Archive for the ‘Products’ Category

INSIDE THE CARDS: Joker the newest, wildest card in modern deck

Monday, April 14th, 2014


INSIDE THE CARDS: Joker the newest, wildest card in modern deck

One of the more enigmatic cards in the deck is the joker. Its designs far exceed the Aces of Spades that usually command a deck’s attention. Jokers can be sublte or strange, restrained or resplendent, workman or wonderful. Though we’ve long been known for our killer designs for Aces, we have always been partial to the joker card, because of how we contributed to the card’s evolution in the deck.

A little history first: The common suits in a deck of playing cards are French in origin — spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds are variations of the tarot deck’s batons (wands), cups, swords and coins (pentacles). The French streamlined the tarot’s four court cards per suit to three — the jack, queen and king.

But the joker isn’t from the tarot.

(more…)

SUITABLE FOR FRAMING: Magician shakes tremors for impossible towers

Thursday, November 28th, 2013


SUITABLE FOR FRAMING: Magician shakes tremors for impossible towers

One of the biggest joys we get at Ellusionist.com is seeing how you use the products we make, from decks of custom playing cards to videos showing what you can do with those cards. Thanksgiving always gives us a chance to settle down and really feel all the feels brought by the gratitude we have for all the customers who have kept us working our tails off over the last 13 years.

We love seeing what you do with our products. So many great performances, so many beautiful videos, so many amazing reactions. But every once in a while, one of you comes up with something completely, astonishingly different.

SUITABLE FOR FRAMING: Magician shakes tremors for impossible towersThe latest to bewilder us is Jeremy Griffith, who has his own idea of a stacked deck. An Instagram user, Jeremy has been posting incredible pictures of Republics, Artifice and Rounders defying gravity. At first, the cards and decks in his series appeared to be floating. And just when we thought we had it figured out, Jeremy moved the camera down and showed EXACTLY how he accomplished it.

And bewildered us all over again.

See for yourself: Deck boxes balance on top of coins, single cards, glasses, pens and more. Jeremy said there’s no glue, tape, invisible thread or seams. Everything is done using precision balance (as precise as hands can be, anyway), centers of gravity and plenty of patience for trial and error.

“The rules when this thing got started with me were simple,” he said. “Photoshop was out of the question and nothing could be bonding the cards. Also, I was only allowed to use what was in the picture, which is usually a deck and a flat surface.”

The Lake Forest, Calif., resident has studied magic for 23 of his 30 years. For all of those years, he’s had a small tremor in both hands. Nothing serious, medically — but annoying enough to where the tremors become a hassle. Taking up magic at 7, the tremors complicated things, he discovered. It was hard to get that soft touch with cards, so he stuck with coins for the longest time — the hard metal and constant motion was easier to manage.

But he eventually conquered cards. He learned a sort of dynamic tension similar to guitar players and used that to progress deep into card magic. Though he still has the tremors, it’s hard to spot them unless his hands are completely still, he said. Which makes us look at all those towers in a new light.

Talk about an impossible stack.

“Usually I’m just seeing how far I can go with the center of gravity before it becomes too unstable,” he said. Every level you go up gets harder to balance for obvious reasons, and as such, requires a lot more patience. But when you pull it off, it’s like shooting nothing but net from the half court line.”

(more…)

Gaff System perfect for Calen Morelli’s use-everything style

Monday, November 18th, 2013


Gaff System perfect for Calen Morellis use everything style

Most magicians stick to what they know — cards, coins, mentalism. Calen Morelli has no such restraints. He’ll use rubber bands, lip balm, water bottles, pens, cellphones, T-shirts, gum… anything that spectators are familiar with.

So when Morelli was invited to be a part of Ellusionist’s Gaff System project, he immediately thought of ways to expand and push gaff cards for effects that hadn’t ever been dreamed up before. Such as a torn-and-restored trick, which turned out to be the first gaff card he envisioned for the project.


“I remember coming up with this in my car right after the call with Brad, when he asked me to be a part of this project,” Calen said. “That idea excited me so much to see what else was in my brain for these cards.”

 

Calen started magic at 15, after watching David Blaine’s “Drowned Alive” special. He found he had a knack for it, and quickly outpaced the sources from which he learned.

So he started making his own tricks. Starting green, he undertook a yearlong project, where he would create a magic trick each day, and post daily videos of those tricks to YouTube. Called “365 Days of Magic,” the tricks he created gained a large following in the magic community — so large that before he got to video No. 200, he was hired to work for David Copperfield as a consultant.

Gaff System perfect for Calen Morellis use everything style

He said that his unique approach to using atypical items came from a desire to be different and from a dissatisfaction with the material he had been learning. He said that expanding his horizons helped him stand out as an original among a crowd of card magicians, he said.

“I feel like doing magic with every day items is the simplest way to come across original to a audience.”

Even having landed a job with David Copperfield, Calen remains an active performer, filling his social networks with new performances regularly, and appearing with other online personalities, such as YouTuber Stuart Edge.

The grind of creating a trick a day taught him a lot about what works and what doesn’t, he said.

“I learned the process of creating a magic trick,” Calen said. “And how to very efficiently and quickly go from just a simple idea into a full, ready-to-perform effect … If a traditional method doesn’t work for my style or where/who I’m performing for, then it’s limiting me.”

That means Calen’s magic is particularly suited for gaff cards — especially a deck that pushes the boundaries of what gaff cards can do. Calen’s contributions include effects that transform a ChapStick into a chosen card and his favorite: The torn-and-restored trick he first envisioned.

Designed for use with our Emerald, Cobalt and Tundra Artifice decks, The Gaff System will be available on Nov. 19.

PHOTO CONTEST: Send us pictures of your Wreck decks, win a brick

Friday, September 6th, 2013


PHOTO CONTEST: Send us pictures of your Wreck decks, win a brick

Those of you who have Wreck by Daniel Madison: You’ve already ripped up a couple of decks, haven’t you?

Figured so. Once Madison showed it to us, we ripped up a fair share of decks, just like you, in preparation to perform it. But while getting the hang of the tear, we noticed something: These ripped decks look so awesome.

Awesome enough for a photo contest.

Send us pictures of your Wreck decks. We want to see a deck utterly destroyed and creatively composed into a shot. We’ll pick a winner based on creativity, composition, cleverness and coolness. We’ll ship the winner a brick of one of our unlimited custom decks, so that they have a healthy stash for many more performances.

Submit your entry one of three ways:

  • ~ On Facebook: Post your picture to our wall, and make sure it has the hashtag #wreckdeck.
  • ~ On Twitter: Make sure you mention us (@ellusionist) and use the hashtag #wreckdeck.
  • ~ On Instagram: Post it to your feed with the tags #ellusionist and #wreckdeck.

Quick rules:

  • ~ The Wreck deck must be an Ellusionist custom deck. (Bonus points if you have the nerve to Wreck one of our rare decks, but that doesn’t guarantee a win.)
  • ~ Only one entry per person.
  • ~ You must be the creator/photographer of the shot.
  • ~ Image manipulation is allowed, but the backbone of the shot must be a Wreck deck.
  • ~ We will consider only the entries who followed all the contest rules and submission guidelines, including proper tags, one entry, etc. Following all the guidelines is completely your responsibility.
  • ~ Deadline for entries is midnight Eastern on Sunday (Sept. 8).
  • ~ We’ll name a winner sometime Tuesday.

Good luck!

Madison’s dive into gambling’s underworld similar to The Professor

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013


Madisons dive into gamblings underworld similar to The Professor

If we knew more about S.W. Erdnase, we might see that he had a lot in common with Daniel Madison.

If we believe what Erndase wrote about himself and the sleights he wrote about in “The Expert at the Card Table,” then maybe he and Madison discovered the same sleights in the same way. Erdnase wrote that while he knew about what conjurors SAID can be used at the card table, but did not know of a publication that discussed how those moves survived the skeptical, dangerous eyes that are often found at the kind of card table where sleight of hand may be used, and had a lot of disdain for the performers who said they braved the back room bordello game and came up aces:

“If terrific denunciation of erstwhile associates, and a diatribe on the awful consequences of gambling are a criterion of ability, these purified prodigals must have been very dangerous companions at the card table.”

Madisons dive into gamblings underworld similar to The ProfessorThose, among other words Erdnase wrote, kinda ticked off Madison when he finally discovered the book, and that the moves he discovered naturally had been detailed and published about 100 years earlier. Madison’s story of how he got caught cheating and woke up in a hospital room is now well known: Magician Jamie D. Grant told Madison’s story brilliantly in the Feb. 2013 issue of Magic magazine.

The injury led to refocusing his priorities. After putting his knowledge into writing such books as “How to Cheat at Cards,” Madison has now poured his discoveries into Mechanic, a 2-DVD set that exposes what he used at the table to cheat, deceive and win.

In doing so, he has taken a path similar to another important figure in magic: Dai Vernon.

(more…)