David Alexander silhouettes book?

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observer
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David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby observer » November 8th, 2015, 7:13 pm

There is an interesting old thread in this forum on Vernon's silhouette cutting, with insightful contributions from Mr Alexander, who had an extensive collection of silhouettes and was planning a book on the subject. According to Magicpedia, he passed away before the book was completed. Does anyone know if the book will in fact be published?

Leonard Hevia
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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby Leonard Hevia » November 8th, 2015, 7:54 pm

I wondered about that recently and I believe the answer might lie with David's widow Cassidy. She's a fantastic portrait and silhouette artist:

http://www.cassidyalexander.com/

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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby performer » November 8th, 2015, 8:19 pm

I once met a silhouette artist in Toronto and asked her if she had ever heard of Dai Vernon. She said very matter of factly, "Oh yes,of course. He was a magician too, you know....." She said it as if it were a very minor thing and of little importance. I got the impression he was very well known in the world of silhouhettes. In fact he may even had been just as well known in that world as he was in the world of magic.

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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby Leonard Hevia » November 8th, 2015, 8:36 pm

Six Vernon silhouettes are up for bid on the December 5th Potter & Potter auction.

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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 9th, 2015, 12:48 pm

I don't believe David Alexander completed enough of his book that it can be finished.
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performer
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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby performer » November 9th, 2015, 5:32 pm

I don't think I have ever come across a book telling you how to make silhouettes in the first place although I suppose there must be some out there.

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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby observer » November 9th, 2015, 7:53 pm

One of David Alexander's posts said that the few books that did exist were essentially bogus - that you had to find a professional willing to teach you the real work.

That seems reasonable. But other things that came up in his posts - that it was possible to identify the cutter of a particular silhouette (or at least say definitely "That's not Vernon's work" (for example)) were amazing and fascinating. At least to people who are interested in unusual/little-known skills, like dealing centers or playing the contrabassoon.
Last edited by observer on November 9th, 2015, 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Leonard Hevia
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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby Leonard Hevia » November 9th, 2015, 8:39 pm

If you pay enough attention to Vernon's silhouettes from the 1920s and 30s that come up for sale from time to time, his work starts to become recognizable. I remember Alexander noting that in the silhouette world, Vernon was considered a good cutter, but not top level.

Alexander mentioned once in a private e-mail that Disneyland in Tokyo offered him the position of resident silhouette artist. Housing was part of the deal, and when he saw the tiny size of his apartment, he turned them down.

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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 9th, 2015, 8:49 pm

I don't think David would have fit in well in Japan's culture.
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erdnasephile
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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby erdnasephile » November 10th, 2015, 12:09 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:I wondered about that recently and I believe the answer might lie with David's widow Cassidy. She's a fantastic portrait and silhouette artist:

http://www.cassidyalexander.com/


She is a fantastic artist who did a terrific job with the Sol Stone book.

I wish someone would hire her to illustrate more magic books.

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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby Leonard Hevia » November 11th, 2015, 12:03 am

You know Erdnasephile, I forgot she illustrated that book and what a great job she did at that.

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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby observer » December 1st, 2015, 4:07 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:I wondered about that recently and I believe the answer might lie with David's widow Cassidy. She's a fantastic portrait and silhouette artist:

http://www.cassidyalexander.com/



I was walking home this afternoon from Chicago Music Exchange (great store!) and happened to pass by a toy store called Building Blocks (3306 N. Lincoln, 773-525-6200) and who should be advertised in their window but Cassidy Alexander. There cutting children's portraits although I suppose adult subjects would be OK too. Not a regular thing, just for a few days. Just thought I'd mention it as it would be a nice holiday present if you're around Chicago. Maybe call the store for info.

(No financial or other involvement on my part.)

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erdnasephile
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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby erdnasephile » December 1st, 2015, 4:41 pm

Thanks for posting that, observer.

Here's the online info for the silhouettes sessions with Ms. Alexander:

http://www.buildingblockstoys.com/silhouettes

(Looks like she will be at the Wicker Park store location as well)

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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby Leonard Hevia » December 5th, 2015, 8:16 pm

Observer-- I can't believe you didn't walk inside the store, introduce yourself as a fan of David Alexander's work and ask Cassidy about the silhouette book.

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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby observer » December 5th, 2015, 8:29 pm

She wasn't there yet, & I still had stuff to do. Otherwise yeah.

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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 5th, 2015, 8:36 pm

Penny did do a great job in illustrating Sol Stone's book, but she is mostly a painter. I highly doubt she'd accept a job illustrating another magic book--at least not for what any of us could afford to pay!
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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby Bill Mullins » August 30th, 2018, 1:28 pm

Did David Alexander cut silhouettes himself? There's one signed with that name in this lot.

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Re: David Alexander silhouettes book?

Postby Leonard Hevia » August 30th, 2018, 1:58 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Did David Alexander cut silhouettes himself?


Yes--David was a cutter, and a good one at that. He was also a professional magician, private detective, who IMO solved the mystery of Erdnase, and an author. He wrote a great biography of Gene Roddenberry, and was kind enough to send me an autographed copy not too long before his untimely death. Here is a Roddenberry story from that book:

The first Star Trek convention took place in Manhattan 1974, and Roddenberry decided to show up and see what that was going to be like. At the door he was stopped by a convention worker asking for his I.D tag. Roddenberry pushed him aside as he entered and said:

I am Star Trek!


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