J.K Hartman

I first got After Craft and Trickey Treats from the Sheffield Magick Lounge a few years ago. Before buying these books (I did so on the recommendation of a friend) I’d never heard of J.K Hartman before. His name is not one which I regular hear discussed amongst cardmen yet he has some superb materiel and these two books contains a wealth of information. The man himself seems something of an engima – a search online will yield no real information or photographs (there was an interview I came across once but can’t seem to find again). I’ve decided to go through After Craft and comment on any items I particularly like and will do so in a series of posts over the next few weeks. J.K’s first book “Card Craft” is long out of print and I’d love to get a copy – anyone out there sick of their copy and want to sell it?


3 Responses to J.K Hartman

  1. cardmagic10 says:

    Hey Kevin,

    Firstly – I no longer have my copies of the JK Hartman books (I think I sold them when raising cash to buy a file of ‘The Crimp’ magazine). But – I will always consider buying them again should I ever feel the urge.

    Anyway – I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Hartman. But – I just want to ‘cut and paste’ something I asked on a magic forum awhile ago, just so you can get an idea of where I stand on Hartman. Sadly – I wasn’t that impressed with what I have seen. And from what I wrote you can see that I am still a bit puzzled by that…

    PS I am concerned about my inability to connect with JK Hartman’s work (by the way I have read all his books). I really like his philosophy – and I am impressed with the quantity of effects he has in print. He also shares my love for Elmsley and Walton. However – I have yet to be really ‘grabbed’ by any of his works. Am I doing something wrong?

    Anyway – alot of people I really respect seem to love Hartman’s work. Bill Goodwin, Jerry Sadowitz, you and the blogger ‘pasteboardpimps’. Yet – it has never really grabbed me. Not sure why – and I can’t really say much more than that really. Still – I am probably just an idiot – so I really look forward to reading your thoughts in this area.

    I should add that I once came across a short interview with J.K Hartman on the internet. Probably on some (now defunct) magic site. Anyway – I can’t find it at the moment. But – I will let you know if I stumble across it.

    All the best,


    • Kevin says:

      Hi Joe,

      How strange! – when I first got After Craft I instantly loved the material. My favourite thing about Hartman’s moves is that everyone I read I think is an improvement on a previous technique I know – almost like a “Hartman Touch”. For example his thoughts on the strip out addition, getting a break above the bottom card etc. He seems to have streamlined a lot of moves so that they’re not really moves anymore and are done during another action – e.g. downjogging when spreading for a selection to obtain a break. His effects are hit and miss but then that’s the same with whoever you read – once in a while you stumble across some great effects. He has a great trick published in the Crimp – a gambler vs magician story trick (the name escapes me). For me it’s his sleights and improvement of sleights that I love most.

      Not sure how you can overcome this Harman block – if it doesn’t grab you then there’s no reason to try and make it. After getting After Craft and Trickery Treats I did but Card Dupery and was actually unimpressed with it – perhaps his better material is in his first three big books? He does have a CAAN book which I’ve heard some good things about but haven’t got yet.


  2. cardmagic10 says:

    Well – I will definitely check out his work again at a later stage. Sometimes I find it very useful to leave 6/7 years before going back and looking again at something you didn’t take to the first time around.

    Also – I have never being that bothered about clever sleughts. I certianly appreciate them – it is just I am totally obsessed with the construction of effects, as opposed to the sleights used to achieve them.



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