Happy Birthday! What do you mean it’s not your birthday? Well, let’s pretend it IS your birthday. That way we can have a party with hats and cake and our favorite craft of all time. What are we talking about? Balloon animals, of course!
Balloon animals are created by people called balloon artists, balloon benders, or twisters. They have a special talent in a skill called balloon modeling or balloon twisting.
Balloon modeling is the art of twisting special modeling balloons into almost any given shape. Balloon animals are particularly popular. However, all sorts of other balloon creations are possible, from balloon hats to balloon buildings!
Balloon artists create their crafts in a variety of locations. You’ll often find them at popular children’s restaurants, birthday parties, and fairs. Watching them work is just as much fun as playing with their finished creations.
Some balloon artists practice single balloon modeling. This means they create their crafts out of just one modeling balloon. Others like multiple balloon modeling, which means they use more than one modeling balloon to create more elaborate balloon sculptures.
Advanced balloon artists have developed many different types of special techniques to create more complicated balloon sculptures. Like all art, balloon modeling is limited only by the imagination of the artist!
If you want to give balloon twisting a try, you’ll want to get some special modeling balloons. These balloons have been developed to be easier to twist. They also come in special sizes that make them easier to turn into popular shapes.
If you’ve ever blown up a lot of balloons for a party, you might remember feeling lightheaded after blowing up your third or fourth balloon. Can you imagine how lightheaded a balloon artist might feel after just a few minutes? To avoid this feeling, many balloon artists now use hand pumps or compressed gas tanks to blow up their balloons.
So how did all this balloon artistry get started? No one knows for sure. Several historians believe the art may have gotten its start with Herman Bonnert from Scranton, Pennsylvania, who some believe started twisting balloons into animal shapes at magicians’ conventions in the late 1930s.
Others believe the ancient Aztecs may have been the first balloon artists. Of course, they didn’t have the kind of balloons we have today. They created their own homemade balloons from the dried and inflated bladders of dead animals. Yuck! We wouldn’t want to blow up one of those!