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Balloon Twisting

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Basic Twists

Requirements:

You will need a supply of the common E260 pencil balloons.  The knot end is called the "nozzle" end and the tip the "nipple" end.  Unless you have leather lungs, it's best to inflate balloons with a balloon pump.  The balloon is normally only partly inflated so as to leave room for expansion.  Each twist you make forces some of the air towards the nipple end.   "Burping" the balloon by letting out a small amount of air, makes it a lot easier to tie the knot.

Balloons will last longer if you keep them in an air-tight container.   Exposure to heat or sunlight will cause them to burst when you try to blow them up.  Use a fine-tipped permanent marker to draw eyes and a mouth on animal balloons.  The basic twists used in animal and other sculptures are as follows:

Bubble Twist:

Bubble Twist

The Bubble Twist is made by holding a bubble in the left-hand, and then pinching the end of it, so you that can then twist the rest of the balloon several times with your right-hand.  Repeat this as many times as necessary, holding all the bubbles in your left-hand, while you twist each new bubble with your right-hand.  The bubbles should always be twisted in the same direction to avoid the string of bubbles unwinding.

Twist Connect:

Twist Connect

The Twist-Connect joins two bubbles together by twisting them together several times.  When they are released, they do not come apart.  Fold two bubbles together and grasp them in the right-hand.  Hold the remainder of the bubbles with the left-hand.  Rotate the two bubbles several times around the remaining bubbles.  This twist then forms the ears or legs of a balloon sculpture.

Ear Twist:

Ear Twist

The Ear Twist is a way of making a more realistic looking ear.  It is made by pulling out a bubble and then twisting it around itself several times.  The tension in the bubble stops it from unwinding.  Make two bubbles and fold the first bubble back along the body of the balloon so that the second bubble sits at right angles to the first.  Grasp this bubble in the middle, pinch it and pull it slightly out and then twist it several times around itself.   When you release it, the bubble forms an "ear" shape.

Apple Twist:

Apple Twist

An Apple Twist is made by pushing in the knot and then twisting the balloon at this point.  When released, the bubble forms a shape similar to a tulip.   Hold the balloon with the right-hand and push the knot into balloon for about 50mm with the left-hand forefinger.  Capture the knot with the right-hand and carefully withdraw the finger.  Twist the balloon several turns at this point and then release the knot.  The knot will be drawn slightly into the bubble that has been formed and locks it into an apple shape.

God bless!
 

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