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Buffalo McKinley

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello!

I'm planning on buying a fold-able mat from www.pattricksmagic.com based on recommendations I saw in a thread in The Magician's Forum.  I'd like something large enough that I can use for practicing at home, but not so large that it's a pain to carry around.  (Any recommendations?)

Is there a color that works best?  I'm thinking black, but maybe that's a rookie mistake?

Also, I think there is a "plush" option.  Is that something I should get?

Thanks!

-Buffalo
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #2 
No comment on the table, I don't know anything about it.

Regarding mats, I favour black, but I have a circular maroon/red thing. About seven inches in diameter. Occasionally useful, though I don't use a mat for walkabout-strolling-table-top-hopping.

I currently have three oversize darkish green mats that cost £1-99 from an "Everything Under  Fiver" shop. 

By "oversize," I mean 24 inches by 12 inches. Not massive, they fit on most regular size tables.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #3 
I don't own one but I understand that Pattrick makes some of the best mats available.  The folding mat is interesting, but I have to believe there will be a definite crease, no matter who makes it.  For me that would be a drawback.  YMMV.

There are some on this forum that have his folding mat and they can chime in.  I think EvilDan has one if I'm not mistaken.

On color, that is always a good question.  I have used black, blue, maroon and green.

The black is probably the most resistant to looking dirty, but will show lint the most.  The green is good for gambling demos as it resembles a gaming table color.  Red cards look especially nice against green.

I liked maroon but it doesn't work with red cards too well and I didn't really like blue so much so I didn't use it except for practice.

The blue mat I had was an "indestructible" mat promoted by a well-known close up magician about 40 years ago.  I still have it, and it really is indestructible.  Has a nasty crease in it, but otherwise is like new.

On plush versus regular, I like plush in most things.  More cusion I guess.  That might be important to you if you do Matrix or other effects where the pad helps by having some "give".
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #4 

You can’t go wrong with a mat by Pattrick.  I prefer black because it’s a good contrast to silver coins and playing cards with red & blue backs.  But it’s really a personal decision everyone should make.  I once had a great light purple colored one, which I also liked.

Don’t know anything about the folding ones nor the plush finish.

As regards size, mine is 16” X 14”.  It allows me to do a nice half-circle spread of the deck, and it’s also the perfect size for the way I perform Matrix.

Hope this helps, Buffalo!


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krolik

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Reply with quote  #5 
Depends a bit on what you're performing (see remarks above about cards), but black is always safe and looks particularly good if you handle shiny coins.

A mat should be fairly "invisible" and shouldn't call attention to itself. You want something that enhances the appearance of your props and your hands.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #6 
I own one of Pattrick's mats, it's black and has the plush finish. I like it. A lot. I've had it for a couple of years now and it's holding up well. If need be, I'd purchase another without hesitation.

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krolik
Depends a bit on what you're performing (see remarks above about cards), but black is always safe and looks particularly good if you handle shiny coins.

A mat should be fairly "invisible" and shouldn't call attention to itself. You want something that enhances the appearance of your props and your hands.


Charles, that point about the mat being "invisible" is a good one.  I never liked the ones that had printing on them.  I guess a performer's name is OK, but I wouldn't do it.  But having the four aces or the four pips on the pad just seemed distracting to me.

I also am not a big fan of the "platform" pads that are built up on wood.  I know that to some close up performers the pad represents their "stage" and so they make it a focal point, but to me it should be innocuous, just a basic pad to provide a clean working area for your performance.  They are kind of like place mats on a dinner table, they serve a purpose but should largely go unnoticed.


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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #8 
BTW, this might be of interest.  The blue close up pad I own is a "Mullica Pad" that was promoted by Tom Mullica.  It was rumored that the idea came from material used for diver's wet suits.

Here is a company that sells the material in large pieces.  You could probably order a sample to help decide what color and type you think works best for you.

https://www.foamorder.com/neoprene/neoprene.html?gclid=CJ_l6qDO-pMCFRMYagodmCjbVw
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Chris Karim

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ


Charles, that point about the mat being "invisible" is a good one.  I never liked the ones that had printing on them.  I guess a performer's name is OK, but I wouldn't do it.  But having the four aces or the four pips on the pad just seemed distracting to me.

I also am not a big fan of the "platform" pads that are built up on wood.  I know that to some close up performers the pad represents their "stage" and so they make it a focal point, but to me it should be innocuous, just a basic pad to provide a clean working area for your performance.  They are kind of like place mats on a dinner table, they serve a purpose but should largely go unnoticed.




First off, to answer the original question.  The standard green is what I bought first and what I use to this day.  I've repurposed mouse pads (similar to the neoprene used in wet suits) so I have some black ones too but I tend to use the green one any time I perform for others (versus practice on the black pads).  Both offer contrast to the cards and coins that I tend to use (and sponge balls, and plain white cards).  I would personally stay away from blues and reds as they are common back colors and reds are on the faces of cards.  I feel that you lose contrast, for as cool as they might look.

Regarding Ray's post:
Agreed on all points.  I think, depending on framing, some print may be desired for some performers but, like backdrops in other performing arts, distraction must be kept to an absolute minimum.  Magic and Showmanship author Henning Nelms is very clear about how he feels about distractions as they relate to performing magic (chapters 14 and 15 I believe).  I don't tend to disagree.

Another author (can't remember who) tried to make a similar point by saying something along the lines of "If something isn't making your act stronger, then it is making it weaker" which, again, I don't tend to disagree with.

Have I seen any performing mats, of any color, that would add more to a performance by having text or imagery on them?  Nope.
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diemaker

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Reply with quote  #10 
I have several close-up mats but for practice I use a dish mat microfiber I like my coffee and if the mat gets spilled on pop it in the washer. They work great and are cheaper.  Amazon Basics Drying Mat - 18x24"- Black, 2-Pack 15 bucks.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diemaker
I have several close-up mats but for practice I use a dish mat microfiber I like my coffee and if the mat gets spilled on pop it in the washer. They work great and are cheaper.  Amazon Basics Drying Mat - 18x24"- Black, 2-Pack 15 bucks.


There are a lot of "alternate" mats out there.  Bed Bath & Beyond sells some nice substitutes.  Computer stores sometimes sell the huge mouse pads which are OK, but a little firm for my taste.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #12 
I have a number of Pattrick’s mats in different sizes. I have a folding one in black with my name embroidered in the corner. There is a crease but it’s not as noticeable as when I thought it would be. The name helps people remember who you are.

I had a mat made of the diving suit material. I didn’t like it. I was too slippery for my taste. Durable as hell, but too slippery.
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