When working as a Balloon Modeller I am regularly approached by parents who have purchased balloon kits for their children either as Christmas presents or birthday presents. Even after repeated attempts they are frustrated when the balloons pop in their hands. ” What am I doing wrong? ” they ask. Well, making a simple balloon animal is no big deal but there are a couple of tips that will help you succeed. So what’s it all about?
Balloon modelling is the art of creating amazing sculptures using special modelling balloons. Children love to be given a balloon twisted into the shape of an animal,character or object that they recognise and adults enjoy watching the balloon artist at work. The simplest balloon models are made with single balloons but some creations involve multiple balloons and are very complex. Packs of modelling balloons can be purchased in toy shops and from high street retailers however these are novelty items and are not of the same quality as the balloons used by professionals. The most commonly utilised balloon for professional use is the Qualatex 260Q made by the American balloon company Pioneer. This is the long thin balloon most often associated with balloon modellers. There are however many other balloons that are used including bee bodies, love hearts, doughnuts, etc.
A professional balloon modeller has to know various methods of moulding the balloons into shape such as how to do a fold twist, lock twist, tulip twist and ear twist, how to plat, how to tie off, how to bend. It is also necessary to develop a sense of proportion as you wouldn’t want to see a dog with two long front legs and two short back ones. The balloon modeller also needs to be able to work fast.
Balloon modellers are sometimes known by different names such as a Balloon Twister, Balloon Sculptor, Balloon Artist, Balloon Bender or even Balloon Strangler !
For those interested in learning how to do balloon modelling there are many books and dvds available to buy. You can also find web sites which are dedicated to the art. The best way is to look find someone who runs courses. You will learn many more practical tips and short cuts and you will see first hand the best way to do things.
If you are thinking of having a go here are couple of helpful tips. First never fully inflate the balloon. Always leave an uninflated tip or your balloon will burst once you start making folds and bubbles. Second, always blurt the balloon before tying the knot. This means releasing a small amount of air to make the balloon more pliable. Finally always twist in the same direction otherwise your model will unravel.
Good luck !
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