Professional Whip Artistry Training & Entertainment

Professional Whip Artistry Training & Entertainment

  • Tag Archives FRASER stockwhips
  • Spotlight! The black, Fraser “Brothers & Co.” stockwhip.

    GLD_FRAS_BLK_TWAS6About a dozen years ago, The Whip Artistry Studio director, Gery L. Deer, commissioned a black stockwhip from whip maker Janine Fraser. As the majority of his work to that point had been done with bullwhips, he had only one stockwhip in his collection and decided on one of Janine’s for their look and weight. What she made was truly a work of art and function.

    After all of these years, this is still Gery’s favorite stockwhip and it has become known as “The Brothers & Co.” whip because it’s always seen on the costume he wears for his family variety show. He is regularly asked about the whip, by audience members and whip enthusiasts alike, so here is some detail about the whip and some new-close up photos.

    With a 19 ½-inch handle and a thong of 72 ½ inches, this is an impressive piece (92 inches long, from handle butt to point knot). The whip is black kangaroo with a Scobie Hitch knot on the handle butt and a variation checkerboard-herring bone braid. The fall hitch, at the point, is just slightly over ½-inch in diameter holding tightly in place a ¼-inch wide, 20-inch long, whitehide fall, dyed black to match the thong. It’s important to note that this is the original fall and has only been shortened a few inches over the years from wear and use.

    The weight of this whip barely registers, about the same as an iPhone 4! It has a beautifully braided, 12-plait handle that starts out at the butt at just under 2 ½-inches in diameter and tapers to 1 3/8 inches at the thong. Janine’s signature, engraved metal band adorns the handle about 5-inches up from the butt. This particular whip sports Gery’s initials opposite the “FRASER” engraving.

    Of the handle material, Fraser tells us, “The handle is drilled cane and shaved down with a spoke save and draw knife (old school stuff mate).” The craftsmanship of Fraser’s work has always been top-of-the-line. Gery has four Fraser whips all together and the others are solid brown, but this is his favorite.

    “I call it, ‘The Brothers & Co.’ whip because it’s been on the costume I wear with the group since I got it,” Gery noted. The Brothers & Co. is a country music and variety show that he and his family created in 1995. “I have used it in countless whip shows of my own, but as of 2007, it’s been worked exclusively with the Brothers show.”

    TWAS Director, Whip Artist Gery L. Deer in his "The Brothers & Co"

    TWAS Director, Whip Artist Gery L. Deer in his “The Brothers & Co”

    Gery said he originally asked for a black whip because of his stage and costuming at the time, primarily dark colors with black and brown equipment. “I do a double Queensland crossover and other two-whip routines where I intentionally use one of Janine’s stocks in one hand and an Indy Jones-style bullwhip of the same color in the other. It looks great to show these two styles used simultaneously, particularly when I’m doing my dual-whip crossover candle routine.”

    After many years of stage performance and educational use, the Brothers stockwhip will soon be retired from active performance. “To me, it’s one-of-a-kind and cannot be replaced so, naturally, I want to protect it,” Gery said. “It will go on display with one of Antonio Bandares’s whips from Zorro and my Alex Green signature whip.”

    Gery said the whip will still appear in a few more shows because it will be a while before he can retire it anyway, because he’ll have to find an equally interesting piece to add to his Brothers costume. “So far, I have found nothing that comes close to the look and handling of my black Fraser whip. It’s going to be tough to replace on stage, and I’m going to miss having it with me for those shows. It’s still the best stockwhip I have ever used.”

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