Balloon Modeling

The art of shaping and twisting balloons into shapes and figures is called balloon modeling. There are a number of different shapes like hats and boats that can be made, but animals are the most popular. A talented “twister” can make just about anything. They have the talent for manipulating the balloons into just about any shape by bending, twisting and molding them. Because they often make tons of figures in just one sitting, twisters have taken to using other means, such as a pump, to blow up their balloons rather than their own lungs. Some still do it the old fashioned way.

It is common for someone to associate the art of twisting balloons with birthday parties, clowns, funny hats and poodles but there are actually some strong subcultures of twisters and they do not get along so well. The balloons are not only for parties and poodles.

There is a limited release documentary about these balloon-twisters subcultures called “Twisted: A Balloonamentary.” This film examines the almost unknown world of the professional balloon twisters.

When you watch the documentary you will learn about the rift between the “gospel twisters” who use the craft in order to teach bible lessons and the “adult twisters” who use the balloon twisting in a more risqué manner. It’s quite interesting to see some of the things that these balloon twisters have accomplished, such as a life-size model of a racing car or a woman who made her own wedding dress entirely out of balloons.

Whatever side you take, when you begin modeling your balloon characters it is quite important that you start off with the right materials. The Balloons for modeling come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes that are sure to spark your creative side. The most commonly used balloon is the 260; the number of the balloon indicated that it is 2 inches in diameter and 60 inches long when fully inflated. You can experiment with the larger and the smaller models to suit your fancy; there are also some exotic shapes such as the heart and the geo blossom balloons.

The typical balloon for most of your designs will be the 260. The 160 is thinner and good for things like dog leases; it too can be use in fashioning the balloon characters, but the 260 is preferred. The 160 can also be used for accent pieces or hard-to-maneuver features that you may want to add. The 350 size is impressive and great for those one-of-a-kind pieces; it is a bit harder to use, though. The 350 is most often used for making a base for the larger pieces. The largest balloon you can use is the 646; 6 inches in diameter and 46 inches long. The results of using this balloon for sculpture are dramatic to say the least.

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