Cardistry: 3 Questions with Frank Sung and Adam Kerchman of Bloc Playing Cards

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Cardistry: 3 Questions with Frank Sung and Adam Kerchman of Bloc Playing Cards

Designed by Frank Sung (@frankistea) and Adam Kerchman (@adamkerchman), Bloc Playing Cards: American Pine Edition is a semi-custom deck inspired by the beauty, color and texture of trees. This deck features standard faces, custom Ace of Spades and a borderless one-way wood textured back design.

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Frank started cardistry in 2006 and took a break between 2010 to 2015. Recently, Frank won the 'Move of the Year' for 'Dump' during Cardistry-Con 2017. Bloc Playing Cards came about when Frank had an idea in winter 2016 for a line of cards that involved different wood grain textures. Frank told Kardify, "I mentioned my idea in passing to Adam and a few weeks later he told me he wanted to make it a real thing. I would have never taken the steps to make this deck if it wasn't for him."

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Adam is a director of photography based in NYC. He's been in the card world for over 15 years and have known Frank for ~10 years. According to Adam, "Frank casually mentioned to me that a wood deck of cards would be interesting. I was like: Dude. No one has has that...And then we made Bloc!"

We had a quick chat with Frank and Adam about the inspiration behind the 'American Pine' deck, the community, and their favorite cardist, flourish and deck.

What is your inspiration behind the ‘American Pine’ deck? How did you guys come up with the idea?
Frank: There were two main inspirations for the deck. The first one is that I wanted to come up with a deck that was conceptually strong. The reason why the deck is borderless is so that the lines are blurred between a deck of playing cards and an 'object'. When the deck is squared up in your hand or on a table, it seamlessly blends into its environment as an actual wood block, without a border to define it as a deck of playing cards. Only when the deck is in use, then it visually defines itself as playing cards. It's similar to the notion of showing people cardistry and expanding their definition of what a deck of playing cards can do apart from card games and magic tricks. The second inspiration was the beauty of wood. I've always loved the different colors and textures that trees can bring. It's so beautiful. I wanted to bring that into cardistry and with it, a sense of nature and calm. And in a way, the deck is an homage to trees. A wise Kevin Ho once said, "Cards come from paper. Paper comes from tree. Therefore: card is tree. Cardistry."

Adam: My desktop background has been a wood texture since 2008. My cell phone background has been a wood texture since I've had an iPhone. You may ask: does Adam respect wood? Absolutely. The borderless design is a bit of an outlier in most decks. That said - a border on the wood texture negated everything we wanted to create. With Bloc, we wanted to create something that transcended a deck of playing cards - it's simply a beautiful stand alone item. The fact that you can manipulate, play with, or amaze with the deck is almost secondary. The design had to be solid enough that any lay person could easily get on board. When you hold a bloc in your hand it looks like you're holding a wooden block. A border would completely alter that perception.

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We first noticed Bloc Playing Cards on Instagram during Cardistry-Con. What do you think of the cardistry community in terms of the feedback and support that you’ve been getting so far on the social media platform?
Frank: I'm really grateful for all the support we've been getting to far.
Adam: It's super rad. I've been spearheading our social presence and it's dope to see people resonate with it!

Finally, what are your favorite flourish and playing card decks?
Frank: Sorry, i can't pick just one. But in past year or so: Pesto by Tobias, Mycroft by Cuon, and Bahamas by Nikolaj. Other people I look up to when creating are Oliver, Aviv, Dimitri, Brendan, Matt (Beaudoin), Pat, and Nicolas. A few of my favorite decks are Usagi, Wynns, Stripe, and Fontaines.
Adam: Literally anything from Noel, Aviv, or the Dicardistry crew. There's so many people putting out incredible work that it's virtually impossible to choose just a few...So I'll throw Daren, Tobias, and Andrei in there too. I love me some of the latest Virts decks, Stripes, pink Fontaines, and the Vintage Plaid decks. Vintage Plaid might be the smartest back design ever made.

Thanks for your time, guys! The Bloc Playing Cards American Pine Edition are available NOW for $15 from
Cardistry: 3 Questions with Frank Sung and Adam Kerchman of Bloc Playing Cards Reviewed by Ivan on 9/15/2017 Rating: 5

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