Sunday, May 3, 2015

Marijuana balloon leaf

Supplies: balloons, an air pump and clear sticky tape.
This balloon sculpture is for adults.
I tried to make this sculpture using 1 or 2 balloons - it does not look good. Eventually, I increased number of balloons and come up with sculpture that I am going to show to you in this instruction. Also, I look online to see if there is any other balloon marijuana leaf designs. I found only one balloon sculpture! It was made by Johnny Green. I could not find instruction to see how many balloons and how Johnny Green makes the leaf . Nevertheless, the credits for design goes to him. I like the geometry of this balloon sculpture. The cannabis leaf consist of odd number of leaves (most often 5; 7 or 9) connected at one point. If we have to connect 7 or more balloon leaves at one point it certainly poses a challenge. Just take a couple minutes and think about it. How would you make balloon sculpture of cannabis leaf? Please share your ideas.

Inflate four green balloons leaving about 1 cm flat tail (Pic 1).

Tie both ends of one balloon in one knot (Pic 2).

Split the balloon on two bubbles of the same size and lock all ends of both bubbles in one lock twist (Pic 3). We have made one pair of leaves that looks like number 8.

Tie both ends of the second balloon in one knot (Pic 4). 

We have to split this balloon on two bubbles of different sizes. Make the small bubble about 3/8 length of the balloon, but no less then 1/4 of the balloon. The rest of the balloon is the second bubble. Lock all ends of both bubbles in one lock twist. Work the third balloon in the same way (Pic 5).

At this picture you can see the differences between  the first and the last two balloons (Pic 6).

Take the fourth balloon. We are going to use this balloon to make the largest leaf. Make it visibly larger then the large bubble of the previous pair. Lock both ends of the large bubble in one lock twist. It should leave you with about one quarter length of the bubble at the end of the balloon. This bubble will represent the stem (Pic 7). Also, we are going to use this bubble to make two more small bubbles.

Now we have to connect all leaves at one point. You can attach balloons one by one. I think it is easier to lock them all in one move. Hold all four balloons in one hand at the lock (Pic 8)

Use your both hands to twist and lock ends of all leaves bubbles in one lock twist. Fix all bubbles in proper positions (Pic 9). The largest bubble goes in the middle, pointing to the top. The smaller bubbles go by the sides in a decreasing order. The stem bubble is in the middle, pointing down.

Twist the second soft about 3 - 5 cm bubble of the last balloon (Pic 10).

Lock both ends of the second bubble in one lock twist. It is easier and safer to lock this bubble by moving the rest of the balloon around the sculpture between bubbles. Then you have to make the third bubble of the same size as the second bubble. And lock both ends of the third bubble in one lock twist. Fix the second and the third bubbles on the opposite sides of the sculpture (Pic 11).

Now we have to rotate all leaves and fix them to give the sculpture appropriate shape - possibly placing all leaves in one horizontal pane. Initially I tried to place the largest leaf on the bottom of the horizontal pane. The other leaves I placed on the top of the largest leaf in the same decreasing order. This way I ended up with four horizontal panes - to bulky sculpture. It looks better if we just alternate position of every other pair of leaves between two horizontal panes (Pic 12 -14). In this example we place the leaves of the first and the last balloons on the bottom pane. And the leaves of the second and the third balloons go on the top pane.

Use clear sticky tape (Johnny Green uses flat green balloons) to fix all leaves in proper positions. Just wrap the sticky tape around corresponding bubbles of the top and the bottom pane about 10 cm away from the center of the sculpture (Pic 15 and 16). Also, we can squeeze the top of each leaf to give it pointed shape.

Bend the stem bubble to shape it properly. Congratulations, we have made the marijuana or cannabis leave. Have fun and happy twisting :)

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