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Topic: Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic
Message: Posted by: The Magician (Sep 22, 2004 02:31PM)
Hi all, Can anyone tell me if Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic is for beginners. Thanks
Message: Posted by: kregg (Sep 22, 2004 03:41PM)
Rices Encyclopedia is for every level and most of what is in the books can be adapted for use with various props. I put the complete set on my top 20 magic books.
Message: Posted by: Darkwing (Sep 22, 2004 04:24PM)
Buy them all. They are well worth the money.
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (Sep 22, 2004 07:11PM)

I'd say that the Rice's Encyclodedias should be owned by every professional who does silk magic, but I'm not so sure they're good for a beginner.

The amount of material is truely awesome. You can get a real good idea of the vast amount of effects/routines that can be done using silks. However, the Silk books were written about 40 or 50 years ago (except volume 4), and reflect those times. Back then, performing on stage with audience in front of you (and with proper distance) was more of the norm than today. So, I think a lot of the information in the books isn't very relevant to the typical performer who has to worry about angles and the audience close up. There is super material in the volumes, but my experience is I have wade through a lot of unusable information to find them. And I'm not so sure that's what a beginner wants to do.

My advice for a beginner is to start with some of Duane Laflins video tapes/DVDs and get a better idea of what you want to do in silk magic, then at a later date, get the Rice books.

I hope this helps you.

Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Sep 22, 2004 09:27PM)
I will second Ron's reccomendation. Rice has so much material within that it overwhelms you.

Even after 25+ years, I still find new things in it that I missed or had not thought about fully before.

Duane's stuff is easy to digest and gives a very good starting point.
Message: Posted by: Jimmy Joza (Sep 26, 2004 03:52PM)
I love my Encyclopedia of Silk Magic set! Some stuff is for beginners and is rather easy to do and some requires more work. I agree about Duane Laflin's material. Jeff McBride also has some good tips and routines on his Stage Magic videos/DVD's. Pavel also has a silk video, however, you need different gimmicks for almost every routine that is on this video. And I would also recommend Paul Diamond's video, Symphonette in Silk, which is available from L&L Publishing for $10.

Message: Posted by: Ricardo_magician (Sep 30, 2004 08:42PM)
Hi I have read the book from my local magic club and I have found lots of useful information in it. It's a great read.

Ricardo the Magician
Message: Posted by: Leppy (Oct 1, 2004 11:26PM)
How many volumes are in the full set? I have three that came from Ebay...Two of volume two, and one of volume one. The second volume of #2 was autographed, so that's why I picked up the second. I am slowly trying to build up my collection and would like to get full sets if possible.

Thanks again,

Message: Posted by: Rice (Oct 2, 2004 10:35AM)
There are three Volumes in the Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic series. There is a "Fourth" Volume that is often advertised as part of the Rice's series, but it is NOT part of Rice's ESM. It has a different author and different publisher and was written by Mark Trimble after dad died. It is called Encyclopedia of Silk Magic, Volume 4, not Rice's ESM, Volume 4! Dad had quite a good start on his volume four before he became ill. I still have his work on the real fourth volume. Before my dad died he sold the rights to publishing the first three volumes of Rice's ESM. They have been reprinted and available from many dealers for years. I still have some of dad's ORIGINAL Volume 3 of the Encyclopedia of Silk Magic for sale at http://www.silkkingmagic.com. if you are interested.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Oct 2, 2004 02:49PM)
Are there any Easy to Do Silk Tricks in any of the Books I'll like to do a couple Silk Tricks that may not of been seen in a while. Don,
Message: Posted by: Leppy (Oct 5, 2004 04:37PM)
Thank you Ruth...I will be checking out the website and looking forward to completing my collection.

Message: Posted by: Dougini (Oct 14, 2004 11:51AM)
Let me say this about that:

Get Vol 3 from Ruth, while you can. These are the ORIGINAL! They are a true collector's item, and I'm so glad I got that one when I did!

Check here for the other volumes:


Best collection of silk magic in the world, IMO

Message: Posted by: lhughes (Oct 22, 2004 11:44PM)
Rice's books are excellent! From the lettering to the diagrams to the extensive coverage of the topic. They really feel like a work of art. Get them!
Message: Posted by: R Don (Feb 22, 2005 12:34AM)
The artist Francic B Martineau is still alive and well and living in Vancouver. He'd probably autograph them if you were in the area. He is in the phone book. You would probably have to buy him lunch though
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Feb 22, 2005 12:08PM)
My last telephone conversation with Harold Rice was nearly twenty years ago about this time in 1986. He spent a great deal of the time in that conversation praising Francis B. Martineau. Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic is art in many forms. They certainly have good reason to be proud of it.

One of the odd things I remember about the mail that followed was that he signed it H.R. Rice. It was the only correspondence I ever got from him signed that way. It caught my eye.

Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: fccfp (Feb 24, 2005 05:08AM)
No Doubt, The ESM is a terrific referance piece. However for someone with a limited budget who can only buy one volume which would it be. My understadning is that each volume has a bit of everything.

Any recomendations?

Same question for Tarbell

Message: Posted by: Jimmy Joza (Feb 24, 2005 05:12PM)
For those beginning in silk magic then I would recommend Volume 1 since it has a variety of silk productions and vanishes both gimmicked and ungimmicked as well as color changes and transpositions.

Message: Posted by: fccfp (Feb 26, 2005 06:06AM)
Does Vol 1 also deal with fountains?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 27, 2005 12:16AM)
Now I am confused. I thought that Hank Lee obtained the printing rights for the Rice ESM. He then published Vol. 4. The late Neil Foster told me he gave his silk fountain to Harold Rice for publishing in Vol. 4. If the partial manuscript that Harold Rice was working on for over 10 years was given to Hank Lee to publish, then it should include a section on Silk Fountains.

None of the 1st 3 Vol. deal with the silk fountain. Hopefully Ruth Rice Crone will clear this up.

Hank Lee made a special computer font from the original books so the final vol. 4 would look just like the 1st three. This was in his advertisement story.
Message: Posted by: Jimmy Joza (Feb 27, 2005 08:39AM)
Hi, William! Only the rights to the first three volumes were sold. Ruth Rice Crone has previously commented on this and here's the link:


She does have her father's material he was working on for Volume 4 but no immediate plans seem to be in the works yet to have these published.

And Bruce, there is a little bit of material on the silk fountain in Volume 4 but it is not extensive. I think you are better off with Duane Laflin's DVD on the silk fountain, Paul Diamond's tape "Symphonette in Silk", and Jeff McBride convers it for a few minutes in one of his "Magic on Stage" DVD's.

Message: Posted by: fccfp (Feb 27, 2005 01:34PM)
Thanks Jimmy,
I will probably get Laflin's DVD. I have his DVD on the Palmo and it's very good.
Message: Posted by: Rice (Feb 27, 2005 02:26PM)
Yes, I do have the Neil Foster silk fountain routine that he gave to Dad, along with a wonderful letter from Mr. Foster. He was one of my favorite magicians, particularly when he did the Zombie with the silk he had Dad make for him. He always very kind to me as a youngster. The routine is with the other materials in the unfinished "Volume 4 of the ESM". It will remain there until, and if, I find a suitable way to have the material finished and published.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Mar 1, 2005 02:36AM)
I am happy that is cleared up. I am glad I did not buy Vol. 4. I only wanted Neil Foster version of the Silk Fountain.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Mar 2, 2005 10:34PM)

I want the Neil Foster stuff too. But I will tell you that I have gotten good mileage out of Vol 4 also. I'd do it again. And Ruth would tell you that this Alabama Boy is a true Harold Rice fan. (Poor ole Lucy, my wife, was made to go with me back through Woods Hall where Rice worked at the University of Alabama. That was tough on a UCLA graduate. But I didn't make her say "Roll Tide".)

Magic By Sander