Magic Mortar Milk Mix

by Professor Spellbinder

There is an old trick I used to do in my Clown days… you don’t think I was always a Wizard, do you? This was the trick where the clown fills a bucket with water and then dashes it into the audience. They all duck, and then discover that the water has turned to confetti.

I thought the joke might work just as well for a Wizard and liven up some Halloween shows. Instead of a pail, I used my wooden mortar (Dollar Store!) and a piece of white milky quartz rock that I found in a gravel bed (free!).


I usually begin by “teaching a potions class,” as if my audience were students at Wizards’ School. I explain what a mortar and pestle are and sometimes relate the legendary story of the Russian witch Baba Yaga and her use of the mortar and pestle to fly around the forest.

Then I go rummaging through the drawers of my potion cabinet and bring out the milky quartz rock. I pass it around so the “class” can learn what it looks like. This gets over the “examination” bit that so many magicians frown upon.

I ask them to hold the rock up to the light and observe that it is translucent and so on. Finally, I collect it by having someone drop it into the mortar. I arrange for them to drop it from a height so it will make a good solid clunking noise when it hits the mortar. I sometimes rattle it around in the mortar so they can hear that it is good and solid.

Now I bring out the measuring cup (made from Dollar Store materials and explained in the article) , which I claim contains “Milk of Magnesia.” As I pour the milky fluid into the mortar, I explain that I am making a potion that will turn a human being into a duck.

I pick up the pestle and grind the milk and the rock together.

“Let’s test it,” I say, and using the pestle as an aspergillum, I sprinkle liquid on the first row of the audience. “Did I get you wet? Does anybody feel like quacking?”

If you have an audience with some kids in it, you may get a few of them to quack for you.

“I don’t see any feather appearing yet. Maybe I need to use some more potion to turn you into ducks. Ready? One, Two, Three, DUCK!”

At that I send the confetti contents of the mortar flying into the audience and begin counting “ducks” as I see them flinch.

Of course, after that bit of silliness, you will never convince the audience that any of your potions actually work, so this should be the last effect where you use a “magic potion.”

Magic Mortar Milk Mix $5.00

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