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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Sands of Time? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

harp
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My daughter is looking for information on the Sands of Time, color changing sand or whatever the actual name is. She has seen this performed a couple of times and would like to learn it if it is not too difficult for her. She is 9 years old and is learning several different things trying to put a little show together. Any help appreciated.

Thanks,

Harp
mvmagic
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Never done "sands" myself but a friend stopped doing it because it was so messy. Check Jim Steinmeyer´s book "The Magic of Alan Wakeling" which has a great similar effect using drinks (which can be handed out). I do this myself but I cant remember the exact title. If I am not mistaken, the effect was designed to replace the sand because of the mess.
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Chimera
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Well there is a cheap version for sale. I think called Sand of the Desert.

The real thing as you have seen it on TV is a costly illusion. Requires a lot of preset work. And not to mention the big mess of sand everywhere on stage.

I have used it in shows before. I always has a cover on the floor for easy clean up.

Not recommended for a 9 year old and some pros out there. This trick is really a pain the butt.

There are a couple different methods out there. Plus you can be dealing with chemicals and so on.

If you have not seen Doug Henning do it, you should track a copy down.
harp
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Thanks for the feedback. I have seen Henning's performance and it was great. Recently saw Kirby Van Burch who done an excellent job with it as well. He is the one that got my daughter started in magic.

Anyway, sounds to be a little much at this time and certainly not geared for a beginner.

Thanks again.

Harp
Dennis Michael
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I watched Terry Evanswood do it several times (Pigeon Forge, TN) and he did an excellent job with it.
Dennis Michael
Magicduck
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Look at the forum below: "Boxes, tubes & bags", and you will find a thread called "hindu sands." There are a number of posts about this. In that thread Scott Ocheltree gave a link to a science supply shop where you can get the exact sand you want at totally cheap prices. I have had this effect for years, and it is the version Doug Henning performed. He uses exactly the sand Scott points you to. My views regarding your daughter and the trick are this.

1. If you do not use the whole scheme of turning the water black and clear again, which is not essential, but is kind of neat, then you have eliminated safety issues. This sand was sold for kids to play with and still is. Obviously they should not eat it but with the age of your daughter-- not an issue. The turning the water was a newer addition to this effect. In the classic version, instead of the clear bowl they used an opaque bowl and dumped the sand in, stirred it. It was obvious the sand would be mixed but lots of it was the imagination of the audience. Many of the classic magic books will have this done with a metal bowl.

2. It is simple to perform. With this type of sand, vs the very old methods where you had to pre-cook the sand in just the right quantity of candle wax, it is as easy as putting your socks on. It is all presentation.

3. It certainly can be messy. You are using water and 3 colors of sand. It need not be terribly messy however, with care. Although I would not want a kid, or anyone else, practicing on my carpet or oak floor. Maybe if you had a basement area, that type of thing. And of course, it would be fine on most platforms or stages. The suggestions of a cover or tarp are good. I saw a good magician, small time guy, do this years ago in a beautiful historic building up on a platform. He did it very well and seemed to limit the mess.

Hope this helps.
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harp
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Quack,

Good information that I will check out. The garage is our current theatre with 2 cats and a dog for the audience.

Thanks again.

Harp
Bill Palmer
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There are safe ways to turn the water dark and back to clear without using poisonous chemicals. But the opaque container is the least messy method.

Spread a plastic dropcloth on the floor before performing it, though.
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Starrpower
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I have performed this trick and didn't like the water-coloring angle because of the mess. Ontage, I dried my hands with towels that matched the sand -- red, yellow, green. After turning the water back to clear, I used a white towel, which started getting gray stains after a few performances!

Also, Magicduck is almost correct -- the sand they sell for kids to play with is not the same and will *not* work for this trick as it doesn't stay "clumped" when grasped, but it is close enought that people may think it's what's being used. That's exactly why I stopped doing the trick; a few kids came up to me after a show and said, "You're using Squand!" (Squand is a brand name for the toy version of a colored-sand-in-water.)

The trick is relatvely easy to perform, but please work with your child so the PRESENTATION is smooth and entertaining.
daffydoug
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The effect may be purchased from Hank Lee, but the necesary chemicals are not included. You have to hunt like crazy to obtain them.

I know because I purchased the effect years ago. It's sitting behind me on my shelf within touching distance as I type.

And the MESS! It's horribly messy! It is also not very packs small plays big either.

I would think it fair to say your daughter needs to work on other effects. This is not really for a child, it is rather for someone who has a lot of experience on stage, and the practiced ability to really sell the effect with audience commanding personality.

Performers who have been on stage for many years could do this.

The trick would probably have the effect of making your daughter look silly. In otherwords, it could backfire.

Doug Henning pulled it off and made it look like real magic.

He had that ability.

He had an established stage presence.

He had command of his audience. He was a master.

Your daughter is a beginner.

Beginners need to start at the beginning, build a solid foundation first, before they consider quantum leaps.

And on top of all this, as someone else mentioned, the toymakers have now effectively ruined everything by coming out with this "squand" crap. Their goes another beautiful classic of magic down the crapper.

The first time some smart mouthed kid yelled at her "Hey, your'e using squand!" she would be devastated, not knowing how to reply to her first "heckler"!
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Magicduck
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Gee Starr,

That may be. Years back I bought some sand in little genii bottles, sold for kids baths. I mixed it with what I had. It seems to work exactly the same far as I can tell. It stays in one place when I put it there, clumping. Maybe squand is different than what I bought years back...not sure.
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Starrpower
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Magicduck .... could be different stuff, too. I'm sure there are a lot of products out there, and the only one I saw was "Squand". My daughter had "Squand" and it did "clump" in water, but would not allow itself to be grasped; it would fall apart once touched, so although it LOOKED the same in water, it could not be grasped for a reproduction. I played with it a lot to see if I could use it .. heh-heh! Still, as long as people THINK it works, it ruins it for us!
daffydoug
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Starr, That is exactly what I am thinking. All they have to do is THINK it, and we are sunk. This is sad, really sad.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
themagicofjoseph
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I have a way to use regular colored sand from any craft store...use a gimmick and have had good luck. Drop a line if you like to hear about it. themagicofjoseph@hotmail.com This way maybe easier to help those learning....later.......they can change to a different version..this is a confidence builder.
daffydoug
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I'll be sure to give him a ring!
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Eclipse1
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I recently added this effect to my touring show and I disagree with many of you. I have found the effect to be rather simple in performance, not messy, and plays very big! Also, I found the chemicals online for about $20 total. I purchased my sand from Hank Lee's. I purchased about 5 sets to allow for enough sand. Investment in sand alone was over $250.00. I think it comes back to the same principle...it's not the effect, it's what you do with it.
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