You'll like this...not a lot, but you'll like it!
I'm sometimes asked how (and why) I started to make impossible bottles. This is a good question, and to answer it I will need to take you back in time...
Anybody who grew up watching UK Saturday night television during the 80s and 90s will instantly recognise the title of this blog post. It was the most well-known catchphrase of the English magician and entertainer Paul Daniels.
I am a child of the 80's, so one of the abiding memories of my childhood is watching the Paul Daniels Magic Show - a staple of Saturday night viewing for millions of people during its 15-year running.
My brothers and I would sit captivated by Paul's incredible magic, along with the eclectic selection of wonderful and unique performers that he would invite onto his show each week. The Guardian's obituary for Paul gives a sense of the kind of performer he was:
"A small man of indefatigable cheeriness, he was a straightforward but astonishingly skilful performer who also displayed a highly developed flair for comedy; the combination of magic and witty chat took him to the pinnacle of showbusiness and earned him a fortune."
In the heyday of Paul' popularity in the early 90s I received what is probably the best Christmas present I have ever had (yes, I'm serious). It was a Paul Daniels Magic Set, and looked like this...
Looking back now, it was basically a box of cheap plastic tat. But this Christmas gift was single-handedly responsible for kick-starting my love of magic, which would last well into my adulthood.
Now as anybody with a burgeoning interest in magic will know, amassing magic books becomes rather addictive (and very expensive). By my late teens I had quite the collection, which included the three volumes in the Art of Astonishment series by magician Paul Harris. These books were full of "pieces of strange" (as Harris calls them), and tucked away right at the end of Volume 2 was a short piece about impossible bottles, under the title "Eng's Bottles".
Harry Eng was a master impossible bottle maker and all-round remarkable human being - more on him another time.
I read about Harry Eng's impossible bottles, tried to make my own, and the rest is history. Ten years later I'm delighted to be still creating and shipping my bottles all over the world.
Unfortunately, now in my late 30's, I no longer find the time to practice the amazing hobby of magic which brought me so much pleasure in my younger years. However, returning full circle, I have Paul Daniels to thank for introducing me to a world where the most astonishing feats were made possible, for the amazement and enjoyment of others. Making impossible bottles is my way of continuing that in some small way.
Paul Daniels sadly passed away in 2016. However, a few years prior to this I contacted him to ask whether he would sign a deck of Bicycle playing cards for me. He was kind enough to do so, and I turned that deck of cards into a really special impossible bottle:
Paul created a love of magic for an entire generation, and this bottle is dedicated to his memory.
Do you have a favourite memory of Paul Daniels? Share it below!