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JohnWolf
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Just a quick question for you all. What is you motivaton for building your own equipment? Is it that you get a custom item you can be proud of? That the cash and operating expenses go further? Or that you just love the creativity and personal touch you add by making it yourself?
John
kaytracy
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Yes, yes and yes, as well as I can make things to the size I want or need.
Perhaps I need a small items to be rigged in a specific manner, or have some artwork applied for an effect.
If safety were involved, harness for flight, or things with flames, I would go pro,a s I am not an engineeer. For a lot of items, I will work on my own making odds and ends. For others, I buy them, then I might re-work or re-paint to something that has more appeal for me.
k
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George Ledo
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I agree w/ kaytracy on the yes, yes, and yes. However, back when I was performing, there was a fourth reason, which to me was the most important one:

I built my own stuff because that way I would have props that fit visually and thematically into my show. Also, I could re-work them if I wanted to.

For instance, you can buy an off-the-shelf Square Circle. There are lots and lots to choose from, but the vast majority have that "generic magic prop" look. Okay, so you can re-paint the thing, but you're still stuck with the front opening and bars, and with the size of the thing. Make your own and you have something that can work specifically for you and your show.

I'm not going to use the term "public domain" here simply because it's very often misinterpreted, so I'll just say that there's a huge amount of material out there that can be built without infringing on anyone's proprietary rights.
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ClintonMagus
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I build props simply because I want to. I have built stuff for me and for some of my friends' acts, but some of the stuff I have built was never even used. I just wanted to see if I could do it.

Amos McCormick
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Lusion
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I now build my stuff because I want somethnig different, there are a lot of things that I know that I cant do yet building wise, I have an eye for changing things and I love building stuff, a lot of people here that build their own illusions and perform know that it can sometimes take another builder weeks to build your custom illusion. I can knock my custom illusions out in a week (no paint).
magicmarkdaniel
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There's a real sense of achievement about building your own props. Its great going down the woodyard 8am on a cold monday morning and knowing within the space of a few days you'll have a fully functioning prop ready to practise and use out on the stage. I agree with the points about customising. Sometimes its just easier - AND CHEAPER - to build yourself than buy, strip and paint or respray. I perform professionally and build the props to fill the time I'm not out there working. Otherwise, it'd just be hour upon hour spent in the coffee shop, or pub. I'd rather spend my hard earned money developing my act further.

Mark
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gsidhe
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Pretty much the same as the above folks. I like all of my props to have the right look for my act, I like complete control over the design so that everything is exactly to my particular needs, it's cheaper, I would hate for someone to be able to walk into a magic shop and say "Hey...that's the trick he did yesterday"...
And I just like to do it.
Gwyd
Mystification
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First and foremost for me is to save money!
Leland Stone
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In a word, "Overhead."

I've been using tools and acquiring mechanical skills since my early teens, first as a blacksmith and later as a carpenter. I have a significant investment of both my life and my money in a fairly diverse and expansive array of equipment and abilities. Simple economics forbid my wasting those resources while pursuing a new career in Magic.

Leland.
Michael Baker
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I'm not so sure about the saving money aspect. Often the R&D of an item, plus the time invested in the design, upgrading the tool and machinery inventory, if not already a part of what I have, then the prototype phase, then the fact that I set as a goal to build things better than I can buy them, often results in a finished product that is quite expensive. However, I usually end up with something that can't be bought elsewhere at any price, so who is to say?

Mostly, it's a satisfaction that comes through yet another artistic outlet. Without such diversions, I'd be sure to explode.

~michael
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gsidhe
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Personally, I only think about material and labor costs. The design part would have been happening anyways, whether I was building or not.
Really I suppose, in the end, it is all just doing something physical with my daydreams.
Gwyd
ricker
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I just like to build. That's maybe the whole 9 yards.
Larry Bean
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It seems that many "store bought" or factory manufactured" items need tweaking, changing, reworking or adapting before you can even use them. Plus, I have learned far more about magic by building my own props than by just buying them. My biggest reason for building my own has to do with needing a particular size or a particular function which my prop has which isn't even available on the store-bought version.
JohnWolf
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Thanks for the feedback. I had a little time off and went to see 3 professional acts in the last 30 days. While admittedly most of the effects used today are based on much eariler ideass I was disapointed to see all 3 use the same illusion. I would mark creativity and originality as high on the list of reasons to build yourself.
John T Cox
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I would love to build my own stuff, however, the ghost of my seventh grade shop teacher in my ear saying "Cox, what did you use to make that, your teeth?" still haunts me. I can't cut a straight line nor can I paint something as well as I could buy it. So, purchase is what I do.
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Bob Sanders
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There is a great deal satisfaction is doing it yourself. I also like the control during the creative process and playing "what if". Many of my projects turnout to be very different than they started. Why not?

Bob Sanders
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Spellbinder
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Quote:
On 2007-10-13 22:48, hypnodream wrote:
I would love to build my own stuff, however, the ghost of my seventh grade shop teacher in my ear saying "Cox, what did you use to make that, your teeth?" still haunts me. I can't cut a straight line nor can I paint something as well as I could buy it. So, purchase is what I do.

You need to exorcise that ghost and remember that a really good teacher would have been able to show you how to do it properly, not just criticize you for being a beginner. In any case, you might try this- find someone in your magic club who builds his own stuff and offer your services as his apprentice if, in turn, he will help you build something for yourself. I had Art Khan of Xanadu magic as my "workshop mentor" and it turned my life in a new direction.
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Andy the cardician
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The sense of accomplishment is something that money can not buy . . .
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Father Photius
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I started building props because of Leland's explanation, overhead. Back in my teen years I didn't have the funds so building was the only way. But after starting I found that I could make modifications that made things work my way, which I liked even better. Then I discovered I could create my own effects. Guess I inherited a bit of the same genes as Uncle Pete. In the long run it just became fun, combining two hobbies in one.
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JamesTong
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Yes, yes and yes, and also I get to create customised items that suits me.
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