Thimbles may have been designed for sewing purposes, but the manipulative magician has found them very effective in sleight of hand. Every kind from the simple aluminum or silver thimbles to the brightly-colored metal or wooden ones are used. Cardini, the noted English magician, uses beautiful rhinestone thimbles.
Work with thimbles is flashy and permits of beautiful moves as they appear and disappear. They reflect the light and thus are very effective.
As in other branches of manipulation you have the three fundamentals in thimble work:
1 - Production, or appearance.
2 - Vanishing, or disappearance.
3 - Transformation, or changing.
In this lesson I give you a series of moves in such continuous action as to make a pleasing thimble act or combination. You learn to work from a single thimble manipulation to a great production for the climax.
Performer reaches out into the air and causes a thimble to appear at the tip of his first finger. This is placed in the left hand. Suddenly it disappears—then he finds it at his right elbow. It is thrown upwards and disappears in thin air, reappearing on the tip of the second finger of his right hand. Again magician throws the thimble high into the air and again it is gone—but in a moment it is back on the tip of his first finger. Next, in a most mysterious manner, the thimble becomes red and then changes back to its normal color again. Thimble continues to appear and disappear in bewildering fashion.
It jumps from the first finger of one hand to the first finger of the other hand. Then the spectators gasp in amazement as the magician reaches into the air and a thimble appears on each finger of his right hand, then on each finger of his left hand. He drops the thimbles in a glass on the table. He reaches into the air again and this time four thimbles appear on the fingertips of his right hand, and four on his left hand.
1 -- Sixteen thimbles. Be sure that these fit your different fingers and will not fly off when your hand is in motion. It is well sometimes to file grooves on the inside to give you a good grip. The thimbles may all be the same size except those used for the little fingers. These must be smaller to fit tight.
2 -- A special thimble painted bright red and large enough to fit OVER one of the other thimbles. It is easy to paint an ordinary thimble with bright red lacquer. It dries quickly and will prove satisfactory.
3 -- Special thimble holders.
To be made from cardboard and black elastic tape.
4 -- A glass tumbler on a small table.
SECRET AND PATTER:
Special Thimble Holder: Take a strip of cardboard long enough to cover four thimbles and wide enough to be bent over the top of the thimbles. Sew four pockets of black elastic tape to hold the thimbles. These must be large enough to allow inserting of thimbles easily and tight enough to hold them securely until needed. Sew a thread from the bottom of the cardboard to the edge of the top to hold top down in place. The purpose of this top is to keep thimbles from pushing out when fingers are inserted. Figure 11 shows front of holder. Figure 12 shows side view of end.
Brass or other metal may be used for this holder. Holes must then be punched in the metal through which to sew the elastic.
Sometimes the holder is omitted entirely and elastic tape is sewn to form pockets for thimbles on under side of vest and coat.
Sew a special holder under left side of vest. Have front end of holder about four inches from front edge of vest and about half an inch above lower edge of vest.
Arrange all holders with openings of thimbles down so that fingers can be inserted in thimbles by curling them under edge of vest or coat.
Under right edge of vest place another holder or sew black elastic tape to vest with pockets for three thimbles. The space between the two end thimbles should be about 2 1/4 inches. A small thimble for little finger should be inserted in right end of this holder and a regular size thimble in the forward pocket.
At left front edge of vest between second and third buttonholes, sew a small pocket to hold a thimble on the under side. You may use an elastic pocket here also. Insert a thimble with open end toward edge of vest so that it can be removed when finger is inserted.
Figure 13 shows the arrangement of thimbles which you have now under your vest. One thimble in a little pocket under the left edge between second and third buttonholes. Three thimbles in a holder under the right lower edge-- a small size thimble on the right end of holder. Four thimbles in a holder under left lower edge.
Figure 14 shows position of thimbles and holders under vest.
Under left edge of your coat sew a thimble holder to accommodate five thimbles. Place this about four inches from front edge and about 3/4 of an inch up from lower edge of coat. At rear end of holder insert RED thimble, then small thimble, then three regular thimbles.
Place holder in such position that when arm drops naturally to side, left fingers can curl up under coat and remove thimbles easily on finger-tips.
Have a special holder for four thimbles in similar position on right side under edge of coat.
Figure 15 shows arrangement of thimbles and holders under coat. A holder with five thimbles under left edge—a holder with four thimbles under right edge.
PRELIMINARY SPECIAL PRACTICE WITH THIMBLES:
You must get each move in Thimble Manipulation as nearly perfect as possible. Use your mirror in practicing and work at it earnestly.
There are certain Basic Moves and Principles which you must master before you can begin to think of a thimble act. These are all numbered for you through the lesson. You must practice the first four before you study the actual performance of the whole act.
1 - Thumb Palming a Thimble:
You must be able to bring a thimble placed on the tip of first finger easily and quickly to crotch of thumb.
Study Figures 16, 17, 18 carefully. Notice how first finger brings thimble back to crotch of thumb where thimble is gripped, allowing first finger to be released and to return to first position.
When thimble is properly Thumb Palmed, it is NOT VISIBLE to audience when back of hand is toward them.
Practice getting the thimble back on the finger-tip again quickly. Practice this Basic Move with the thimble on the tips of the first three fingers.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.