Kitchen Workshop Magic for Children

Discuss the art of Children's Entertainment with your fellow performers.
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Spellbinder
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Kitchen Workshop Magic for Children

Postby Spellbinder » July 12th, 2014, 3:00 am

So far the first three Kitchen Workshop projects from Jim Gerrish have been new variations on old Kid Magic Tricks. First, let me define Kitchen Workshop projects as those which can be easily built in the ordinary kitchen without the use of power tools. Jim's preferred material is 1/16 inch thick sheets of basswood, which are easily cut with a razor knife on a glass surface cutting board or table, and which are easily assembled using masking tape and wood glue.

His collection will be taking up most of The Wizards' Journal #27, we think. So far he has built #1 a new Die Box Combination, in which all the props can be handled by a helper from the audience without revealing any secrets. The Die changes places with a silk handkerchief.

#2 is a new variation on the old Drawer Box. This one can also be handled by a spectator, and the entire audience can plainly see that the drawer and the box are both completely empty before filling up with candy or whatever...again and again.

#3 is Jim's newest idea for using the Howard Westgate principle. It is a Clown Bus. Once again, this tray can be held by a helper from the audience, and the little Bus fills up with clowns one after another... including their pets and farm animals if you wish.

Planned future projects include a Flag Crate (cabby) designed for performing the latest three-way mis-made flag... again while in the hands of a helper. Jim loves the idea of performing kids' magic while the props are being held by the kids, and so he has redesigned the Hippity Hop Rabbits with this in mind. There will also be a Square Circle made from an oatmeal container for a tube which gives up its production items while being held by an audience helper. And so on...
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Re: Kitchen Workshop Magic for Children

Postby Spellbinder » August 24th, 2014, 5:51 am

After publishing his new version of a Silk Cabby designed specifically for the Mis-made Flag and working like no other Silk Cabby in magic history has worked...
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...Jim's plans took a couple of turns in two different directions to next make a Teeny Tiny Tricky Trunk for his One Flea Circus act:

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This will be followed by his version of Roy Benson's String Sticks - a set designed specifically for performing Benson's Three Stick act plus a new twist of having the third stick also be a Pom Pom Pole. This one should be completed in September.
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Re: Kitchen Workshop Magic for Children

Postby Spellbinder » November 16th, 2014, 10:49 pm

Just an update: Jim Finished his Roy Benson String Sticks project:\\Image

Then he went on to a small and easy to make and handle version of the Selbit Traveling Blocks, more recently known as Cube A Libre, or Jim's Version which is called "Bouncing Blocks A Libre":

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He is currently working on "Atta-Clown", a combination of Jack Hughes Atta-Boy with Forgetful Clowney, Billiard Ball Holder, Sponge Ball trick, color changing clown or Hippity Hop Clowns, and who knows what else?

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Q. Kumber
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Re: Kitchen Workshop Magic for Children

Postby Q. Kumber » November 17th, 2014, 7:36 am

It is a pleasure to see these projects. I started making props on our kitchen table when I was twelve. At sixteen I made the complete show, 'The Magic Bricks' from Peter D'Arcy's book, 'Children's Parties a Speciality'.

Making your own props seems to be a forgotten craft. Pity.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Kitchen Workshop Magic for Children

Postby erdnasephile » November 17th, 2014, 9:52 am

Those are neat props.

I wonder if that "forgotten craft" will rise again as 3D printers become more ubiquitous.

Hopefully so!

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Re: Kitchen Workshop Magic for Children

Postby Spellbinder » November 17th, 2014, 10:28 am

We have a lot of Magic Nook props that can be printed on a regular printer right now, without waiting for a 3-D printer. Naturally, these include a lot of jumbo card props, but also others that can be folded into boxes and such. One that I forgot to mention from Jim's Kitchen Workshop is his "Squarcle," made from tin cans and orange juice cartons, which is sort of 3-D without waiting for the printer.
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It's a Square Circle that is built right in front of the audience, starting with a tin can for a tube, an orange juice carton for the square box tube, and a tray for holding everything. It gets put together and handled by a spectator, who has no idea where the production items are coming from right under his nose. It's a lot of work and preparation is involved to perform it, but not as much as Ade Duval required to perform his "Rhapsody in Silk."
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Re: Kitchen Workshop Magic for Children

Postby Spellbinder » November 21st, 2014, 11:09 pm

Q. Kumber wrote:It is a pleasure to see these projects. I started making props on our kitchen table when I was twelve. At sixteen I made the complete show, 'The Magic Bricks' from Peter D'Arcy's book, 'Children's Parties a Speciality'.

Making your own props seems to be a forgotten craft. Pity.


I congratulate you on making that Peter D'Arcy "Magic Bricks" complete show in one prop. It's a great thing to see in the book's diagrams and photos and I would love to see someone using it in a live show, but it is much too complicated for me; I get exhausted just reading about it.

Jim just recently released his "There's An Egg In Your Hat" routine, not in The Wizards' Journal but in the Mini-Mysteries Book 4 on The Magic Nook. I was reminded of it because it meets all eight of Peter D'Arcy's Conditions for a good trick.

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1. Require no setting of any sort.
2. Be suitable for stage or drawing room (and I add close-up as well).
3. Appeal to all ages.
4. Play for at least six minutes.
5. Combine strong visual magic with plenty of "business".
6. Be both angle proof and foolproof in working.
7. Need no expendable items such as tissue, shells, etc.
8. Be exclusive to yourself.

Number 7 is out if you use the optional real egg ending, but other than that it meets all eight conditions well.
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