Made To Bind 2 Years Issues

We have been approached from a number of sources, asking if we will be able to supply binders to keep our magazines in good condition. We are happy to say that we can now offer these, and what a beautiful production they are.

This binder is not a homemade affair, but the product of a large firm. It is finely constructed in very stout board, and covered in morocco leatherette. The title and Volume is GOLD BLOCKED ON THE SPINE.

Each magazine is added by means of a patent metal fitting and is accomplished in a moment.

THE BINDER IS MADE TO LAST TWO YEARS, AND TAKES 24 MAGAZINES, THtJS IT IS VERY ECONOMICAL. It certainly looks handsome on your bookshelf and makes the work of referring to earlier copies, a real ease.

At the conclusion of last month's article "Wangles With Wax", I mentioned the possibility of returning to the subject, with the proviso that 'we'd see what turned up'. Sure enough something has turned up, and Max has 'waxed' so enthusiastic about it that it was deemed essential that 'the something' be dealt with right away. When you read about it, I venture to think that you will be enthusiastic too.

As the idea centres round the use of wax I felt that it could safely be dealt with under my article "Wangles With Wax", but lest I be accused of sailing under false colours, let me hasten to place on record that the idea came from Alec Dixon of

The performer has a card chosen from a pack, and all the usual 'put-it-back-and-shuffle-the -pack' business is gone through. The question now arises as to how to disclose the card to the rest of the audience, without the voluntary assistant naming it in any way.

The magician therefore shows a frame with a perfectly white centre. Taking up a broad 'brush' he wipes it across the white surface, which instantly turns black with the exception of a message in words which stand out beautifully white against the black background. The effect is instantaneous, one moment the surface is white, next moment it is black, and in pure white on the black surface IS THE NAME OF THE CHOSEN CARD.

The secret is just as simple as the effect is startling. The preparation is almost nil and the cost hardly worth reckoning. Having piqued your curiosity, I imagine you will be bursting to try it out! Well, first you need a piece of good white notepaper. Not too glossy but as heavy a kind as you can manage. Good quality Bond paper will do.

Shrewsbury. Many of you are going to thank Alec later on.

The idea was couched in a few words, and was accompanied by a sample, already completed, and a further one for us to try out ourselves. The result was really startling, so much so that it was considered well worth any time and trouble taken to work on its possibilities and its practical application to Magic.

I will first of all deal with a simple routine, built round the idea as it came from Alec Dixon, touching later on its possibilities in other directions. For a title, I think we'll call it:—

Obtain a white wax crayon, or, as an alternative, a small white wax candle as used for Xmas trees or birthday cakes. Even failing this whittle down an ordinary candle to a fairly broad point. With this "wax pencil" write, quite plainly, the name of a card, or anything you fancy, just for the experiment.

Now, with a soft one inch paint brush, charged with ordinary ink, brush it across the face of the paper, and watch the result. The paper will be inked all over with the exception of the waxed letters, which will remain white, being immune from the action of the ink.

To make the effect suitable for presentation a frame of some sort should be used, and this can be specially made for the purpose or merely adapted from an existing frame. To take the latter first, remove the glass and the backing board, discarding any picture the frame contained.

Have the white paper slightly larger all round than the dimensions of the glass. Lay the glass centrally upon the paper and fold the surplus edges over, pasting down if desired. Place this in the frame, followed by the backing board and you

"PHANTASMA"

should have a suitable frame with the white paper nicely stretched ready for use. See sketch.

If you prefer to make your own frame, then the glass can be forgotten, the white paper being stretched across the backing board, which should then be secured within the rebates of the frame.

Now for the brush. A one-inch, or even a two-inch brush could be used, and these can be obtained from an art shop, either in camel hair or fairly soft bristle. But the use of a brush, relatively small compared with the surface of the paper to be covered, will entail two or three attempts to cover the whole paper, and for a snappy effect I would much prefer to carry out the operation in one stroke.

For this I would secure, or make, a felt squeegee, just a little smaller than the narrowest part of the frame. For instance, if the frame were 8" x 10", the squeegee would be about 7f" long. It would be composed of a length of suitable timber about 2" x f" thick, with a channel running down the centre of the narrow edge, the channel being wide enough to hold a piece of thick felt. The felt should be secured to the wood handle with waterproof, or rubber cement, as ordinary glue would be dissolved when the felt is later soaked in the ink to be used. See sketch.

The felt could be soaked, directly from the ink bottle, just prior to the performance, and wiped reasonably dry of ink at the end of the show. Alternatively, a container could be made, in the form of a shallow tray, complete with lid, for the purpose of stowing the squeegee away for transporting to and fro. See sketch.

In the choice of ink, I would prefer to have as great a contrast as possible in the final result. One could use Indian ink, to give a dense black background, but this might be found to be rather expensive in the long run. Ordinary blue-black is very effective but not, I contend, as good as a dense black. Therefore I would suggest that the performer obtains a quantity of water soluable black dye (Max stocks this), mix it with water to the density required—very little is needed—and carry a small quantity around in a suitable container.

Having dealt with the paper, the frame, the 'brush' and the ink, there only remains the presentation, which can surely be left in your capable hands. For completeness however, let us briefly run through it. The frame, with its white paper stretched across its surface, and the "message-to-be" duly written in wax, would be lying handy. Is there any need for me to remind you to make your letters or figures as bold as you can on the surface at your disposal, remembering that you have (we hope) an audience at the back, as well as at the front, of the hall.

The 'brush' duly charged with the black solution, would be resting in its tray close at hand, and, with a pack of cards at the ready, you are all set.

Force your card in any manner you favour, have it returned and the pack shuffled. Patter to the extent that, at the moment, only the choser of the card knows what it is, and as everybody has paid to come in (we hope) everybody will be interested. Without asking the choser to name the card for you, you will endeavour to materialise i( on "this plain white surface".

SLACKING ÎB0ARJ). fciASS'

Here you have taken up the frame, casually shown it back and front, and then you take up the 'brush'. With one steady stroke across the surface of the paper (don't forget to let the audience see this happening, holding the frame full face on to them) they see the black background appear, showing up clearly the name of the card.

So much for the effect as suggested by Alec Dixon. Now to some variations. If a picture of a black spot card is required, the preparation of the paper would be almost in reverse of the above, that is, the inked in portion would define the pips and the white paper remain as the background. To manage this you would draw in the design of the spots (clubs or spades) BUT YOU WOULD THEN FILL IN THE BACKGROUND BY GOING OVER IT ALL (except the spots) WITH THE WAX PENCIL Thus, when the squeegee is run over the paper only the spots will be inked in and a good representation of the card will be produced, black spots on a white ground.

For red spot cards, the same procedure will be used, except that the brush will be soaked in a good red ink.

"Messages" in words will readily come to mind, names of chosen (?) celebrities. It would be possible for the performer to give a perfectly free choice from, say, a number of coloured silks, the freely chosen colour eventually being defined on the paper surface, of course in appropiate words and not in colour! A number of photos of celebrities could be handed out and one freely chosen, and, either the name of the chosen celebrity would appear on the slate, or, a line drawing or caricature of the person chosen.

The free choice would be accomplished by the performer having, in the case of the silks, as many prepared boards as there are hankies, and only when the choice is known would the performer bring forth the necessary board. Four or five silks would be ample from which to give a choice, using the three primary colours and one or two secondary colours, say red, yellow and blue, green, and, maybe, orange. The four or five boards could be stacked up-stage, behind some other piece of apparatus, and the requisite board taken up when the choice was known. Better still, it might be possible to arrange the boards on different tables. Most performers use two tables and, I think, two boards could be set on each table and the fifth on a chair, up-stage. Thus the requisite one could be taken up without fuss and no attention be called to the others, which would remain throughout the show.

The same remarks would apply to the photos of celebrities. At first thought, this might appear to entail a lot of trouble, but, on consideration, it will be seen that, having prepared the four or five boards initially, it is only necessary to 'renew' one board after each performance, just as in the forcing method.

It is not even necessary to be an artist in order to prepare the line drawings or caricatures. Obtain suitable photographs of the persons you wish to include, then, with a large needle, begin to trace over the photo with needle pricks or perforations. Prepare a 'pounce-bag' by placing a small amount of dry yellow ochre in the centre of a piece of muslin or linen, gather up the corners and tie off in the form of a bag.

Place your perforated photo over your white sheet and pounce or rub the yellow powder through the holes you have made. Lift the photo and there will be a good guide for the wax pencil lines to be made. Then dust off any surplus powder.

I think I have written enough to justify our enthusiasm over the idea and I hope Alec likes the attempted routining of it. If any of our readers have any further ideas, I am sure Max will be pleased to hear of them. I have an idea that much more can be done with this waxed paper subject, and I will return to it later, if and when the idea in mind works out. Meanwhile, do try out "Phantasma".

Yours Magically,

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