This is a magic performance of the classic con game Three Card Monte. But this one is done with four cards! The setting is an old-fashioned Carnival and Fair in a small Midwestern town. I was 16 1/2 when I first saw a working conman perform the Monte.
The inspiration and influences in this four card Three Card Monte include magic greats such as Joe Riding, Fred Kaps, and Harry Anderson. The story is my own with inspiration from Harry Anderson.
Actually it’s a brand new wooden crate it’s a prop I made for my magic performances. It’s made from brand new wooden crates, the kind you find at craft stores. I took them apart and reconstructed them so there were no spaces between the slats.
The logo was created in Photoshop. I wanted it to have a turn of the century, carnival genre look to it. I hand painted it on the crate.
The aging process of the wood was done in two stages, distressing the surface to make it look worn and scarred through years of use and then further enhancing the illusion of age through discoloring and staining. The natural aging process has a definite quality that’s subtle but distinct, surfaces that are handled more wear and color differently it was a fascinating study. I visited antique and junk stores observing the distinct qualities of the aging process.
The metal trim is actually aluminum angle stock (aluminum for lighter weight) this was aged to look like weathered copper or rusted steel. Two products were used, one that coated the aluminum with super fine steel particles and then another product that caused rapid oxidation of the surface creating rust. I gave this a light brushing of steel wool and then some subtle hints of patina.
I’m more conditioned to take something very old and make it look brand new again. This was an interesting challenge because here the goal was to take something brand new and make it look very, very old.