Black Dragon

By Jeff McBride and Gregg Webb
Originally published in Hard Copy
For more information about Gregg Webb and Hard Copy visit

Here we have an item that can be used IN THE MIDDLE of a RED ASHES trick. For instance, I’m going to describe it as being a possibility to place it in the middle of the trick to come next, Phoenix from the ashes DELUXE.

You’ll need a strip of Red Ashes paper, which we already determined can be had from florists. This idea or piece of info alone is worth the price of admission! Make a strip, for learning, about 8″ long and less than an inch wide. You’ll also need a candle and some kind of lighter or matches.

What is clear is that Jeff EXPERIMENTS with an idea … tries this and that before discarding something. HOW TO USE SOMETHING A DIFFERENT way! Most guys never get past the ‘do it exactly as written’ stage.

When you are a beginner, you study to try to know what to do. When you aren’t a beginner anymore, you still have to study, but you study so as to know WHAT NOT TO DO! Here that means don’t give up a trick if you know it has been done, but figure a different way of working it. Nice goin’ JEFF.
So … light the strip of red ash paper. As it burns, it rises IF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT PAPER. (Don’t assume. I’m fooled sometimes. Regular red tissue paper FALLS when lit.) It will continue to rise even after the flame burns out because orange glowing embers continue to cause it to rise. It is the paraffin in the paper. This is why a candle burns but just STRING – NOT SO WELL !

HERE begins the Black Dragon (which refers to the ash after burning. It clings together – holds its shape. It is black ash, and no longer red-looking.) First, when the ash with some glowing areas gets near the ceiling … the HEAT will push it back down and away from the ceiling. Heat RADIATES. The heat hits the surface and the ash gets pushed away from the surface and back down. NOW the glowing areas are pretty much GONE and the ash cools and falls slowly.

By now you’ve picked up the lit candle and when you hold the flame under the falling ash, THE HEAT CAUSES THE ASH TO RISE AGAIN !! You can repeat this several times if you wish, finally setting down the candle end the routine as you wish. Usually people follow the Al Baker routine and catch the ash and then ‘turn it into’ a solid strip of paper.

A Gregg WEBB idea here would be to use a strip of BLACK tissue or dark gray since the effect is that the ash becomes solid again and Gregg thinks it is a variation on the effect to have it be the SAME color as the ash instead of the two effects of the ash becoming solid AND the color changing from dark gray/black to its original red.

Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes