Jensen, Jon: Professional Sponge Ball Tricks Volume 1
©Jon Jensen/Murphy's Magic Supplies
Paper, comb-bound 8.5x11", 44 pages
Professional Sponge Ball Tricks Volume 1
Image from Magicref

Comments: Volume 1of a 3 volume set. Volume 1 deals mainly with sleights, but includes a few routines. Volume 2 provides several full routines. Volume 3 will have routines with sponge rabbits (this volume has never been released to my knowledge). Many well done line drawings are provided throughout the volumes. The intent of these volumes was to provide "the most intensive study of sponge balls ever conducted". This is the type of book that would do well with a video to accompany it. Volume 1 details quite a few sleights that are useful in sponge magic, and combined with Volume 2, provides some good examples of routining. I would have liked to have seen more references to other works on the subjects, and perhaps a bibliography of other sponge ball material. While some name dropping is included (such as Frank Garcia and Al Goshman), there is no mention of particular published routines or books. For example, "The Ten Count" in volume 1 is very similar to the 10 count section of Kozak's "Master Routine With the Sponge Balls" from 1973 (part of the book "Sponge Ball Manipulation" by Audley Walsh), but there are no references provided.

Contents:

4 Foreword: First of 3 volumes. Volume 1 will contain sleights and a few killer routines, Volume 2 will expand on professional routines, and Volume 3 will have routines with sponge rabbits.
5 Introduction: Reference to Garcia's Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball Magic, by Gary Darwin

6 Palms: Thumb palm, Finger palm

7 Vanishes: The Retention Vanish
9 The Bounce Vanish. Quick and visual, requires speed.
11 Two for the Price of One: vanishing two sponges at once
13 The Last Second Vanish: another retention of vision type vanish
15 The Instantaneous Vanish: Good if you are standing, spectators seated
16 The Underhanded Vanish: Hand grabs sponge from above
17 The One Fisted Vanish: Sponge poked into the fist
19 The O.K. Vanish: not the vanish, the position of the fingers
21 The Wrap Around Vanish: A knife-style vanish with one hand closing the fingers of the other
22 The Push and Take Vanish: Thumb pokes sponge into fist
23 The Roll Over Vanish: simple but effective
24 The Take-Away Vanish: a faked take away of the sponge
26 Bonus Sleight (The Impossible Sponge Ball Vanish) with alternate handling

29 The Atomic Ball: Splitting a Sponge Ball in Half: requires a table or surface
31 The Ten Count: Simple ball transformation.
35 Into the Spectator's Hand: Basic sponge ball routine where sponge travels to spectator's hand
37 3-1=3. A simple routine where the magician always has three sponges. The three are placed in the spectator's hand, and multiply to four.
40 A Hand Full of Sponge Balls: Magician takes one sponge, the spectator another. The magician's sponge transfers to spectator's hand. The two sponges are now placed in the spectator's hand, but are found to multiply to many.
43 Ghost Ball: A sponge ball appears in your hand and then vanishes. It is retrieved from the pocket, and then split into two. The two balls vanish.


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