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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Most unusual materials used in prop construction? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EsnRedshirt
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Newark, CA
893 Posts

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Just curious if anyone's found some really off-the-wall materials or places to find materials which they've used in constructing their props and illusions. For example, maybe using part of a 2-liter soda bottle in a manner completely different from what it was intended (such as a cylinder for a Circle Square.)

This last weekend, I was browsing a fabrics store that was having a moving sale (including their display stands), and spotted the old wooden rods they use to display full bolts of material. I thought to myself, "Hmmm, cheap spears for a sword box...", hunted down the manager, and bought ten of them for a buck each. Okay, not quite that unusual as parts go, but just a story to get things started.
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kaytracy
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Inner circle
Central California
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My away team regularly visits the craft store for the unusual. I suggest looking at the Magic Nook site for some of the unusual ideas from there!
I think if you take soem time to research some of the history of props, you will be a bit surprised. I always though the Zombie looked a lot like the ball float in the back of the T-Tank......
cptkay!
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Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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If a magician is a builder, an inventor, a craftsman, an innovator, an improvisor, a salvager, an adapter, a scrounger, (perhaps, a thief), and a creator, there is very little that cannot be used to make magic. My list could go on for days.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Chris Stolz
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Inner circle
Mississauga, Ontario
1957 Posts

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Well said Michael well said.

I think one of the more odd-ball items I have used was a shower cap..
NFox
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I Do Mentalism Now?!
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Chris, I'm not even going to ask.

Nick Fox
"Obscuring Reality"- Gone but not forgotten...

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EsnRedshirt
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Newark, CA
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Chris, that sounds like a story that needs telling...
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mvmagic
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Has written
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There's good stuff everywhere. One prop required a scorched look which I did by mixing sugar with black acrylic and glued it on the prop.

I needed narrow aluminum trim for a prop and found it on the color cartridges of our office laser printer. A sieve became a part of a DeKolta chair. A wooden packing frame for a small fridge became an instant shadow box with scrap 2by4's as the table for it.

Only your imagination is the limit. I know it is a cliché, but think outside the box and don't be afraid to experiment.

Chris, the shower cap story NEEDS to be told! Smile
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George Ledo
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Back when I was a kid, I made a spike thru balloon with a large juice can and the plastic tube that one of my Mom's eyebrow pencils came in. I also made a dye tube from a couple of small celluloid tubes that something else came packed in.

Gee, that's twice in one paragraph that I broke the preposition rule! Smile

Another time I made a very nice flesh paint by spraying the object with something (I don't remember what it was) and then dusting a mix of a couple of my Mom's face powders on it. She was used to me doing strange things with this magic stuff, but that time she thought I'd finally gone off the deep end.

Nowadays, sometimes I'll see Donna putting on some mascara (or is it eyeliner?), and I look at the long gold cap with the brush attached, and think it'd make a nice tip for a magic wand. The funny thing is that she actually comes up with something unusual now and then (she's in medicine) and asks me if I can use it for a prop or something. I love it!

And yes, I'll go along with the others: that shower cap story needs to be told. I can sort of guess what you used it for, Chris, but I could be totally wrong...
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camikesrd
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Richmond,Virginia
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A prophylatic ( rubber ). Bruce Elliot had a snake in the basket somewhere in print

that the motive power was gas. You had a shot glass with water in it , a baloon

with Alka Seltezer crushed up in the end and a cloth sleve that looked like a

snake over it in a basket comtainer. A card was selected , the deck was placed in

the basket and the snake was raised up to show selected card placed on ball of wax

I could not find the right size baloon and did not want to buy a gross so I came

up with the idea of the rubber. Perhaps it was Fruedian......Mike
Chris Stolz
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Mississauga, Ontario
1957 Posts

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Alright guys, here it is...the shower cap story.

It was just before a show, and my hair was freshly cut. I needed something, just SOMETHING, to keep everything in perfect showman condition. But wait....what's this?...a strange plastic device. PERFECTION! Not only was my hair dry, but it looked shiney and new.

Haha Ok, all kidding aside, it was "well" in a table. I had found a black cap in the cupboard under the sink. It worked really well because it stayed right up against the bottom of the table until something fell in it. I think I must have used the thing for almost a year and I only stopped using it when I replaced the table entirely.

George were you right?
George Ledo
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SF Bay Area
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Alas, no... Smile I was thinking more in terms of keeping the fish in the bowl.

But thanks for the story!
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
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