I've been putting off posting stuff lately because I've wanted to finish my Quig story. However, I haven't been in the fiction mood so here's some non-fiction. The Quig story will be finished soon (not that any of you await the stunning conclusion) but for now, I'd like to talk about some new cool prop ideas I've stumbled upon.
During my Shoebox Tour with Tempei Arakawa in September 2008, I was introduced (by Tempei) to Ryo Yabe's site. I became a fan of Russians in the past year, mostly because they enabled me to do one of the coolest tricks on the planet - juggling three balls behind my back blind. Anyway, my russians are green with sand inside. In fact, most russians are colored opaque balls with filling.
However, Ryo Yabe has some awesome Russians on his site that utilize a cool new aesthetic idea - the Russians are completely transparent and are filled with colored sand! How cool! A picture is below along with a link to where you can buy them, if you read Japanese.
I don't know about anyone else, but I find this a really cool idea and encourage American propmakers (Renegade?) to try out this idea. Having never juggled them, I'm not sure if they look cool from a distance or on stage. But it would be neat to see how sand actually flies while Russians are being juggled.
Someone on Facebook recently asked me about my "GOTA" clubs which I obtained (for 10 euros each AKA dirt cheap) at the EJC this past summer from Cabeza de Martillo. They are basically skinny tear-drop shaped clubs, like FATheads (by Renegade) but not "fat". I bought them because I liked the aesthetic and I like owning unique clubs. That's the same reason I own Yin/Yang Radical Fish - screw their jugglability, I just think they're high art.
Anyway, Cabeza de Martillo (http://www.cabezademartillo.com/) is a site worth checking out! The company is based in Argentina and has a cool applet on their site that makes their catalog physically flip like a book. You have to use your mouse to "turn" pages on their website. Depending on your mood, it's cool/annoying. Anyway, if you flip past the title page, you'll see an oddly shaped "club/ball" apparatus that looks like this:
Can anyone provide any additional information about this hybrid? It certainly has me wanting to reach into my computer screen and try juggling a few of them just to discover what "is" possible with this new combination of shapes. Any information about this product would be interesting. Is it just a joke/novelty prop?
Lastly, it's important to keep your eyes on Team RdL (AKA Renegade Design Lab) whom will be premiering new props at this year's IJA in Winston-Salem. Their first prop (the FLAThead) has already been premiered in their one and only YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1nmf5PcxZA
The club is unique in that it can easily rest on the floor without too much set-up. The best use of its power (I think) is shown when Jay Gilligan briefly sets it on the floor before executing a 180 type move and grabbing onto it again. Rumor is that Team RdL and Renegade will be premiering a whole LINE of new props at this summer's IJA, so save up your money.
It's nice to see all these new ideas, practical and aesthetic, being applied to traditional stock props. I personally think that the IJA should add a "new prop" category to their popular "individual prop competitions". This would encourage even more professional and amateur thought into what appears to be a popular trend of 2009 already.