Monday, August 23, 2010


What can I say? These are drop dead gorgeous cups! Rings and Things II is da shit! They are now, and always have been. A name synonymous with quality, hand crafted, magical apparatus. As a matter of fact, my very first set of cups and my first set of linking rings were both Rings and Things back in the late 70's.

I wasn't till the early 80's that I switched to the Charlie Miller Cups from Magic Inc. By then, I had absorbed enough Cellini influence to start mutilating sets of cups and balls. I would go through a set a year. While studying under Cellini, I learned that by banging on the cups you excite an innate, primal force within people. The percussive sound might be compared to the beating of a drum, or the beating of your heart, and naturally draws an "audience" to it. It is a proven fact that once you start banging on the cups, people will cross a street or a crowded square to see what all the "commotion" is about.

After the extinction of the Charlie Miller cups, I endeavored to recreate them, with one modification, I made them MUCH stronger. Instead of just using copper, I had them combined with a metal alloy making them the strongest cups ever made.

A few years back I was contacted by RnT II. They were interested in reproducing the Phoenix Cups. I agreed, with several stipulations. I wanted them to fix every issue and complaint I ever got on the cups. They wobble, The lip isn't rolled all the way in etc. . . Funny, in all the years of using the Charlie Miller Cups I never thought of those as issues. They were just cups. These days a new breed of cup collector demands a higher level of quality.

Rings and Things II leads the pack when it comes to the manufacturing some of the best and widest selection of cups in the world! I wish I owed a set of each, someday I will. The first thing I noticed when handling the PHOENIX II CUPS • COPPER • ANTIQUE BRONZE FINISH was the heft! These cups got some freaking weight! I always said I like a cup you could kill a man with. They fit the hand perfectly and to be quite honest, they are a perfect set of cups in every regard. Striking to look at, a dream to work with and the blackened bronze interior, a striking contrast.

Donnie Buckley is the new owner of RnT II and operates out of the Cleveland area. Thanks Donnie for doing such a GREAT job on this (and every set of your cups) you lovingly and magically make appear before our widened eyes and big smiles. Keep up the fantastic work!


Jen said...

Tom, you may not remember this, but I think we knew each other briefly when you were in New Orleans working as a street magician. I was a student at LSU School of Allied Health and we met one night when you were working. I used to ride my bike down to the French Quarter to your apt. from my apt. in Metarie. This was probably summer/fall of 1984? We hung out together quite a bit and then you moved back to ?Atlanta? Not sure how I came upon your site on the internet, but just thought I would say Hello, and I really enjoyed knowing you "way back when" ! Jennifer (Farmer) Sherlock P.S. Are you on Facebook?

Tom said...

Hey Jen! How nice to hear from you after all these years! Yes, I am on face book. I tried to find you there but didn't see you. What name should I look for there. Hope to catch up a bit w/ you.



Jen said...

I am listed on Facebook as Jennifer Farmer Sherlock. Do you know how many Tom Franks there are on Facebook? Like hundreds. If you find me, my security is pretty tight so just friend request and I'll know it's you. I would have friend requested you, but I didn't have time to search all the "Tom Franks"! Great to hear from you!

Samara Auer said...

Donnie didn't have anything to do with the Phoenix ll cups at all. My father (Jake Sr) my father did all the work on the Phoenix cups. I just want the credit to go to the person who actually re-blueprinted the Phoenix ll cups for you.

Mad Jake Jr.