Jan 15, 2007 09:35AM)
Graywolf, you are right, after I purchased my silk fountain for $100. I can see how easy one can make it for 1/2 the price.
Message: Posted by: cardone (Jan 15, 2007 03:08PM)
I made mine from 13 24 inch silks, some thread ,button and a lady's stocking. It took me 30 minutes to make. Get the Laflin DVDs. They are great.
Message: Posted by: Magicdoc88 (Jan 15, 2007 03:19PM)
I still like to know how the dove gimmick work with the silk fountain. I have been producing the dove from body load. Any suggestions?
Message: Posted by: RJE (Jan 15, 2007 05:30PM)

You can check out a demo video of it http://www.chameleonfabrications.com and click on the SFDove video button. The demo was shot so as to emphasize the fact that the dove comes out of the very centre of the opened fountain. The rest leading up to it is just for effect and not performance.

The dove itself is loaded after the fountain is folded.

All the best,

Message: Posted by: Magicdoc88 (Jan 15, 2007 06:32PM)
very nice video demo. Wish I had bought your SF with the dove load instead my current on which cost only 20. less than yours. Does your dove load work for other SF, and what would it cost?
Message: Posted by: RJE (Jan 15, 2007 06:52PM)
Hi Magicdoc,

Glad you liked the video.

Our Silk Fountain to Dove is a self contained dove production. It has been specially constructed to allow you to fold the fountain whenever and where ever you like (weeks before a show if you wish)and then load the dove just before the performance. Since it is (and has to be to operate)constructed as a single unit, it is not adaptable to a regular silk fountain. Sorry.

Message: Posted by: Magicdoc88 (Jan 16, 2007 12:31AM)
Rob, thanks for your information, I may end up getting your SF in the near future.
Message: Posted by: Jimmy Joza (Jan 20, 2007 09:14AM)
The Silk Fountain to Dove can also be used for other things. Since I have not had doves for a handful of years now, I use it to produce an appearing pole (I'm playing around with adding a flag to an appearing pole). And other uses can be thought of --- just think outside the box. And like Bob Sanders always says: SCHEME!!!

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Mar 21, 2007 03:30AM)
Don't overlook the great misdirection supplied by a silk fountain. As long as the fountain is in motion and out front, there's not much you can't "arrange" to happen next.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: mattmccoy (Mar 22, 2007 11:43AM)
There are so many possibilities besides the infamous dove from silk fountain.

Message: Posted by: that_magic_guy (Apr 7, 2007 09:18AM)
I used Laflin's over 200 times last summer and ended with a 30 ft streamer followed by a rabbit and the comments after the show were that of all the things I did that was the best it's completely unexplainable.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Apr 7, 2007 04:25PM)
I disagree! Magic is mostly visual and nothing is more visual than silk and animal productions. This is for the audience and not the magician.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Darkwing (Apr 8, 2007 09:45PM)
You got that right, Bob. I think a lot of magicians forget who pays the bills.
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Dec 25, 2007 06:37AM)
Hello there!
Just my opinion concrning silk fountains.. I have seen a few version and the most practical AND visual routine is by Jay Scott Berry. The video from chameleonfabrications.com on this thread gives a good idea of the visual part (except that the JSB routine doesn't make a dove appear at the end...) but the great advantage, in my opinion, of the JSB routine is that there is no apparent load : you show your hands empty, make a silks appear from thin air and then the fountain of silks just appears from this silk in your bare hand!!!

I've seen JSB perform it live and it's really incredible. Of couse he has a perfect touch and his hands make miracles with silks, but the routine is well thought and so are the gimmicks too!! His routine is perhaps best suited for parlour magic, although it could perfectly be done on stage, but the routine by chameleonproductions.com seems more appopriated for stage magic : the silks are a bit bigger and you have a dove production... But the down part is that there is a load... In my opinion you wouldn't see it on stage, but in parlour magic... Best pick the JSB routine!

Hope that helps!
Message: Posted by: housermagic (Dec 25, 2007 07:07AM)
I have used the SF for a comedy dove routine many times with good response from the specs. It was hoped that I could get the JSB SF for Christmas, having seen it performed by Jay Scott Berry. But, that didn't happen. Maybe in the new year I'll have one. LOL.
Message: Posted by: Sal Amangka (Dec 25, 2007 08:42PM)
Another way to produce a bunch of silks is via Laflin's Snap Silk Production.

Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Dec 28, 2007 09:47AM)

The above link has a video of Jay Scott Berry doing his silk fountain.

I saw his lecture, it is genius the way it works.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Dec 28, 2007 09:02PM)
Excuse me but the snap silk production is not Duane's...It is Eric Lewis and Harold Rice's. Duane does not take credit for it but does offer a good explaination of it.

Marvin Roy also has a very good explaination on it on his dvd.

Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Feb 9, 2008 07:04PM)
On 2007-12-28 22:02, hugmagic wrote:
Excuse me but the snap silk production is not Duane's...It is Eric Lewis and Harold Rice's. Duane does not take credit for it but does offer a good explaination of it.

Marvin Roy also has a very good explaination on it on his dvd.



Any link to the snap silk production? What's the difference between that and a silk fountain?

Message: Posted by: Darkwing (Feb 10, 2008 01:17AM)
Go to Lock Family Magic website. It will give you an idea of the difference.

The website is http://www.lockfamilymagic.com
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Feb 10, 2008 07:44AM)
The “Silk Fountain” is a production of silks seeming to bubble out of each other. It is a prop that consists of a number of silks usually sewn together (but not always e.g. General Grant’s version). It is normally bulky and requires a steal (but not always e.g. Jay Scott Berry’s version).

Snap is the production of a number of silks (six or so) individually. A silk hank is produced and is “snapped” to one side (remember in gym when you used to use the towel to snap someone in the butt? Same move!) and a second silk magically appears tied to one of its corners. The second silk is untied, the first is set aside, the second silk is snapped and a third silk hank appears instantly tied to one corner. The third silk is untied and the second silk is set aside. The third silk is thin snapped and a fourth silk instantly appears tied to one corner and so forth! Snapped Silk is a nice way to produce a few silks to be used in a following routine or to cover the production of some item (dove, bottle, silk fountain).

The two are totally different effects.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Feb 11, 2008 12:15AM)
The original name of the snap silk production was called Diminishing Silks as invented by Eric Lewis. I think Marvin Roy was one of the first to use the same sized silks.

Snap silks can be used to get into the silk fountain as you need some cover silks to steal the fountain before allowing it to open. That might be what caused the confusion. The two are often used in conjunction with each other.

Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Feb 11, 2008 03:51AM)
Thank you for the precision Darkwing, Harry and Richard! I already own the JSB fountain and I really find it beautiful! I'll check the snap production then. I have a similar effect but with just one silk that "appears" in my hand with a snap. But getting a few is a nice idea!

Thanks again!
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Feb 11, 2008 10:50AM)
Richard is absolutely right (as usual!). The trick “Diminishing Silks” can be easily found in the Rice booklet “Capers with Colors”. It can still be found easily at the Silk King Studios site.

See it at: http://www.silkkingmagic.com/Rice's%20Capers%20with%20colors.htm

Eric Lewis did invent the trick, Harold Rice made an improvement (discussed in the booklet) and Marvin Roy is credited as the first to use silks all the same size (although he modestly refused to take any credit). Roy was the person who coined the term “snap silk” for the routine.

Duane Laflin has made yet another improvement to the “snap silk” (all the same size silk production) routine. He has put out an excellent and inexpensive teaching DVD and has a set of silks with his improvement built in.

The DVD can be seen at:

And his silk set (another good buy) can be seen at:
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Feb 13, 2008 06:20AM)
Wow, thanks Harry! I'll check that out!
Message: Posted by: chmara (Feb 13, 2008 02:06PM)
IMHO - problem with presentation of silk fountains -- pacing!

If you have ever watched the films of time exposed flowers opening -- the long process is condensed, but it still takes time for the blossom to open gracefully, slowly exposing the delicate colors of the petals.

To often I have seen (and sometimes myself) have done a silk fountain that is more like a flower trying to bloom in an earthquake.

This is an effect that can allow a breath of color to develop. It has a STRONG focus point for the audience, particularly if managed with one hand. Put this into 3/4 profile and picking up a load becomes a piece of cake.

The Hughes fountains are great -- and over the years I have acquired a few types -- including center loads of birds, flash (this is hell on the top few silks) and streamers. In one "Silk Merchant" routine I did in Chinese restaurants for a year -- I even openly introduced the folded packet rather than concealing it. The burst of blossoming color is the effect this way -- not the cleverness of the manipulator.

In past years silks were labeled "flash acts" because of color. The "Street in Old Peiking" was a wonderful almost instantanious surprise of unfolding streamers, flags, etc. as a wam-bam close. But, like the fountain, the prep and folding was immense............

And that was a different world.
Message: Posted by: Darkwing (Feb 13, 2008 03:31PM)
On 2008-02-13 15:06, chmara wrote:
In past years silks were labeled "flash acts" because of color. The "Street in Old Peiking" was a wonderful almost instantanious surprise of unfolding streamers, flags, etc. as a wam-bam close. But, like the fountain, the prep and folding was immense............

And that was a different world.


Could you give a little more detail on the "Street in Old Peiking" routine? Sounds interesting. Is it published anywhere?

I wished we could see more routines like the Ade Duvall acts today.

Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Feb 13, 2008 08:04PM)
As Marvin Roy, told me years ago.. "Guys are just too lazy to do a silk act". It does take a little work but boy does it pack nicely and there is no need for permits.

Marvin had an idea in an early Genii, Do the Silk fountain in a large brandy snifter.

I agree the beauty of the silk fountain is the slow blooming action not shaking it too death. There are several ways to accomplish this. The easiest method is to preset the fountain two or three days before you do it. There are other ways to slow it down if you cannot do a long prefold ahead.

Thanks for the compliment, Chmara.

Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Feb 14, 2008 06:31AM)
Just puchased the Snap Silk Production and DVD... Can't wait for my order to come! Thanks again guys!
Message: Posted by: Darkwing (Feb 14, 2008 09:04PM)
Just like Richard said, I use the snap silk production as a prelude to the silk fountain. It always gets a great response.

Posted: Feb 14, 2008 10:08pm

On 2008-02-13 21:04, hugmagic wrote:
As Marvin Roy, told me years ago.. "Guys are just too lazy to do a silk act". It does take a little work but boy does it pack nicely and there is no need for permits.


I use the time that is takes to set up the silk part of my act to mentally go through my routine.

I think it is well worth the trouble of the set up. A silk act truly is a thing of beauty. It also folds flat and plays big.

Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Feb 15, 2008 04:39AM)
Yes, true! I belong to an association of volunteer magician who perform for chidren in hospitals. I'll be using the silks on these occasions!
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Feb 15, 2008 09:07PM)
My silks are pretty much preset when I get there. I just open the case and go. Resetting takes a little time but it is not that bad. You just learn to do it.

Johnathn Neal Brown did a huge silk act. He told me he got to the point where he could reset it in 15 minutes while talking with other people. I think with proper planning it can be a very commercial and realstic act to do.

Message: Posted by: Evilstalkerhorne (Feb 16, 2008 03:40AM)
Where could I get the silks that come out of the mouth like when C.Angel did to the monkies on his show that one time? I am sure they are just loaded in some type of tube but where would I get one and what exactly would it be called? This was a very cool routine although I have seen D.C. and others do so before slightly differently, Criss is probably the one most recall being recent.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Feb 16, 2008 07:46AM)
Rice's - Douglas 20th Century Silks.

Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Feb 22, 2008 04:04PM)
Hey! Just to say I received the Laflin snap Silks and it's really nice! Actually I was expecting another effect by hearing the name "Snap" silks, but it's really nice and gives you the opportunity to load anything (doves, fountains...). Good idea!
Message: Posted by: chmara (Feb 23, 2008 11:47AM)
First =Street in Old Peking - I believe Abbott's used to sell these complete. It is a stage set-up that features an explosion of silk as your finale - streamers dropping from border boxes above the stage, a central display popping out flags and side props doing stuff too. Filled the stage with silks and color in an instant. They took hours to reset.

Richard said something very very very important. Arrive with your silks preset. In other words do not wait until you are in the airplane to pack your parachute. If you have several performance -- and yes this is expensive -- you may want to consider having multiple sets of silks ready to reload. It is just too easy to do a crummy job of reset in a rush. Extra silk is a lot cheaper than lost customers. Learning proper folds, concealment ties and releases, correct knot tensions and proper pacing (as above) is time well invested. But -- it still takes more time to prepare for a 1 minute bit than most other types of performance...each time. (But then, look at Eric Buss' Spring Snake Symphony clips from the Letterman show..)

For those who use silks close up -- I would recommend choosing carefully those effects that most often do not need reset or special folds. I cannot see doing snap silks in a hospital roaming visit because of the room needed to snap the silks -- and a flick forward toward a patient immobile in a bed could be frightening -- even more frightening than clown magic.

One of the best -- and most often badly done because it takes work -- silk effects is the McComb style half dyed silk - and multiple rigs make it possible for walk around at banquets.

Another great is the silk to egg IF you develop a way to carry an egg to the tables WITHOUT bumping into things and breaking it while it is waiting to be used.

The venerable color changing silk is fast and gets a good reaction (more so that shoe laces -- BUT -- it is very hard to find a well made, colorful smooth running instant resets that looks rich rather than magicy....
Maybe Richard knows of one that is not just cheap looking.
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Feb 23, 2008 03:23PM)
Thanks for your precious advice chmara. I wasn't aware of the routine before ordering the snap silks. I'll think about it...

Thanks again,

Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Feb 23, 2008 07:15PM)
The Spectaular finale ( I think that is the name) is still made by Abbott's. It works fine but really needs a large stage to work it well. We use the drop down banners every year at the get together.

Message: Posted by: chmara (Feb 24, 2008 12:06PM)
This line of inquiry has made me wonder -- have any motivational speakers using magic explored the use of silks for their bullet points -- and accents.

And - Richard -- can you do one-off sayings, etc as custom dyed stuff.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Feb 24, 2008 05:21PM)

Catch me at a silk lecture sometime and I'll show you how easy that is to do yourself.

But the answer to your basic question is YES!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Feb 24, 2008 07:00PM)
Yes, if I am in proper frame of mind to tackle it and it is not too complex. There are some exsamples of hand painted things I have done on the website.

Message: Posted by: Destiny (Feb 25, 2008 12:32AM)
I have to agree with Chmara about the Hughes fountain - I have one and they are great and his roses are even better!

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Feb 25, 2008 07:40AM)
If it takes art, Richard is a good man to know!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Bill Scarlett (Mar 9, 2008 10:54AM)
I use a silk fountain made by Peter White that ends with the production of a six foot butterfly silk. It is a work of art and a pleasure to perform with. Peter and Cynthia's stuff is all high quality and better than a lot of stuff on the market, and they've been in the business for a long time. I'm sure Richard's stuff is high quality too, his reputation is strong.
Message: Posted by: japanmagic (Feb 13, 2009 09:18PM)
One of the finest, brilliant and colorful silks used for the silk fountain came from Japan.
My mentor, Jimmy Yoshida (Hawaii magician & dealer), was one of the first to distribute Japan silks to the USA magic shops and conventions. He travelled around the world sharing the beautiful quality of these flat seam silks. When the light shines on the fountain, it looks like a volcano flowing. When you attend a magic convention, visit all the Japan dealers and examine the quality of the silks.
Here is a video with a silk cascade and followed by the silk fountain:
Message: Posted by: cardone (Feb 13, 2009 09:43PM)
Do you have to hang the Abbott's spectacular Finale pagodas?
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Feb 14, 2009 06:01AM)
Yes, the finales have to be hung to be effective. Usually about 15" or more in the air. If you hang just the pagodas you can use two fly lines. If you also use the drop down banner, you will need a batten line.

Message: Posted by: cardone (Feb 16, 2009 03:42PM)
If there was a way to do them with out flys I would buy them today ... I wonder if a speaker stand could be used to hoist them up from the middle .... Is there a video performance of them ? If I could see it performed I might see a way to do it....are they heavy?