This morning Will Morgan, John Leonetti andmyself did a little whip demo / workshop at the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA). We did a little talk about the history of the bullwhips and the different types of whips. Then we did little demos of the different styles of whip cracking from what I do with a bullwhip in my show to more technical crack with one bullwhip or two stockwhips and two bullwhips.
Sorry I haven’t been updating this blog daily like I normally do. December is a busy performing season, so I’ve been busy performing shows. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been making whips…just not blogging about it, however I have been keeping my twitter feed (@bullwhips) updated with what I’m working on.
My current project is a four foot 8 plait snakewhip. I just finished the overlay, it’s a straight eight, so no strand drops. I’ll post pictures of it tomorrow. I also got three more natural tan kangaroo skins in, so I’ll probably be making some more Indy Bullwhips in the near future. I also have a two white skin, one and half black skins and a red kangaroo skin. The red kangaroo is going to be used to make an specific whip in a way that I don’t think anyone has done it before (more on this when I start the project).
Also about a week or so ago I dropped a four foot bullwhip off at its new owners house. Here’s juggler, comedian and western performer Bob Bailey III with his new bullwhip:
I’ve worked on shows with Bob in the past and was honored that he wanted one of my bullwhips!
Today I shellac’d a 4 foot 12 plait kangaroo pocket snake whip and a 10 foot 12 plait kangaroo bullwhip. The bullwhip’s overlay had been made a while ago, I just did the knot today and the pocket snake was made today.
Here’s the pocket snake:
This Pocket Snake Whip has a great crack to it!
Here’s the 10 foot 12 plait bullwhip:
I intentionally left the transition knot off the bullwhip. I thought the bullwhip looked fine without it. I haven’t had a chance to test crack this bullwhip, it’s been too wet out lately. Hopefully the weather will be dry tomorrow and I can give it a few throws at the park.
Yesterday I got a bit of work in on the snake whip that I’m working on. I braided the 4 plait kangaroo belly and cut out and attached the bolster:
If you look a the belly in the picture above you will see that I have a little extra wrapping of string around the handle end of the snake whip. I do that area will take a lot of stress and in my mind it add just a bit mor reinforcement.
Another thing that I do on snake whips that I don’t do on bullwhips is bind the bolster down the thong of the whip. I do this over the plaited part of the belly. Inside a (most of my) bullwhips I don’t use a shot bag, so I don’t have to worry about the bag breaking over time, while it’s a very unlikely thing to happen in a shot loaded whip, it’s still something that could happen.
I do my best to reduce the possibility of this happening. With a braided belly in the whip, even if the shotbag breaks, the shot isn’t going to go anywhere because the braided belly is holding it in. Then you have the bolster on top of that being held in by the plaited overlay. So realistically even if the shotbag was to magicially disappear with the braided belly, bolster and overlay in place the lead shot isn’t going anywhere.
So my binding of the bolster is pretty much just extra insurance and to give me a bit of peace of mind. It’s something that doesn’t take that long to do, so why not?
Yesterday I also cut out the overlay for this snake whip:
Today at the very least I’ll get the strand prep done on this snake whip. I’ve got two shows today and a ton of phone calls to return, so I probably won’t get any actual braiding in until tomorrow.