The Art of…Balloons?

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We have all seen art in the form of pictures or sculptures, but did you know balloons can also be an art form? These light-as-air objects have been around for centuries, but it has only been since the 1930’s that balloons have made their way into the art world.

History of the Balloon. Are Those Intestines?

The first “skinny” balloons were made from the intestines of animals. As yucky as that may sound, these entrails could be filled with air, then twisted and turned into shapes. Round “balloons” were also used. These were made from the bladders of animals.

Today, balloons are made from latex, rubber, and other materials. They come in a variety of shapes, colors, and styles. People have learned how to form balloons into many cool things like hats, animals, tall figures, and even “clothing.”

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Twisters, Balloon Benders, and Balloon Artists

Even though the people who create these magical shapes have many names, it all spells F.U.N.  Balloon artists have developed specific skills necessary to model objects without it popping.  However, they do have some help.

The average balloons we find at a department store will work for some sculptures, but they are not built for all that twisting and turning.  Balloon artists use specially designed balloons that are tougher and thicker.

These are called 260Q, meaning they are 2 inches in diameter (5.1 cm) and 60 inches long (152.4 cm). They also use a thinner strength balloon for more detailed work.  These are the 160Q or 1 inch in diameter (2.5 cm) and 60 inches long (152.4 cm).

 No Popping Allowed

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Want to try your hand at balloon modeling?  Here are some tips to keep in mind;

  • Clean, dry hands- sweaty hands will make your task more difficult.
  • Underinflated balloons – these are easier to model.
  • Use one hand as the “holder” and the other as the “twister.”
  • Always hold the knot or twisted end of the balloon when modeling.

The art of modeling balloons is a fun hobby. Try this at home to see what designs find you.

 

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