Saturday, March 9, 2013

How to make balloon arch. Balloon pole

Materials: a lot of balloons, scissors and air pump.
First we are going to make a stick using four balloons of different colors. Then we will use the stick to make a hat. Let's start with four different colors balloons. Inflate all four balloons leaving about four—inch flat tail (Pic 1).

We have to make two pairs (sets) of balloons. Tie nozzles of two (pink and blue) balloons in one knot to make one pair (Pic 2).

Tie nozzles of the other two (yellow and purple) balloons in one knot to make the second pair (Pic 3).

Chris-cross both pairs of balloons in one hand as to make X sign (Pic 4). First you put the pink-blue pair in your hand. Then you place the second, yellow-purple pair on the top.

Fold the balloons of the first (pink-blue) pair together and hold it in one hand at the point where you want to twist the first bubble (Pic 5).

We are going to twist all bubbles of the same four—inch size. We have to twist a pair of balloons in one motion. This way we make bubbles and lock their free ends in one lock twist at the same time. Twist the first pink-blue bubble. The yellow-purple pair is locked between the first bubbles of the pink-blue pair. We are going to make straight lines color pattern. Each side of the stick will have only one color bubbles. So, make sure to place each balloon on the same side with its first bubble. For example: I placed the end of the blue balloon on the same side with the first blue bubble (Pic 6).

Fold the the second (yellow-purple) pair together and hold it in one hand at the point where you want to twit the first bubble (Pic 7).

Twist the first yellow-purple bubbles and lock their free ends in one lock twist. The pink-blue pair is locked between the first bubbles of the yellow-purple pair. Make sure to place each balloon on the same side with its first bubble . We just made the color pattern for our sculpture. Once we twist two bubbles of each balloon it makes the color pattern very recognizable. You can twist and lock the rest of the balloons to the very end of the balloons using the same pattern in the same fashion as it's described above (Pic 8 through 12).

There are times when you may want to change the color pattern in the middle of the sculpture. Let's see how it is done with the same colors. Twist the third bubbles of the pink-blue pair. This time we alternate colors. We place the pink balloon next to the blue bubble and the blue balloon next to the pink bubble (Pic 13).

Twist the third bubbles of the yellow-purple pair. Alternate colors. Place the purple balloon next to the yellow bubble and the yellow balloon next to the purple bubble (Pic 14).

Twist some more bubbles using alternated pattern (Pic 15 through 20).

Changing the color pattern comes in very easy way. I want to finish the stick with the same color pattern as we started. So, I stop alternating balloons. Now I place each balloon on the same side with the bubble of the same color. For example: I place the blue balloon next to the blue bubble and the pink balloon next to the pink bubble (Pic 21).

Keep twisting according with this color pattern (Pic 22 through 26).

We made the same number of bubbles in in this pattern as we did at the beginning of the stick. Now we can finish the sculpture or add balloons to it. Finishing the sculpture is simple: just cut off the rest of the balloon and tie ends of each pair of balloons in one knot (Pic 27 and 28). You can add new balloons to the end of the stick to twist more bubbles. This way you can make very large sculptures: poles, arches and etc. Important: we can apply the same technique described above to work with virtually any number of balloons. Instead of using two pairs of balloons we could work with two sets of balloons. Where each set may consist of two, three or even more balloons. It could be harder or even impossible to twist three or more balloons in one hand in one motion at the same time. Have no illusions about that. Nevertheless it is possible to twist any number of balloons one by one.

We have made the stick (Pic 29).

This sculpture is quite flexible. We can bend it to shape a circle (Pic 30). We can use it to make a hat.

Let's see how we make a hat out of the stick. I use two sets of balloons for this example: blue-yellow (fist pair) and pink-purple (second pair). All bubbles of the same four—inch size. Nine bubbles should be enough to make a middle size hat (Pic 31).

Cut off the rest of the blue-yellow balloon. Tie the ends of blue-yellow balloons together in one knot (Pic 32).

Bend the stick to make a circle.Tie the nozzle of blue-yellow balloon with the same color flat end (Pic 33).

Twist the last (ninth) pink-purple bubble. Cut off the rest of the pink-purple balloon (Pic 34).

Tie both ends of the pink-purple balloon together in one knot. Congratulations, we made the hat (Pic 35 and 36).

We can easy adjust what color appears on top of the hat, just move the sides of the hat in or out of the circle (Pic 37 through 44).

Below is an example of a hat with alternated color pattern (Pic 45).

We are going to use alternated pattern for our next sculpture. However this time we will use two colors only. First set of balloons: pink-blue. The 2nd set of balloons the same: pink-blue (Pic 46).

We use the same technique and work in the same fashion as we did previously to alternate colors. Chris-cross both pairs of balloons in one hand as to make X sign (Pic 47).

Twist the first bubbles of the first pair. Alternate: pink balloon goes to the blue bubble, blue balloon goes to the pink bubble (Pic 48).

Twist the first bubbles of the second set. Alternate colors (Pic 49).

Twist bubbles alternating colors to the end of the balloons (Pic 50 through 53). Congratulations, we have made stick with spiral color pattern.

Tie ends of each balloon together to make a hat (Pic 54). One more thing with regards for the hat with this pattern. Check color of the bubbles at the beginning and the end of the stick: we attach pink bubble to the blue and the blue to the pink.

I don't use special equipment to set up large decorations. Sticky tape and sewing thread usually works well to attach sculptures to walls and ceiling. Sticky tape may or may not work on floor. We can fill up couple balloons with sand, rise or water to make heavy loads. Attach the loads to the bottom of sculpture to keep it on the floor. Last but not least, you better get an assistant to help work with large sculptures. An assistant can save you a lot of trouble just by holding ends of the large sculptures, inflating balloons, making fun of you and distracting you in other useful ways. As I mentioned before, we can use technique described above to work with sets of two, three and more balloons. That's what my next post most likely to be about.

Also, there are many different color patterns we can create using sets of two balloons in different color combinations. I think later to add more examples to this post. Halloween colors: set of black-black and set of orange-orange balloons to make a stick with straight lines color pattern (Pic 55).

Updated 06/18/11
In this example I used patriotic colors: set of red-white and set of blue-white balloons to make a stick with alternated colors pattern. As you may see it creates spiral illusion of white color balloons (Pic 56). You find red, white and blue on flags of many countries. Here two great nations for example: American and Russian. After all we all have so much in common :)
Art for peace.
Have fun and happy twisting :)
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