24 July 2020 – Balloon Animals

What do you think of when you think about folklore? King Arthur? Fairies? Rubbing vegetables on yourself? 

Or do you think balloon animals? 

That’s right, because today I’ve been squeezing and twisting latex. 

The art of making balloon animals is not a new phenomenon. The tradition is thought to go back to the Aztecs who made them out of cat bowels and offered them up as sacrifices. Now, while I do love a good traditional method, my cat is still very much asleep on the sofa.

So, I am never not going to laugh at inflating a long, thin, pastel coloured, 1.5m balloon with a pump that wheezes like Ivor the Engine’s asthmatic brother. In fact, I laughed all the way through this, it was impossible not to. 

I decided to make a dog, because everyone knows what a balloon dog is supposed to look like, and they act as the basic template for lots of other animals. I turned to YouTube and Magic Wayne for guidance. Once I’d got over my fear of popping the balloon, or if I squeezed it, somehow liver sausage was going to come out, it was easy.

Next I decided to do a rose. 

I gave up on the rose.

Next I thought I’d give a horse a go and maybe I could shape it like the White Horse at Uffington. However, while having many dog-like traits, the horse was a bit more complicated, not least because I realised I was mirroring Holly the Twister Sister, and using my left hand instead of my right to make all the torsions. Once I swapped, the body came out fine. It was when I started the mane that it all went pear shaped, or in this case, haemorrhoid shaped. After accidentally popping the existing tail and the back legs trying to attach a longer tail, I declared myself to be making a sea horse. Then part of the mane unspun, and I moved on. 

I did think about making a Cerne Abbas Balloon Giant but after the NSFW of yesterday, there was no point in competing. 

Mr Fudge started to teach me how to mould a mermaid. But that was way too complicated.

This is all that is left of my pig:

Then all my flowers kept bursting.

To be honest, I could have kept going all night, but after slightly losing the hearing in my left ear after a particularly loud pop, and because I had to write this up, I reluctantly put down my pump. For a dose of mindless joy and endless smutty possibilities, you can’t go far wrong with a bit of balloon animal action. 

To end, here’s a recording of me blowing up one of the balloons.


Resources

https://feltmagnet.com/sculpture/Balloon-Sculptures-and-the-History-of-the-Balloon

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2 Comments

  1. Glorious Barbara
    25 July 2020
    Reply

    This wins the prize for funniest post of the project so far And I’m sure there must be a ‘private shop’ that would make use of your creations…

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