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TRUMPETMAN
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Naples, FL
705 Posts

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After drooling over gorgeous feather bouquets made by Hughes, and then sighing as I gazed into a meager wallet, I have decided to try my hand at building some of my own feather flower bouquets. I know I should use blue tempered spring steel for the stems, but not sure who I can acquire it from. Most of the online links I found for the product have it available in spools far larger than I could ever use up, so I need to find a source that has short lengths for sale. Anyone know of a source ?

I have found some nice feathers to work with, so that is not a problem, but not sure what to use to cover the stems. Would regular florist tape work, or do I need to soak it in some type of adhesive first to insure durablity ?

Has anyone gone this route other than the masters like Hughes ? His bouquests are beautiful, but lets face it, not every magician has $400-$2000 to spend on botanica illusions. Plus, I REALLY enjoy building my own props ! I have been working on several square circles, and also a doll house illusion. The idea of making flower bouquets is very interesting to me as well.

I combed the archives of this list before posting this, so anyone got any new ideas to add ? Any and all help is GREATLY appreciated.....

THANKS IN ADVANCE !!!!

Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
facebook.com/robbietheringmaster
sdgiu
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Elite user
The Boonies, NC
456 Posts

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Mark
I'd suggest you go to a florist, tell them what you want to do, and ask what to use.
Almost all florists make dry flower boquets,(which are expected to last a long time) and they are the "Professionals" at this. Unless you go at some busy time, (holidays, mothers day, etc...) they, I'm sure, would be glad to lend their expertise.

I delivered flowers for a large florist in Nashville for 2 years while I was in College. They were Very nice people, and extremely helpful.

Steve Smile

Ps They will probably want to see a trick, so go prepared Smile .
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22736 Posts

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Feather flowers do not use the same wire as paper spring flowers. Feather flowers are made from the same items sold at any craft/hobby shop for florial displays. Yes, you use the green tape for the wire, and connecting the feathers. Abbott's and probably Huges all dye there feathers, with commerical dyes.

Good luck on your task, post a picture when you have made some. Myself, after purchasing feather flowers from Abbott's and another manufacturer, it is easier to buy them.
Derek Rutt Creations
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thailand
172 Posts

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Feather flowers are not that easy to make and getting the correct wire and feathers can be a problem if you do not really know which to use . I now get all my feathers from Asia and now have 6 people making the flowers .
derek
Hope this helps. Creation is life
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RWhit
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Isn t the hardest part about making flowers trying to make a perfect circle,so that there are no gaps at the outside of the head.The feathers are sold by the pound not cheap.
Derek Rutt Creations
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thailand
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Yes ....to get a really quality flower is not easy and every single feather has to be trimmed by hand. Believe it or not we buy our feathers by the kilo and yes even from Asia they are expensive.
We have been making flower products for just over one year and many more feather flower products will be in production over the next year. If you want to see the quality of them have a look at our AUTO FLOWER although I say it myself it looks great and the not too pricy.
Derek
Hope this helps. Creation is life
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Steve Oxford
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Churchville,MD.
155 Posts

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Yo Mark, contact H & R books and buy "The Magic of Reidel" This book about Clint Reidel a Lancaster Pennsylvania magician and magic manufacturer has a whole chapter on making feather flowers, and it is very very good and detailed.
S.
TRUMPETMAN
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Naples, FL
705 Posts

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Steve,

Thanks so much for the tip ! I posted this query on a couple of discussion sites, and unfortunately, most magi seem to take the "It's a lot of work so I buy mine already made" road. I got a nice reply from a wizard in Birmingham, AL who has made them, and gave me some excellent insight. I will DEFINITELY order the book you mention. I love to make my own props, (and props for my aspiring magician son as well !) and this looked like something that with the right amount of patience and right materials, I could accomplish. Since I enjoy "rolling my own" in the prop department, this is just another adventure to take in the shop !

Thanks to all who have replied !

Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
facebook.com/robbietheringmaster
m.ruetz
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Peoria Arizona, USA
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The book "The Magic of Riedel" which fairly easy to come by, has a section on making feather flowers.
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Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Beat me to the punch, Matt. Smile I just got the book and saw that section!
~michael baker
The Magic Company
TRUMPETMAN
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Naples, FL
705 Posts

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Hey, Michael joined the fracus ! Michael was actually the first person to give a me a detailed tutorial on feather flower construction, and to him I am eternally grateful. The Riedel book, (first recommended by Steve, then by Matt), has turned out to be EXCELLENT as well ! Not only is it a great book, but the chapter on feather flowers comes complete with illustrations to accompany the construction methods. Question to Michael : Did you ever use the "medicinal" cotton wadding core in the blooms like Millie Riedel suggested ?

Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
facebook.com/robbietheringmaster
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Quote:
Question to Michael : Did you ever use the "medicinal" cotton wadding core in the blooms like Millie Riedel suggested ?

No. I have seen that style, but never used it myself. I used shorter feathers of a contrasting color, or occasionally used hackle feathers (long, thin, and wispy). Depends on the look I was shooting for.

Here's the funny thing... after making feather flowers for a few years, I'll never forget the first time I saw a Hibiscus. I could not believe how much they looked like "magicians' flowers"!
~michael baker
The Magic Company
TRUMPETMAN
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Naples, FL
705 Posts

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Well, after gazing at Google searches till I am blue in the face, I cannot seem to come up with a web link to any information about "Parrying" a feather !

It is obvious from most of the feather company websites that feathers are available "parried" by the company for purchase by guys like us, but they are indeed expensive.

The average price for a pound of goose feathers, parried, was around $165 per pound, with a 3 pound minimum order ! Plus, there are NOT an instock item, and a portion of the order must be prepaid, with no refunds available. Now I know why those beautiful bouquest cost so much !

Before I start whacking at quills with my X-acto, razor blades, and various kitchen knives, any suggestions on how to do my own parrying ?

"I gettin' parried in the mornin'....."

(sorry, couldn't resist)

8~)

Mark
Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
facebook.com/robbietheringmaster
hugmagic
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Inner circle
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Yes, when you figure I buy my feathers 5# at time or more and three colors minimum per bouquet, add some time, 25 years of experience, and it will seem like a bargin.

I always say I wish I made fifty cents an hour, that would be 200% improvement.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Handydandymagic
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I have an older wilting/drooping flower that I purchased years ago, one of the feathers is broken other than that it is in great shape. Is there any place to purchase a single feather or a way to repair the break?
Thanks and have a Magical day.
Dandy
flourish dude
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Is there a way to re-dye the colors of a feather? I have an old sleeve flower set I would love to liven up!
Nothing of the same will bring any change, take action today!
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Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Quote:
On 2005-12-29 18:26, flourish dude wrote:
Is there a way to re-dye the colors of a feather? I have an old sleeve flower set I would love to liven up!

This is an interesting question. I'd imagine it would be akin to building a bouquet from scratch, as I suspect the whole thing may need to be dismantled first. Assuming you have one color for the blooms (possibly with a contrasting center) and then green foliage, you'd want to avoid one dye bleeding onto other areas.

Although I've never tried it, you may get fairly decent results with an acid dye (like you'd use for Easter eggs), because it will be applied to an organic material (feathers).

Should be a fairly messy undertaking and probably best tackled when you have exhausted many other possible hobbies.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
gerard1973
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Michigan, U.S.A.
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The magic of Riedel is written by James M Klein. It is not so easy to find and the books that I did find cost $129.95 in 2006 prices.
"Confusion is not magic."
Dai Vernon
TRUMPETMAN
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Naples, FL
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I got my copy of "The MAgic of Riedel" from H&R MAgic Books, about four months ago. It was about $25. I know different book sellers put vastly different prices on old books. Have you tried H& R yet ?

Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
facebook.com/robbietheringmaster
leapinglizards
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I've made a LOT of feather bouquets.... Used thin roung piano wire from K and S engineering- available at most hobby shops. Feathers were held on with multiple wraps of thick green thread, ends finished with glue and floral tape.

Time consuming, but actually easy enough to do while you watch a movie or two on the tube.
Leaping Lizards!!! Who knew it was possible.
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