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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Dove to silk (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Rob Pond
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Scott, OH
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I was wondering how do you fold you silk so that when you throw it up, it stays together to the apex of the throw and then starts to unwind. I have tried a couple, but they either don't unwind at all, or they unwind too fast and it just produces about a foot after leaving my hand. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Rob Pond
Spellbinder
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Inner circle
The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
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I think you're looking for a Spellbinder Parachute Fold with an invisible "parachutist." I used to use this in a Wizard production where I tossed silks high in the air as I whipped them out of an "invisible box of Kleenex(r)." Even so, sometimes the parachute doesn't open, as we all know. In my case, enough of them did open so that it made a pretty sight as the silks floated down all around me.

To test the concept and see if it works for you, tie a thread to each of the corners of a silk and tie the four threads to a small metal "nut" (the kind you screw on a metal bolt). The threads should be long enough that the silk will open completely with the nut in the exact center of it. That way, the nut will hang in the center when you grab any one of the four corners as the silk floats down.

The parachute fold is as follows: grab the parachute in the center, letting the nut hang down (no jokes, class!). Pleat fold the parachute (it helps to keep thinking of it as a parachute rather than a silk) from the center to the ends. The folds should each be the size of your fist, so you can quickly grab the silk and pleat fold it. The resulting package will be about 3 or 4 inches long. Fold the package in half and carefully tuck the nut and threads into the center of this last fold. The parachute package is ready for tossing. If you're producing a lot of them, as I did, you need a special holder that holds them folded in half.

If you try to get tricky and wrap the threads around the bundle, you get more parachute failures than if you just leave everything as I've described it.

A quick pressure holder for one silk would be a spring clamp hidden under the jacket. I used to use a giant stainless steel clip that was in the shape of a giant cotter pin and was used by ordinary folk as a big paper clip for holding large numbers of papers, but I haven't seen any of them in stores recently, so they may be out of fashion.

Use the smallest nut that still allows the parachute to open, and color it the same color as the silk on which it floats down. Use silk threads the same color as the silk, also.
Professor Spellbinder

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Dave Scribner
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Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Rob, remember the object of the effect is to seemingly change the dove to a silk, not make a silk production. With that said, Try this. Accordion pleat the silk into a strip then roll it up about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way and finish by accordion pleating the rest. When you toss the silk up, give it a healthy toss which you should be doing anyway to give the impression you are tossing the dove. The silk will open pretty much all at the same time and drift down creating the illusion. If you put a weight like a small safety pin on the silk, it will go up higher but will also fall faster. When I do it, I don't use the weight. I just use the natural weight of the silk. It goes up about 2 to 3 feet depending on how hard I toss it and comes down naturally.
Where the magic begins
Rob Pond
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Scott, OH
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Thanks for the advice. I will try making the parachute silk this weekend. I am going to try the accordion pleating tonight, since I would rather not gimick the silk in anyway. Thanks you for the advice. Does anyone else have any other ways of doing it?
Rob Pond
magic_man204
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north idaho
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Roll the silk into a cylinder shape leaving a little bit unrolled, when you throw it up it will unroll. It's not the fanciest but I played with it and it does work.
tophatter
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connecticut
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Sew a small washer on the end of the silk paint it white this will help the silk to unfold & come down faster !
Tops
Dave Scribner
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Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Just a personal opinion here but I think it is much more appealing to an audience to see the silk just flutter down rather than have weight pulling it down fast. If you are going to use a light weight, consider using a silk streamer instead of a silk. It will unroll as it goes up and will come down in a straight length.

Just an idea here but everyone that does this effect uses it as an ending. Suppose you toss a dove up, it changes to a streamer and as you catch it, you reproduce the dove from it. You could look surprised and put the dove in a dove mat (called dove sensation). Snapping it open, the dove will change to a silk which you tuck into your pocket. Just a little variation on the standard effect.
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raywitko
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western Pa
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I use an 18 inch silk hankie. To start the fold I hold one corner and start accordian pleating into hand holding corner. When I get near the bottom I just wrap it around a few times then tuck it under my cummerbun. As I display dove I steal hankie and make the throw.
I don't use this as an ending. When dove changes to hankie I then produce a cane and another dove from it. Since this isn't an ending and I have about 20 minutes left in the show, I steal the dove back out of pocket and apparently split the dove I made appear from hankie.
On a humid day you don't want to fold hankie to long before the show.
Ray
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Rob Pond
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Scott, OH
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I have been trying every silk fold I could think of recently. I found that if you just do a flower fold without folding the end in, you can throw it as high as you want and it won't unroll until it hits the apex. Then it can still flutter down slowly since there is no weight in it. Thanks for all the advice.
Rob Pond
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