World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Balloon animal

Article Id: WHEBN0000709871
Reproduction Date:

Title: Balloon animal  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Handicraft, Toy balloon
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Balloon animal


Balloon modelling or balloon twisting is the shaping of special modelling balloons into almost any given shape, often a balloon animal. People who create balloon animals and other twisted balloon sculptures are called Twisters, Balloon Benders and Balloon Artists. Twisters often perform in restaurants, at birthday parties, fairs and at public and private events or functions.

Two of the primary design styles are "single balloon modelling", which restricts itself to the use of one balloon per model, and "multiple balloon modelling", which uses more than one balloon. Each style has its own set of challenges and skills, but few twisters who have reached an intermediate or advanced skill level limit themselves to one style or another. Depending on the needs of the moment, they might easily move between the one-balloon or multiple approaches, or they might even incorporate additional techniques such as "weaving" and "stuffing". Modelling techniques have evolved to include a range of very complex moves, and a highly specialized vocabulary has emerged to describe the techniques involved and their resulting creations.


Some twisters inflate their balloons with their own lungs, and for many years this was a standard and necessary part of the act. However, many now use a pump of some sort, whether it is a hand pump, an electric pump plugged in or run by a battery pack, or a compressed gas tank containing air or nitrogen. Twisters do not generally fill their creations with helium, as these designs will not usually float anyway. The balloons for twisting are too porous for helium and the designs are generally too heavy for their size for helium to lift.

Origins of balloon modelling

The origins of balloon modelling are unknown. The 1975 book by "Jolly the Clown" Petri credits "Herman Bonnert from Pennsylvania at a magician's convention in 1939" as being the first balloontwister.[1] Val Andrews, in Manual of Balloon Modeling, Vol. 1, An Encyclopedic Series, credits H.J. Bonnert of Scranton, Pennsylvania as being the "daddy of them all."[2] Jim Church III states, "Frank Zacone from Youngstown, Ohio was doing a balloon act during the 1940s and had been doing the act for some time."[2] Another candidate for first balloon twister is Henry Maar.[3]

Equipment


Two essential items are required for balloon twisting:

  • An assortment of balloons, usually in various colors. Balloon sizes are usually identified by a number: the most common size of twisting balloons is called a "260", as it is approximately two inches in diameter and 60 inches long. Thus, a "260" is 2×60 inches and a "160" is 1×60 inches when fully blown up. Although these are the most common sizes used, there are dozens of other shapes available as well.
  • An inflation device. The most common methods are air pumps similar to bicycle pumps, electric air compressors, and via the mouth. Inflating a balloon via the mouth is difficult and can be dangerous. Particularly well-trained and talented twisters, however, can blow-up several balloons at once, and some can even blow up 160s, which are much more difficult to mouth-inflate than the more common 260s, as their narrowness requires a great deal more strength and breath pressure to inflate.

Common models

Single balloon

  • Basic four-legged animal: Three locking twists. The first forms nose, ears/face, and neck; the second, front legs and body; the third, back legs and tail. Different proportions can be used to represent a dachshund, a giraffe, etc.
  • Elephant: A hook twist trunk followed by a bean twist face and two large "elephant ear" twists, finished with two locking twists as above.
  • Monkey
  • Bear
  • Helmet: Three bubble roll through sized to fit a person's head.
  • Sword: Twofold twists form the cross piece, with one short and one long bubble forming the handle and blade.
  • Tommy gun

Multiple balloon

  • Characters
  • Monkey on palm tree
  • Penguins
  • Big dog
  • Bear on heart
  • Octopus
  • Flowers
  • Mask to wear
  • Tortoise

Gallery

References

  • LOop Paper Toys A series of DEMO videos about Balloon modeling made by Ludwig Caballero.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.