Warning: This page is graphic intensive and will be slow
Welcome to The Magic of James P. Riser web page.
Most of the magic apparatus that I produce consists of custom
designed and created items. Many of the professional magicians
who order custom items do not want them pictured - in order to
keep exclusivity. But I do seem to continuously make several rather
popular and less expensive items, though. Several of these items
are shown below. My goal is to produce quality items which will
hold up to the rigors of thousands of performances. All text and
images/designs are copyright 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007,
2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 by James P. Riser. Since
this home page is open to anyone who dares to visit, I have refrained
from explaining how many of the items are used - performing magicians
Latest update ... 2/12/14
I am considering making a
limited run of Zombie balls in polished aluminum. I will want
to make the balls in one size only. Here is where I could use
a little feedback - what diameter ball would performers prefer?
I am thinking 4"- 4 1/2". The balls will be spun from
a thick enough aluminum so that they will be durable but not "heavy".
They will have a tapered open ended hole and only a hairline seam.
Since many performers like to make their own gimmicks, I did not
think I would supply one with the ball. In addition, this simplifies
If I do decide to spin a few
Zombie balls, the number will be quite small and be offered only
to those who can actually do the effect.
FYI - I have one extra card
punches left from the last run. If you have been wanting one,
now might be a good time.
Work continues on my upcoming
(moved to perhaps May 2014) epublication on a simple to make "any
drink" apparatus. This is too powerful an effect for just
anyone - so distribution will be very limited to keep it from
becoming common and to keep it out of the hands of bunglers. It
will not be an inexpensive epublication. If you do not have a
powerful web presence, forget about getting a copy of the publication.
My next pdf for the DIY crowd
will be on how to make light weight hollow stainless steel linking
rings. I will demo a 15" set that I am making for myself.
See a sample picture below. The blocks in the background are 8"
x 16" to give you an idea of size involved. (put on hold
until it warms up a bit (after Christmas).
A run of my Riser Ultralight
Cages for 2014 has begun...
The top two cages are my Riser
Baby Lindy Cages and bottom cage my new Riser Ultralight Cage.
Here are two Riser Baby Lindy
Riser Baby Lindy Cages weighing
in at 3.7 oz. per cage.
The third cage is my new experimental
Riser Ultralight Cage weighing in at 2.2 oz.
This Riser Ultralight Cage
utilizes the same aluminum alloy frame members but features magnesium/aluminum
bars to reduce weight further.
This may well be the only
style of cages that I will be making in the foreseeable future.
For a few experienced performers who have expressed interest,
I might make a few early 2014. It depends upon time and interest.
This cage was designed for the experienced cage worker who has
already perfected technique. If your technique is good, the cage
almost vanishes itself. Like a fine watch, it is light weight
and more delicate than other cages - hence the speed of the vanish.
To go along with the new Riser Ultralight Cage will be a new system
for keeping the vanished cage where it belongs (pdf drawings for
an easy hookup - to be emailed in March).
Shown below are the size differences
between my Riser Baby Lindy and a full size Lindhorst style cage.
see more info on this cage click here.
The old fool in Houston even
commented on how I make the cages without ever having seen nor
handled one. This is typical of his behavior - more attempts at
character assasination and "swatting". Pathetic.
All completed Baby Lindy Cages
have been shipped.
Some Birdcage info ...
Lately I have been receiving
a number of emails asking about birdcages. Many well meaning folk
have been posting comments on various forums concerning the vanishing
birdcage. It is obvious that most of these folk do not actually
perform the birdcage nor have they used different models. There
is a lot of misinformation floating around the internet. While
in high school in the early 1960's I added the vanishing birdcage
effect to my act. I always performed it with two spectators assisting.
The cage was vanished once. My handling is described in the documentation
with the Riser Baby Lindy Cage. Back in those days, a performer
practiced and experimented until an effect was mastered. Mastering
the birdcage is a labor of love. I wore my first cage all day
every day until I liked the fit and feel. Having it on became
natural. All of this time the cord length was being fine tuned.
My first cage was an Abbott
Cage made by Pete Bouton. I still have it and it still works perfectly,
I never liked the appearance of this cage as I had never seen
a real cage with red ribbon covering. Also, the ribbon was not
sewn on in the best possible manner. This same method of ribboning
was used on a much older flexible cage that I have (also much
larger). In addition to making the cage look fake, the red ribbon
covering does nothing to help the "jellyfish" reputation
of such cages. Therefore, to make the Abbott Cage more to my liking,
I reribboned it with gold ribbon in a manner that the cage can
now easily be held by one hand with the cage retaining its shape.
This cage served me well all through my college days and their
many shows (and even through my Magic Castle audition). I never
did a show without the cage vanish - and still would not do so.
Shortly after graduating from
college, I ran across a used Lindhorst style of cage. I immediately
switched over to this cage and retired the Abbott Cage. You will
hear stories of how an Abbott Cage vanishes faster than a Lindhorst
style. I have not found this to be true. I would rate them both
at the same speed. The Lindhorst style cage looks more like a
real cage and takes up less space when in hiding. I will never
go back to a ribbon covered cage. Performing the vanishing birdcage
is more about confidence, nerve, handling, and technique than
anything else. Tips on how to handle the cage vanish come with
my Riser Baby Lindy Cage.
The cage type a performer
chooses is a very personal decision. I have made my choice after
years of actual use of both types of cages.
Then come the questions about
take-up reels. Take-up reels do not quickly vanish a cage. They
merely "take-up" a few inches of slack in the pull.
I never saw a need for take-up reels but have made a number of
styles for those who want them. The giant reel for which I sell
instructions for making can vanish a cage. Such powerful reels
are potentially dangerous in the wrong hands. If everything is
adjusted correctly, a reel is not needed and the cage can comfortably
be worn throughout the act with no problems. Actually, a ribbon
covered cage will stay hidden easier than a Lindhorst style due
to friction of the ribbon against clothing. The Lindhorst slips
where it needs to go much easier but also slips out easier. There
are pros and cons to both styles. I have made a slight tweeking
of my Baby Lindy Cages to help them better stay in the "vanished"
I am developing a new style
of reel which will resemble a take-up reel in appearance but not
in function. This reel will move the the vanished cage into a
position which will allow the performer to remove the coat after
the vanish. Again, it will not function like a take-up reel.
In addition, I am experiment
with the mass of the cage. See pics of my Riser Ultralight Cage.
There are many things to know
about the vanishing birdcage. Most of them have never seen print.
It is a sleight of hand effect. Body type can affect a performer's
ability to perfect the effect. Attitude will be the most difficult
thing to over come when learning the cage. You must be willing
to put in the time and practice. When mastered, it can easily
be done while seated, if desired. Skinny long armed folks have
a natural advantage with this item. I used to be skinny! My arms
are still long!
I love the effect!
Please visit my new Used Magic Web Page ... new items added now and then.
Here is a sneak peek at a
part for an upcoming item ... the new Riser Holdout ... (hopefully
available mid January 2014) ...
A few words about my holdouts.
Like the previous issue, my holdouts are designed to be worn on
the body not fixed to a jacket. Since they are worn, certain parts
associated with the holdout must be custom fitted to the user.
The holdouts are not one-size-fits-all items. The purchasers will
be supplied with the parts for customizing the fit but some sewing
etc. might be required. This needs to be done only once and is
easiest to do with a helper available.
Also, most holdout owners
will want to use the holdout for one effect only. The current
holdout design will not come with an assortment of attachments
as "standard". There are too many variables involved
and too many trade-offs needed when supplying an assortment of
attachments. For some uses, the attachment is best when it is
the "weight". For other uses, it helps to have a separate
"weight". These are gravity holdouts.
In addition, I will be making
several attachments designed for very specific effects only. The
purchaser may or may not be interested in these goodies. It is
best if the purchaser has an intended use in mind and understands
what a holdout is and is not.
The picture below will give
you an idea of how few of these will be made. All include the
top bearing surface textured to retain lubricant.
Yes, I actually make my items.
I do not farm out the work then claim it as mine.
Prototype work has also begun
of a Rising Card mechanism to duplicate the Martin Poker Size
A new method for Aerial Fishing
is in the works, as well as, a different ball and tube version.
In addition, another version of the rising cards is under development.
As the weather cools down
in Tucson, work will ramp up. Meanwhile I will switch from one
project to the next as the mood strikes.
One set available...
OK, to fill a number of "urgent"
requests I will be making a run of my Riser Standards Cups. In
addition to the sets already requested, I will be making an extra
three sets available to those interested. These will be the last
of the cups made this year.
A friend who knows how much
I like well done illusions just sent me this link. This is as good as it gets in magic. You might
want to see how well magic can be performed. This performance
took a great deal of work, original thinking, construction skills,
and performance skills. This duo should be considered as an excellent
example of grand illusion presentation. Watch, enjoy, and learn.
It does not get any better than this.
All Baby Lindy Cage production
has ceased until October at the soonest. Cages that have been
ordered have shipped.
Cage related coming next winter ... a new way to handle
the cage vanish so that the coat may be removed after the vanish.
This accomplishes the same effect as two Martin style reels. Owners of my Baby Lindy Cage will have first
chance at this.
Below are a few examples of
what new magic has been appearing behind the scenes ...
Here is some custom work recently
here to see
Actually, I am working on three
different versions of this classic effect.
The hold up on these is that
I am waiting for some materials to arrive (overseas delivery apparently
going by slow boat).
One will be a recreation of the
poker size self contained rising card deck effect as made by John
Martin. The Martin item was entirely mechanical and is much too
expensive for many of today's performers. My recreation of the
effect will be an electro-mechanical piece which will include
on/off, as well as, the delay before the cards rise. This gives
the performer time to distance himself from the deck before the
The second version will leave
an examinable deck in the glass at the conclusion of the effect.
The performer may go into another card effect with the very deck
used in the rising cards.
The third version will allow
signed cards to rise if desired and results in an examinable deck
at the conclusion of the effect.
The above three versions will
be limited to 10 of each version. I will not be doing any notify
lists for these. I'll just announce here when they are available.
Lists have been discontinued due to whining by people who could
not get previous items. With only 10 items being made and over
250 people on the notify list, someone was certain to go away
empty handed. I'm tired of the rude comments from those who did
not get an item, so no lists for these card rises.
In addition to the above I am
working on a new Devano Style Deck based upon an original Mitch
Devano Deck loaned to me.
Latest info on the second run
of my "Think-A-Drink" apparatus.
Production of these has been
ceased at the advice of my product liability insurer. The problem
is that the apparatus is food safe when it leaves my facility
but I can not control how well magicians clean their apparatus.
I would not want anyone to get ill from apparatus improperly cleaned
by magicians. Therefore, I have ceased production of these.
Please do not write me saying
that you will clean things properly. Such promises will change
Please visit my new Used Magic Web Page ... new items added now and then.
My fool proof card forcing
deck which I have used for years
in many effects from card in wallet to rising cards. This deck
allows the performer to force any number of cards onto uncoached
spectators. This deck requires the ability to handle spectators
well (not cards) and is not for inexperienced performers.
First run is sold out. More whenever the mood strikes.
For the Do-It-Yourself Magicians!
As promised, I am beginning
to release a series of "how to" e-publications. All
are in pdf so that they may be read on most smart phones, tablets,
readers, and computers. All are payable
by PayPal to email@example.com
When you make payment, be
certain to indicate which e-publication you desire. After payment
has been received, you will be emailed a link for downloading
I shall begin with a quick
and easy inexpensive project requiring only a precision screw
driver set and a Dremel tool.
1. Making a cell phone ring
The second e-publication is much more involved.
A lathe, precision measuring tools, and skill to use them will
2. Machining a Scotch and Soda Set .....$5
The third e-publication explains how to make and
use a dice switching clip for jacket or holdout. Tin snips, jewelers
saw, a drill, and fine files are all that are needed for this
3. Making and Using a Dice Switch Clip ....$5
The fourth e-publication is a rather advanced project
for making a large locking reel suitable for a vanishing lampshade
or birdcage. You will require a lathe, milling machine, soldering
equipment, etc. This reel design may be scaled down for making
smaller locking reels if desired.
4. Making a large locking reel .... $5
This project is very suitable for even a small lathe
like a Taig or Sherline.
5. Making a Coin Cup .... $5
This is a nice project for the woodturner.
6. Making a Morrison Pillbox .... $5
This e-publication is for those wanting to make
special thin metal ball shells for unique apparatus. Shown are
how to make metal billiard ball shells and the difficult to find
golf ball shells.
7. Making Metal Ball Shells .... $5
More to come soon.
Upcoming e-publications will include making a take-up
reel, making a new style of Vanishing Bird Cage, a new type of
ball vase, rising cards, a new type of billiard ball stand, new
work on the ball and tube, a drawer box, a razor blade stand,
a coin shooter, a new type of Kuma Tube, a center control Cube
A Libre, a timer for creating a few seconds delay, a simplex card
punch, making a Kepplinger holdout, a gravity holdout, making
dye tubes, etc. Lots of fun if there is enough interest to make
Here is a freebee .... Making
an Inexpensive Card Trimmer
Here is a freebee .... Making
Typewriter style Key Inlays
Here is a freebee .... A
way to soften coins
Here is a freebee .... Making
a Coin Stack
Here is a freebee .... Making
a Folding Coin
Here is a freebee ....Things
to do with a rubber walnut
Here is a freebee .... Making
an Inexpensive Leather Cylinder
I am honored ... scroll down
to my shiners (bottom of this page) to see how they have been
imortalized by Paul Kozak.
Wand Production Resumes ...
All have been spoken for. Watch for one of my wands
in the upcoming "Oz the Great and Powerful"
A reminder ... I have halted
all cup production until further notice. I am too busy with other
Here is some cup eye
candy (Ed Keener's Cups) for you to enjoy.
Notice: As of 2/21/12, all cup
production has been suspended until further notice. If you have
a cup order in already, it will be completed and shipped more
or less on schedule. I need to finish up a number of birdcages
and begin several rather involved projects which will take up
most of my time.
For those desiring to take their
performances to the next level with professional costume design,
you might be interested in costume
Suspended while designer completes
big project with Macys.
BTW - she just received the
RAWARDS award in Fashion Design for 2012!
Here is the effect of an item
that I have been working on now and then for the past few years.
During that time, many variations on the theme, presentation,
and method have been made and tested. All of this will someday
be assembled into an ebook for those interested in variations
of the effect.
Situation: Standup before
a group of 25 or more (these are the only conditions under which
Two finger rings are freely
borrowed from spectators. These rings are shown and openly placed
into the palm up left hand. The hand is slowly closed then opened
to reveal that the rings are linked togther. They are held up
for display and immediately given for inspection. They are solidly
linked. After examination, the rings are taken back by the performer,
shown again, and the left hand closed around them. The hand is
opened to now reveal the borrowed rings are separate. The rings
are returned to the owners.
I'll make up just a few of
these to give to close friends. Others may read about it in the
A1 has begun! Click
here for progress.
Limited wand production might
resume sometime this year. I have the ebony and nickel silver
but not the time.
The Riser Cup Workers Wand
The ends are solid nickel
silver turned into miniature replicas of traditional style cups.
The center section is of hand
turned and polished macassar ebony.
The overall length is 11"
to make using it convenient in close-up situations.
$255 postpaid (USA only).
The first two runs of these
new wands are closed and shipped.
Please email me, if interested.
Next run will most likely be late
The matching ebony/nickel
silver wands below were custom made for an upcoming movie. Comsider
them eye candy.
Several duplicates were made
for a number of performers/collectors around the world.
For those of you waiting for
your wand ... the last three have shipped out. See yours here:
The wand below will be the
last wand until I get in the "wand mood" again.
Here it is ...
This wand is hand turned and
polished ebony and nickel silver.
The latest run of wands is
Note: I do not have time to
send out tons of emails as such new items come and go. The best
way to know what is happening here is to check my web site now
and then. Those who do check, avoid disappointment.
Some eye candy ...
here to see a historical collection of card trimmers.
Eye candy: An Innocent Copper
Riser Shorty Ultimate Chop Cup
The Return of my "Baby
Lindy" Vanishing Birdcage
This is the cage that has been
kept a pro's secret for several years (almost 30!). I first began
making my Baby Lindy cages in the middle 1980's. Production halted
around 1990 when I became busy with other projects. My cage is
constructed by the same techniques used by Lindhorst, Sims, Yimka,
National Magic, and other makers of the past.
Riser Baby Lindy Vanishing Birdcage
As I continue to grow older and devote my limited time
and energy to creating apparatus for working magicians, I find
that this time and energy is becoming more and more wasted. I
design and painstakingly manufacture apparatus to be used not
displayed. So, to keep the very limited number of my cage setups
in the hands of workers rather than collectors, I am setting up
restrictions on who may be eligible to purchase these setups.
I know, the wannabees on magic forums will have a great time discussing
how horrible I am. Some fool will probably even claim that I know
nothing about the stresses involved in using such a cage (after
opening my act with the cage for over 40 years and making metal
items much longer!).These folk are specifically the ones I do
not want to have my items. Have at it, wannabees. Remember, I
am retired and do not have to make magic items. At my age, I do
not need to please magic bunglers nor need to care about their
opinions. That's an advantage of being old.
In addition, I am working on a Vanishing Birdcage
ebook explaining how to actually use this type of cage, a
flexible cage, and a cage type to avoid. There really is no reason
for bent cage bars, slow vanishes, or cages hanging out of a sleeve.
This hopefully will be ready in 2013; but do not count on it as
I am deeply involved in a nonmagic dvd production that is taking
up much of my time.
Until things are ready, feel free to enjoy this.
Here is a blast to the past
for those interested:
for Odd Card
for The Solid Cup as marketed from 1973-1988 (Later copies included
Sun Magic overleaf)
Catalog c. 1973-1988 (dot matrix printer)
Catalog c. 1973 Items - updated catalog from 1988 (new DeskJet
printer - same items)
for The Perfect Bill Change
Click here to see the Vernon
Click here to see
how to engrave a metal cup.
Eye Candy ...
What may well be the thickest (.093") spun set
of cups next the smallest cup set. Neither of these belong to
the Houston fool.
This is thick copper!
These cups are busy earning their keep not wasting
away on a shelf somewhere. This is why they were made and as it
Some eye candy ... a one-of-a-kind ...
The Rabbit and Hat Magician
Chink-A-Chink weights are currently
available only from S4S - while they still have stock.
Production on these has been
Brass Weight Chink-A-Chink
The final version is engraved "2 oz." ...
Available now ... new colors ...
Chopped Dice Pairs
This dice set was created at the request of several
magicians wanting to get a way from the usual chop cup style crochet
With the dice it is possible to throw the gimmicked
die into the cup and have it "grab" or not. The die
may be shaken within the cup to allow spectators to hear that
it is really there and to position it for the "grab".
These are large custom made 19 mm. dice (just under 3/4")
and easily seen.
These are sold by the pair (one chopped and one plain
die). These are the same dice provided with the Riser Combo
If you want a gambling theme for your magic, these
might be just what you need.
Available to USA customers only, payment by check or
money order ... intro priced at $30 postpaid/pair.
Email me for my address for mailing payment.
example of some custom work.
Riser Midi-Traditional Cups progression ...
Another view ...
More eye candy ...
Is this the smallest cup set in the world?
The Riser Micro Traditional Cups
Yes, that is a dime coin.
I have received a few emails
asking about my bottomless glass for the Walnut effect. It has
been discontinued; but for those interested, here
An exciting assortment of new
items are in the works ...
Not all of these items will be available for general
Traffic Light Monte
Improved Vanishing Birdcage Hookup
Something very special for those who have been waiting
(to be announced later)
The new style card punch is
now available ... scroll down to see it.
An evil jack getting punched out!
A few will be available in
All regular cup spinning has been suspended until further notice.
Cups possibly being made again
in the fall ...
Riser Spider Cup
The Riser "D" Cell
The Riser "D" Cup
A New Style Traditional Cup
All other cups are either
discontinued or on hold awaiting time to make them.
I might possibly sell off my
cup spinning business and spinning chucks to devote energies to
more interesting projects. No decision on this yet.
The Riser Midi-Traditionals
The first eighteen runs of these
are all sold. For those interested in such things, a "run"
is how many I can make from half a sheet of copper. I always cut
the big sheets in half and work on a half at a time. See pictures
of an unpolished set below (for size only) ...
The new Riser Midi-Traditionals will not be available to
all who might want them. They will be sold only to those passing
the screening process. These cups are nice and are my current
favorite! They have been designed to replace my earlier Riser
Mini-Cups which have been discontinued. The whole set may
be carried in the coat pocket if desired.
Those who are preapproved for
purchase ... $225
The cups shipped are polished
as shown below. These cups were designed to be used with Squeeker
balls as shown. Balls are available from Target Stores.
And another blatant tease....
Shorty Junior (on the left of the Riser Shorty)...
To see several
of my items which have been discontinued, please click here.
As I have indicated many times,
"Because something is available today, does not mean that
it will be available forever".
Most of my new
items may not be generally offered for sale
here on my web site. More than likely I'll be offering them to
select clients on a first refusal basis. I will be basing my client
list on factors that might surprise many so called magicians.
Since I am the designer/maker, I feel free to let my creations
out to whomever I select. If this is unacceptable to you, you
most likely are not on my client list as a result of being eliminated
due to one or more selection considerations. Such is life...
More eye candy ...
The Riser Tall has been discontinued.
email me before placing an order as I may not have the time to
make your item.
Production on the pre-requested John Ramsay Cups
(originals) has been cancelled as
I will be introducing a new version this fall (if time permits)...
the new version will be a surprising improvement and not available
many aluminum discs have been cut and spinning has started. The
copper discs are for other projects.
Those who requested to be on the "notify list"
for the originals will have to do without. Only the new style
will be made in the future.
The John Ramsay Style
Cups - click here for info
Discontinued but left up for
More eye candy...
The Aluminum Riser Shorty Chop Cups
Note: The Aluminum Shorty Cup is semi-polished and
semi-finished on the inside rather than the highly finished appearance
on the copper version. This is to allow the aluminum cup to truely
resemble an everyday item in less than pristine condition.
Click here to go to my Magical
Eye candy and reference ...
The Riser Standard Cups (regular sized cups).
A size comparison: Riser Mini-Cup; Riser Standard;
and Riser Jumbo
Another size comparison: Riser Standard Cup with a
Paul fox Cup
Price $250 + $7.00 shipping in the U.S.
Introducing the 2008 version of the Riser Card Punch
... more in May 2013
This new style card punch features aluminum, stainless
steel, and brass construction.
It also features the robust point as needed by magicians
- plus requires no tools to adjust.
The Sacagawea Shiner
This shiner is made from a circulated Sacagawea coin
so that it will "age" to match other Sacagawea dollars
you might be using. With this item, a magician or mentalist may
glimpse cards as they are being dealt or shown. Shown here are
the front and back sides of this shiner.
Note: This is sold for entertainment or lecture/demo
use only. Using one in a real card game could be hazardous to
your health. I repeat, these are not for use in cheating at cards.
Most people using these are stage and platform magicians and mentalists.
Announcing a new version of this item. The Sacagawea
coin has been hollowed into a shell and a precision convex mirror
of polished pure nickel silver has been inserted into this shell.
The Sacagawea Shiner comes with a small cloth drawstring bag for
A true honor ...
Mr. Atlantic City (Paul Kozak) has chosen to immortilize
my shiner with one of his oil paintings.
Quality Limited Edition Prints Giclee on Canvas
18" x 24" Numbered & Signed of this fine art are
available directly from Paul or through Denny Haney.
Thank you for the honor, Paul!
Additional items will be posted here as they become
Click here to go to my Magical
Click here to
return to the James P. Riser Home Page.
Click here to
send mail to James P. Riser