Small and Medium Illusions, Book

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Guest » 04/21/07 03:54 PM


I've recently purchased some illusion books such as the Osbourne series and others. What I'm really looking for is a book on small illusions such as the die box, hippity hops rabbits, sword through head, and others of a similar scale. Some of Aldini's creations are of particular interest.

Also wonder if there is specific terminology to distinguish the various scales/sizes of illusions. If you fine folks have any thought on the matter or books to recommend I'd love to hear from you.



Postby Guest » 04/21/07 11:01 PM


Most of us don't refer to things like the die box and the hippy hop rabbits as illusions. Those are usually called parlor magic or club magic.

Illusions generally are large items that involve a large animal or a human being, such as sawing a lady in half or the lion's bride.

It's a semantic problem, really. The layman refers to anything that fools the eye as an illusion. Magicians apply the term more specifically -- except for Henning Nelms, who felt that anything with impact was an illusion. But Henning Nelms isn't the fellow who determines what is what in magical terminology. (Neither am I, to be sure, but what I'm giving you is basically what we use in the business.)

Some magicians have adopted the term "illusionette" for small illusions.

Postby Guest » 04/25/07 02:01 PM

My web site is filled with plans and ideas for making the small stage-sized props of the type you are interested in, and usually you can make them yourself from inexpensive materials like PVC pipes, hardboard, duct tape and stuff you find at the Dollar Store. Jim Gerrish has some interesting e-books with original ideas for making those kids of props, and so does Eleazar Goodenough.

Postby Guest » 04/25/07 10:04 PM


I received a coffe mug today that said, "Duct Tape: It's Universal".

Did you have anything to do with that? LOL

(It is a basic Illusion building material!)

Bob Sanders
The Amazedwiz

Postby Guest » 04/27/07 05:39 AM

No, the duct tape mug is not my idea, although because of Jim Gerrish's book, I got a dozen duct tape roses on Valentine's Day:

Postby Guest » 04/30/07 03:12 AM

The duct tape roses are so lovely they make me want to put together an entire duct tape illusion show ;)

Knowing Spellbinder's amazing talent for making effective magic from virtually anything, I believe he could actually make this work!

To answer your question, Robert, In addition to looking at Spellbinder's website (not to be missed!) why don't you get "Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic".

This is a great book full of close-up magic, parlor sized magic, stage magic and illusions that you can make yourself. The terminology is in there and you will use it throughout your career. Enjoy!

Postby Steven Zaretsky » 05/10/07 05:38 PM

Remember: silence is golden; duct tape is silver.

Steven Zaretsky
Harmony, Florida
Steven Zaretsky
Posts: 6
Joined: 01/23/08 01:00 PM
Location: Harmony, Florida

Postby Guest » 05/13/07 08:53 PM

And outside every silver lining, there's a dark cloud.

Postby Guest » 06/28/07 02:42 AM

Thanks for the tip on Spellbinder's website. It took me a second to locate the link on his profile. For all newbie's out there (like myself) you can go to:

Aldini's "Back Stage" is of particular interest to me, was it written about anywhere? The versions I've seen are pretty poor but don't want to infringe by building my own if it is protected.

Bill, you were right. I had just finished a book by Nelms when I wrote the post, Magic and Showmanship to be precise. Spooked me when I read your reply. You could take Carter's label as "The Man Who Knows". He certainly isn't using it at the moment. :cool:

I'd also like to take a moment to commend the members. The helpfulness and good humor here far exceed any forum on any subject on the net. At least out of all the ones I've seen. A real welcome break from running the gauntlet of trolls inhabiting other places.

Postby Guest » 06/28/07 02:53 AM

Almost forgot, I acquired Busby's version of Ponsin on Conjuring and was suprised to find a detailed explanation of the Die Box. The book contains some rudimentary drawings and information on items of similar scale. My expectations were low due to the age of the book. It is instead very good and the footnotes by Busby greatly enhanced the work.

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