Sunday, March 10, 2013

How to make balloons faster. Rapid balloon twisting. Fast balloon twisting

Sooner or later, all balloon twisters find themselves in situations which require that they twist balloons faster. Usually, these situations go hand-in-hand with a crowd of people seeking entertainment - in our case - balloons. Whether you are volunteering or working for profit, it is, nonetheless, your chance to be The Star!!

There are different ways to achieve success in such situations:
Avoid situations where you have to make more balloon sculptures than you are capable of.
Get assistance.
Crowd control.
Special equipment.
Fast balloon twisting technique.

Now let's get into details.
Avoid situations where you have to work more than you can.
Avoiding situations does not mean canceling the job. It is the last thing on your list to do! Be honest to yourself and to your customers. It helps most often. Accept only job offers that you actually can fulfill based on your real abilities. You know how many balloons you may inflate in one hour's time (or 10 minutes) for instance. It gives you an approximate estimation of how many relatively simple balloon sculptures you can make in a given period of time. Let's assume that I can serve about 20 kids per 1 hour. If my client invited 50 children to the birthday party, then I would not be able to serve balloon sculptures to all of his guests if I only have 1 hour to work with them. Instead of accepting this job on such terms I would rather make him an alternate proposal of what I realistically can do to serve him and his guests. For example he can increase my working hours to 2-3 hours; or he should include payment for my helper-assistant; or instead of making balloon sculptures for each child I can make some large balloon decoration; or I can just entertain kids for 1 hour using balloons as props for games and etc.

Get assistance.
You can come across different kind of jobs. Often it is impossible to do alone all the work related to one particular job. You need an assistant for such occasions. Best of all is to get in touch in advance with professional balloon twisters. Then you know who to call to get the help with your job. However, any helper, even a non-professional, could be your lifesaver in any big job. For example, most people can inflate and tie off balloons - this work does not require any special skills. And then it takes very little time to teach any person to make basic balloon sculptures. You may find a helper among your family members, friends, people you know or never met before - any volunteer willing to help you and to learn balloon twisting at the same time and etc.
In any long waiting line, you may find someone who would like to learn balloon twisting - you just have to ask! Making balloon animals is much more interesting, than waiting in line. Giving people such an opportunity you can serve more clients, provide entertainment to those waiting in line, and you will take the situation under control.

Crowd control.
Serving many people at big events requires special handling. Best of all to organize people in waiting line. You have to secure enough room for you to work with balloons. Well organized working space will allow you to focus on making balloon sculptures. It makes sense to sort balloons in advance by size and color. An apron with pockets is indispensable for this purpose. Often it's hard to figure what balloon sculpture a child is asking you to make. You can save time by asking the following customer all related questions while you are making sculpture for the current client. People tend to make choices from what they see or out of what you offer to them. This is main reason for you to refrain from making any time consuming balloon sculptures. Use 1-3 balloons per balloon sculpture. Also, instead of asking questions about what balloon sculpture people want you may give them ready to use answers. The answers could be in form of questions. For example you may ask a child - "Would you like to have green dog...on a leash? You have never seen a green dog?! Well, watch me make it! And I will make this dog with big eyes. Do you think the green dog will look good with a yellow leash? What do you say now? Do you like this dog or should I give it to someone else?". Majority of people (and especially children) prefer to keep the toy made with their help. Games are probably one of the most effective and unobtrusive ways to control children. Various games can be used in different circumstances. Below you will find links to descriptions of different games with balloons.
Important to remember: we make balloon animals for entertaining. Games are pure form of entertaining. Balloons are just props for the games. Inviting people to play games with balloons you are entertaining them and at the same time you gain time to make balloon sculptures.

Water Balloons

Games With Balloons | Guess What I Am Making From Balloons

Special equipment.

You can find all kind of equipment at your local specialty stores caring for balloon twisters. Most certainly, a portable electrical air pump is one of the must have tools for such occasions. Dual action hand air pump is indispensable for any work with balloons. Also, large size floor standing air pump looks very attractive and can inflate a balloon (260) in one move.

Fast balloon twisting technique.
Skills comes with experience. Most balloon sculptures can be made using different technique. The best and the fastest way to make the same sculpture is the one you using now. Any other "fast" way to make the same sculpture takes time to learn and to make it perfect. You can and should learn to use it in your spare time. Basically, fast balloon twisting technique come to locking in one move a number of bubbles in one lock twist.
For example, let's make basic balloon sword using "fast" balloon twisting technique. Inflate balloon leaving no flat tail (Pic 1).

Fold balloon about 5-7 inches away from the nozzle (Pic 2).

Hold the fold balloon in one hand about 1-2 inches from the nozzle (Pic 3).

At this spot you have to twist and lock three bubbles in one move (Pic 4). It actually take more time to say it then to make it :)

Force the base of the 3rd (the longest) bubble through the loop the 2nd bubble to make the handle of desirable size (Pic 5).

Shape the blade as you like (Pic 6 and 7). Congratulations, you have made the basic three fold sword using "fast" balloon twisting technique. You can see the classic "slow" way to make this sculptures in previously published instruction.

Let's make one more example. This time I want to make flower stem with leaves using "fast" balloon twisting technique. Inflate appropriate color balloon leaving as much of flat tail as you want or no flat tail at all. Fold the balloon three times (Pic 8).

The size of bubbles can be adjusted at this point, but for our example let's make them all even sizes. Hold folded balloon in one hand at the middle (Pic 9).

At this point you have to twist and lock all 4 bubbles in one move. Congratulations, you have made a stem with two leaves (Pic 10).

I am going to use basic three fold hat in this example to make three petals flower (Pic 11 and 12).

Hold the stem about 1-2 inches from the round end of the balloon (Pic 13).

At this spot you have to force the stem between petals of the flower. Congratulations, you have made the flower using "fast" balloon twisting technique (Pic 14). It may take some practice on your part to learn twist bubbles of certain sizes using "fast" twisting technique. And then it will become your regular use technique.

Have questions or suggestions? Let's hear them in comments. 
Have fun and happy twisting:)
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