Hindu Sands

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Carl Mercurio » 03/21/03 09:22 PM

Anybody do this effect. I'm adding it to my platform act. I'm using the cheater's version out of Greater Magic in which you have sand loaded in hollow rubber balls, not the version with the waxed sand. In fact, I tried to made the damn waxed sand per the Greater Magic instructions and failed. I feel pretty good about my general approach and routine, but always open to pointers.
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 03/21/03 10:06 PM

Carl:

I've been considering this effect for some time and have some of the same questions you have. I suppose I am skeptical about the waxed sand versions but I am certainly interested to hear what the experienced people have to say.

Thanks for starting this thread.

JMT
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Postby sleightly » 03/22/03 04:21 AM

There is a sand in the toy stores which can be dropped in the water and removed dry (no dark water needed)... Ads for which can be seen running on Nickolodeon.

Stuff looks great!

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Postby Jon Elion » 03/22/03 05:58 AM

The sand Andrew refers to is cleverly known as "Magic Sand". Here's some interesting links about it:
-Jon (a science geek) Elion
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Postby David Nethery » 03/22/03 05:55 PM

Thanks , Jon, for those links.
That educational supply house has lots of interesting gadgets and gizmos which would be applied to magic .

On the subject of the "Magic Sand" :

Too bad it's a kids toy (advertised on Nickolodeon!) , because that kind of ruins the Hindu Sands effect .......oh, well.
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Postby sleightly » 03/22/03 07:57 PM

I don't think it ruins the effect necessarily, because the sand coming out dry is not the only effect. The water changes from clear to black, the sands are swirled in and mixed up and then removed not only dry, but also according to individual colors...

I think that kids having played with magic sand will still be impressed, particularly by the colors...
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Postby Carl Mercurio » 03/22/03 11:40 PM

Well, I performed the Hindu Sands tonight for the first time and I was pleased with the response. So I'd have to say that the version with the sand in hollow rubber balls is the way to go.
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Postby David Nethery » 03/23/03 06:17 AM

Originally posted by Carl Mercurio:
Well, I performed the Hindu Sands tonight for the first time and I was pleased with the response. So I'd have to say that the version with the sand in hollow rubber balls is the way to go.
Carl -

Glad to hear it went well. I forgot to mention in my first post on the topic (above) that I thought the method you mentioned in your initial post would be preferable in light of the mass-marketing of the chemically treated "Magic Sand" . The method from Greater Magic will throw off those who "think they know" .
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Postby Guest » 05/01/03 02:58 AM

okay, I have the 3 colors-waxed sand from Steven's. I saw Harry Blackstone Jr. perform this on German TV some years ago and that is what prompted me to order this effect. Any reference as to where I can find some guidelines/ routines? Plus, I find after placing the waxed sand in the water, I have to dry/ dust off my hand before taking the next color, and some sand is left in the bowl afterward. Seems I don't get a good ball out of the sand. I love the effect, but am lost on it at the same time.
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Postby Guest » 05/02/03 12:42 PM

The effect, originally known as Sands of the Desert, has been presented by many performers for hundreds of years. Most notably Harlan Tarbell and Jack Gwynne, and more recent Harry Blackstone Jr and Doug Henning.

In its original presentation sand was simply removed from a container of water completely dry. In later versions three different colors of sand was removed from a clear glass bowl in the order called for. Descriptions of presentations are nearly non-existent with the most complete appearing in the aforementioned Hilliard's Greater Magic. A much earlier version appeared in Pentagram called The Obedient Colours by Douglas Dexter. Various off-shoots of the effect include different confetti mixed in a (japanese) box by Billy McComb, and The Snows of Kimalatong with a marketed box by Willard S. Smith. (It could be argued that Snowstorm in China has connections to Hindu Sands- that being each principle item is wet and magically made to be dry.)

As to why the effect has fallen out of vogue with mainstream performers is anybodys guess. But I suspect it has something to do with the "magic sand" type product. A glass-bead type of sand, which stays dry underwater (not the "improved" version mentioned above), has been available for many years which allowed any youngster to easily replicate the effect. Also, the sheer lack of descriptions as already observed has made the effect become nearly obsolete.

My suggestion to those who wish to present the effect with meaning would be to incorporate Hindu Sands into a routine which has a color divination theme or a routine which uses colorful sand (or the like).
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Postby Matthew Field » 05/02/03 12:53 PM

Originally posted by Steve Spicer:
As to why the effect has fallen out of vogue with mainstream performers is anybodys guess.
Although perhaps out of favor with "mainstream performers," the fabulous Just Alan from Woodstock, NY does a masterful version of "Sands of the Desert" which I saw him perform at Monday Night Magic several years ago. It is a total artistic conception, flawlessly performed and awe-inspiring to behold.

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Postby Guest » 05/15/03 11:41 AM

On the subject of Sands of Egypt, what is the best source for chemicals for the "water to wine" and the "wine to water" phases of the routine ala Doug Henning? I seem to recall a dealer that specialized in chemical magic supplies, but I can't seem to locate the website anymore. Any suggestions are most appreciated!

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Postby mago_marsel » 02/27/06 10:52 AM

hi i have a set of clasic sand of desert is complete, with 3 colours red yelow and blue, with quemicals too, price 50$, plus shipping please, send me a e-mail, if you are interesed.
Thank you.
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Postby Spellbinder » 02/27/06 02:09 PM

This is probably a bit late, but I just noticed the original post and since I used to do the "Sands of the Desert" I felt I should throw in my three cents worth.

The use of a hand towel to dry one's hands between sand colors is a natural for another sort of color change. My towel would start white, and then when I produced the red sands, I would wipe my wet hands on the towel and it would turn red. It was also helpful in providing access to the loads, as you may imagine. Each time I wiped my hands, the towel changed color. I used red, yellow, blue and green, plus the original white and ending with black.

The loose sand was caught in a little transparent glass flower pot. At the end of the trick, I would flick the black towel at the four flower pots and each would have a small flowering plant in it, with flowers the color of the sand.

A few years back, sand paintings in glass bottles were the latest fad for arts and crafts. I always thought of making an ending where I would pluck the flowers and pour the sands into a large glass vase, only to have them swirl up into some kind of desert design, but the fad didn't last long enough... or I was getting too old... or something. I never did use that idea, but I offer it to anyone who can make it happen.
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Postby Guest » 02/27/06 08:07 PM

wipe your hands with a towel the color of the sand,,heres another tip....use condoms...heres another tip see David Charvet perform it as Jack Gwynne did,,heres another tip dont do it. Stan Kramien
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Postby Spellbinder » 02/27/06 09:50 PM

I had a different slant on the Sands of the Desert, which made an ideal Wizard-style effect when combined with ritual shaman sand painting of the American southwest desert natives.

I would produce the dry colored sand from the bowl of water as in the original method, but then sprinkle the sand around myself on the floor.

At the end, I would hold a large mirror at a 45 degree angle over the floor where I had been standing so the audience could see that the sand had arranged itself into a Navaho style sand painting.

I explained the significance of some of the Navaho patterns and designs and used them to do a kind of cold reading effect on a member of the audience.

Finally, I would lift up the piece of plywood that held the sand, and it all slid off, destroying the design, while showing that it was not glued in place... just in case some clever magicians were in the audience trying to guess how the sand had formed the pattern.
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