Coming events for balloon artists
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2000 09:32:38 -0500
Subject: Spuds!
From: "Bruce Walden" <>

Yesterday "Creativeja" asked how to make a potato out of a balloon. It will
likely look best as a distortion effect, so here's my suggestion...

1. Take a 3' ivory.
2. Turn it inside out.
3. Attach 3 or more bellybuttons (see below) in different areas.
4. Tie the bellybuttons together with cord - leaving several inches (maybe
18 - 30") of slack between them.
5. Turn the balloon right-side out.
6. Inflate SLOWLY. As the balloon inflates, the cords tying the sections
together internally will stop them from inflating first and distort those
areas into "eyes". Tie off the balloon when the desired shape is obtained.
7. Use just a little brown spray paint (Design Master works well) and spritz
the eyes so they look like dirt. Add a little to the other areas as desired.
8. Please pass the butter and sour cream!

Re: Bellybuttons
This effect is also known as a "raisin twist" by the twisting community.
Basically it involves dropping something smooth (like a small clothing
button) into the balloon, then grabbing it from the OUTSIDE and tying a
loose loop (smaller than the button) around it to trap it inside the
balloon. Once the object is trapped there, you have a way of tying onto that
section of the balloon. A single bellybutton can be used to distort balloons
into apples or cherries. More make cool Martian heads or potatoes as I've
described above.

If you want to learn more about bellybuttons or other distortion effects,
I'll be teaching a hands-on distortion lab at IBAC. The information is also
on videos #3 (Exploding Balloons and other Special Effects) and #11 (Balloon
People with Jim Skistimas) of my Balloon School series of instructional
tapes. Hope this helps!

Bruce Walden
Walden Productions Inc.
Toronto, ON Canada