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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » No rolled mouth bead on Vernon cups??? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Kevin Gardner
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These amazing pictures were just posted on James Riser's site:
http://www.jamesriser.com/Magic/Vernon/Cups.html

Did I mention the pictures are amazing?
Lawrence O
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This gave me the idea that the engravings should be made by secretly including in the arabesques the etches which appeared in various designs in Ozanam, Guyot, Decremps in the plates.
Sherwood would improve even further on the value of his cups by doing it
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
Mobius303
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Vernon's cups were cast so there would be no rolled mouth bead.
His wife had made a plaster cast of Paul Fox Cups and George Karger (?) brought the cast with him to Iraq 6 cuos were then made and then engraved. The cups were then smuggled back to the states.
The story of the cups is on Revelations Vol. 5 DVD/VHS. He also mentions the story on the Interview tapes Vol. 2.

Persi bought the set George had kept for $100 a cup. Then he cleaned the set up and traded the "new" set to Vernon because his cups were banged up pretty good. He would bang them during his performance but careful not to Scalop the edges.

Thanks for sharing the new link to the cups the pics are very clear.
Lawrence O can you show any reference pics of what your talking about? What is an arabesques? I have nevere heard or read that word before.
Thanks,
Mobius
lint
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First I have heard they were cast. certainly don't look it.
"There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip..." -English Proverb
Bill Palmer
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I'm not going to comment on the technical aspects of how the cups were made. These photos are actually the same ones that appeared on Riser's site earlier, just a bit larger. Note that you are really only seeing about 2/3 of the surface of the outside of the cup. There is a spot just below the lower shoulder bead that you can follow in the photo. In the first photo, it is almost dead center. In the second photo, the cup has been turned about 10 degrees, so the spot is just to the left of the center line of the cup. In the third photo, the cup has been turned another 10 degrees or so, so the spot is about halfway between the center line of the cup and the edge of the cup.

The fact that the model that Karger took with him was a casting does not necessarily mean that the cups, themselves were cast.
If the cups were actually cast, then it was the first step in a process. There would have been a bit of grinding involved to get the sharp edge of the saddle. Also, I believe that the mouth rim was soldered on. This was a very common practice in cup making during the 19th century. The Charles Bertram cups in the Magic Circle museum have a mouth bead and a shoulder bead that were soldered on.

An arabesque is a a sinuous, spiraling, undulating, or serpentine line or linear motif. Think of some of the traditional Persian carpet designs you may have seen, such as the curvilinear Tabriz design.

It would really be nice to see a large sized photo of the interior of that cup.
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Mobius303
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Watch the Revelations vol. 5 video Bill...he didn't take a casting he took the mold with him. The intention, in Vernon's own words, was to cast a set of cups there. What happened there is anybody's guess.

Doesn't really matter. The cups are not on display or available to study at this time anyways. All we have is some video and these pics of them.
Bill Palmer
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I meant a mold, of course. It would undoubtedly be an exterior mold. I know there are other photos of Vernon's cups around. I recall having seen one that shows the interior of one of the cups. I think it was on Riser's site. If I recall correctly, you can see that where the shoulder bead and the additional ring are, the interior of the cup follows the exterior.

BTW, regarding "the mold." If it wasn't cast, then how was it made?
"The Swatter"

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lint
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Quote:
On 2010-12-29 13:59, Bill Palmer wrote:
BTW, regarding "the mold." If it wasn't cast, then how was it made?


If you are asking based on my statement I meant the cups didn't look cast. A Mold (or mould) of course has to be cast over the subject.

Vernon's cups being cast from a PF mold doesn't line up for me. Why don't they look more similar to a PF cup? Plaster is a very good molding substrate. The profile should be spot on. How was a PF cup even molded in plaster? The shoulder beads would create a shelf locking the cup in the mold. A silicone mold would work but I am not sure they had that ability back then. If they did somehow cast vernon's cups from a PF mold, How did they create the negative space without an interior mold that was professionally shrunk to create the wall thickness?

I have done a fair amount of molding/casting in my day and it just doesn't add up. It is not impossible, but my feeling is that a cup, a mold of a cup or a cast of a cup was brought and the artisans in iraq simply improvised.

-Todd
"There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip..." -English Proverb
Bill Palmer
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I watched that segment on Revelations twice. Vernon NEVER says that the intention was to have a set of cups cast. He says that his wife made a plaster mold.

I know a bit about plaster casting. You cast molds just like you cast the items you make from molds.

I suspect (and this is just conjecture) that they made a casting from the mold that Karger had brought over and then they made a copy of the resulting object in metal. From there, they would make a series of wax models, which they would dip into a plaster-like compound called investment. Then from there, they would burn out the wax, fill the resulting investment mould with silver, and make the bare cups. The additional work would take place after the silver castings had been done.

The process is not extremely difficult if you have an experienced jeweler working with you. I don't do investment casting, myself, but I have made wax models for casting. The main thing you have to know is that the resulting casting, if done correctly, will be precisely like the model. You can even polish the model to get a really smooth finish on it.

Today, there is a tendency to use various kinds of high temperature Silicone RTV mold making compound, which did not exist when these cups were made, in order to do the same thing.

When Magic Island opened in Houston, I had a bronze foundry cast some very large bronze scarabs for me.
"The Swatter"

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Mobius303
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Today you could just CNC them just as easy as any other way if you have the money. what your saying makes sense Bill and Todd.

Interesting discussion.
I looked at a picture Mike Rogers took that shows the inside of the cup. It appears to be smooth inside but that could be a trick of the photo due to any one of several factors. The picture is black and white and was posted here at sometime in the past. I think it was also posted on Risers site at one time.
There was nothing I could see on the inside, it looks smooth to me. Of course the balls look like they are smooth as well so that doesn't help much. I even blew it up 300% but that also did not help. Going to watch the Vernon routine on DVD to see what I can see.
lint
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Would love to see the mike rogers picture(s) if anyone has them.
"There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip..." -English Proverb
Lawrence O
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There are a few in his book but you can find better images in the DVDs by Joe Stevens Magic Emporium
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
Dave V
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Lint,
What exactly do you mean by PF mold? Paul Fox? Molds can be made that are intricately detailed including undercuts more severe than a simple shoulder bead. It's all about studying the object being molded and knowing how to cut the mold to separate it cleanly. If I were to do it, I'd pour rubber molding compound over the cup and then carefully cut it away leaving the impression intact. Plaster molds can be done with cups quite easily by doing half at a time with the cup on it's side (blocking the internal space). A mold release compound between the two pourings would guarantee that the mold comes apart intact. The interior recesses might be more difficult, but a skilled mold maker would know how to do that too.
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Bill Palmer
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Vernon specified on Revelations 5 that his wife had made a PLASTER mold, not a rubber one. A rubber mold would have been much easier to work with. In this case, I believe that she did an exterior mold only, simply because trying to execute an interior mold in plaster with the shoulder beads would have been rather difficult.

She could have actually filled the indentations with plasticene, which was a common practice then, but that would have left the impressions of the beads out.

A plaster mould of a Paul Fox cup probably would not have been made in a single piece and then cut apart. It would have more likely been made by placing the cup on its side with the mouth of the cup blocked off or with something inside it to fill it. Then the mould would be poured until it was a bit more than halfway up the cup.

At that point, the keyways to align the other half of the mould would be cut in the plaster. This would ensure that the second part of the mould would align properly with the first part. A piece of wax paper between the halves of the mould would ensure that the mould would separate properly.

This mould was made before Vernon's trip to England, which was roughly 1952, if memory serves. Since Danny Dew was not making Paul Fox cups at that time, it's quite probable that the original cup the mould was made from was one of those that Paul Fox actually produced.

One of my father's hobbies was sculpture. He made a number of plaster moulds of various intricate objects, some of which he cast in plastic, others in plaster, which he bronzed.
"The Swatter"

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Denis Bastible
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Who owns the cups pictured on Riser's site? Were those cups actually owned and used by Vernon?
lint
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Hi Dave,
I know extremely intricate designs can be molded with multi-part molds. I was trying to think in simplest terms though. Vernon's mention of his wife molding a cup didn't bring to mind someone with art school experience doing a multi-part mold. With the elesticity of RTV Silicone on the market these days a one part exterior mold could easily be made.

-todd
"There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip..." -English Proverb
Dave V
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Quote:
On 2010-12-30 00:45, Bill Palmer wrote:


A plaster mould of a Paul Fox cup probably would not have been made in a single piece and then cut apart. It would have more likely been made by placing the cup on its side with the mouth of the cup blocked off or with something inside it to fill it. Then the mould would be poured until it was a bit more than halfway up the cup.

At that point, the keyways to align the other half of the mould would be cut in the plaster. This would ensure that the second part of the mould would align properly with the first part. A piece of wax paper between the halves of the mould would ensure that the mould would separate properly.


That's exactly the method I envisioned, you just said it much better.
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Bill Palmer
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Actually, Vernon's wife was an experienced artist. She sculpted the mask Vernon wore in his Harlequin act. She made other things as well. The process isn't very difficult. All you need is a two-part mould, although a three part mould would also work well. Think of the mould as being made with the cup lying on its side. If the mould is made inside a square form about 5 inches on a side, that would easily give a 1 inch+ clearance on the mould on all sides.

With the cup lying on its side, the plaster would be poured in up to a point just above the centerline of the cup and allowed to set. The alignment "keys" would be cut into the resulting half mould and the mould would be trimmed down to the centerline of the cup. The form would be removed and the half-mould turned on one side. A mould would be made of one half of the remaining part of the cup, with a layer of wax paper between the first half and the second half to allow easy separation. Then the 3/4 mould would be removed and the same procedure would be used to cast the other quarter of the mould. Or it could be done in two keyed halves. Mould making is a basic part of sculpture technique.

Regarding differences in the cups -- you have to remember that the Paul Fox cup of, say, 1950 (actually 1932) did not have the same contour that the Paul Fox/Danny Dew type II cup has.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Dave V
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I learned the basics of this technique in grade school. I have no doubt Mrs Vernon was capable of doing this, especially after reading Mr. Palmer's most recent post about her skills as an artist.
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lint
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Ahh she was an artist. well that changes everything. I pictured Mrs. Cleaver.



-Todd
"There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip..." -English Proverb
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