I’m trying to get ahead of orders and have a few more things in stock. Yesterday I needed to make a new mold for my Russian Shell Game trick. I figured I show you what goes into it. I had already made the bottom part of the mold, so here’s how the second half was made.
I put left the shells in the mold and gave it a coat of mold release, otherwise the silicone would stick, and I’d just have a block of silicone with some shells inside that I couldn’t get out.
Then I measured out the silicone and mixed it up:
That gets poured into the existing mold:
Once it poured, I need to wait until it’s fully cured:
And violia! I’ve got the second part of my mold!
Now I take the resin, color it and mix it up, and that goes into the mold:
I put the top on the mold and let that cure until it’s finished hardening:
Once it’s done, I pop that out and I have the almost finished shells. They still need to be sanded. This is a quick way to produce the sets of these shells.
And here’s what the finished product does:
I hope this little walk through of what it takes to make some of my magic props will give you a little insight into the work that goes into prop building! -Louie
One thing that I’ve been working on is learning to cast things in resin. I’ve been doing little projects for people to give me things to do to learn with. One thing someone asked me to do was make the coin for the Silver Extraction magic trick, but with a Silver dollar instead of the half dollar that it’s traditionally made with.
If you’re not familiar with the trick, here’s a dealer demo of it:
The trouble I was having was getting the coin made in resin without too many air bubbles. After a lot of work and learning, I’ve gotten a workable clear resin coin:
I think if I make another one, I will remake the mold with my newfound knowledge and that will give me an even better result. When I’m learning something new, I love working on projects for friends, as it helps me learn to do thing and try them in ways I wouldn’t normally.
One of the silver linings of the current “social distancing” is that I’m able to get work on some of my back burner projects, things that I aren’t a priority, but would like to get done. In the past, I have made a couple of giant shells for the three shell game out of a resin, but used a casting method to where the shells weren’t uniform. I’ve wanted to make a set where the shells inside and out were more uniform.
Yesterday I 3D printed a giant shell which will be the original that the other shells will be made from.
The next step is to make a silicone mold and cast them in resin. I’ll probably put a magnet in them so that they handle more like a chop cup than a shell game set.
Right now we’ve all found ourselves with a lot of extra time. I’ve been using mine to try to catch my “Great White Whale” of tricks I’ve always wanted to create. This trick has been in my head for over a decade and a lot of things had to come together to for it to happen.
Here’s the trick, and be sure to watch the whole thing:
I’ve been fascinated by the idea of using a nested replicas of the main prop as a final load ever since I read Gary Oullett’s cups and balls routine in his Fulminations column in Genii magazine. Then about 10 or 15 years ago I thought about applying it to the shell game. The hurdle was getting shells to nest and enough of them.
Then the breakthrough came when I got a 3D printer. I could print the shells, however the problem was they didn’t look like shells. They looked like plastic things that kinda looked like walnut shells. A friend of mine sent me a link of how to make molds and I tried to learn off of youtube videos with limited success. I ended up taking a 4 hour class on making molds and resin casting that really helped speed up the learning curve.
I kept making baby steps to get towards the end result and finally got there. I’m not done yet, ideally in the future I’ll have some shells that look a little bit better, but for now I have a workable version of the trick!
One of the things that I try to do in my show is not to use props that other people use. It could be the same prop, but mine looks different. Usually the reason mine looks different is because I made it myself (or had it made for me). I read a long time ago … Continue reading “Make It Yourself…”
One of the things that I try to do in my show is not to use props that other people use. It could be the same prop, but mine looks different. Usually the reason mine looks different is because I made it myself (or had it made for me). I read a long time ago in an SH Sharpe book on magic theory that when you make the prop the pride your have from making it will show in your performance and that’s something that’s stuck in my head.
Recently I searched for a set of large walnuts to make my own set for the three shell game. I finally found some in the Ukraine had them shipped to me. I altered one of them a little bit and made a mold of it, and then cast my own set of shell game shells in resin.
These shells are larger than most shells, but not too large. I’ve used them in a couple of gigs and they’re working out great. The next step is to learn to reduce the tiny air bubbles in them.
Yesterday I was at a class on making silicone molds and using them to cast things in resin. Personally, besides learning the skill, I’m always watching for ideas that I can use during my performance. I noticed a couple of things that confirm my current thoughts on audio and video during a show. The first … Continue reading “Keep Learning…”
Yesterday I was at a class on making silicone molds and using them to cast things in resin. Personally, besides learning the skill, I’m always watching for ideas that I can use during my performance. I noticed a couple of things that confirm my current thoughts on audio and video during a show.
The first thing that while we were in a fairly small and quiet room and there were only 25 of us, it was hard to hear the presenter. They should have been mic’d up. This goes for pretty much anything that’s not a close up gig, you need to wear a mic!
The second thing was their use of video. They had a straight down show from directly above the table with the screen directly behind the presenter.
This is the way to do it. In all of the shows I’ve seen when the action is on a sidewall, your attention is torn between the screen and the presenter. With the action on the screen behind you, it really lets you watch both the same time as both are in your field of vision. This is the way to got for projection.
As a bonus to confirming my theories on audio and video during a show, I also learned to make molds and cast things in resin!