Being in the twisting business, there is inevitably questions! If you have any questions that are not answered here, or any suggestions, drop me a line!
Do you use special balloons for this? Mine keep popping easily!
I started with a simple kit from Woolworths, which came with a pump, small booklet and about 20 modelling balloons. The pump and booklet were very decent; as for the balloons, well they were useable, but the balloons of mediocre quality (I still use the pump to this day!) That began the start of my ballooning career!
The brands I highly recommend are Qualatex or Betalatex. Qualatex can be purchased from Spotlight, however due to the higher domestic cost I chose to buy my balloons in bulk from the US.
How long have you been doing this for?
I started with a kit I purchased in my lunch break one day at work in 2007. After getting bitten by the bug and buying all the books I could get my hands on locally (3 only!), I just kept twisting away. Things became more serious in 2008 and I haven't looked back.
Your hands must get sore!
Not really. My shoulder muscles, that's where it's at!
What's the biggest thing you can make?
Balloon dresses for sure.
What started you making dresses?
In 2009 I studied fashion design at Charles Darwin University. One of the units we were asked to do a short presentation on what we did as an artist. I decided to combine my love of fashion designing and balloon twisting for mine. It went down well!
How long does it take you to make a dress?
My very first one took me 6 hours, and the longest has taken me about 12. I've gotten faster as I've done more, and more complex in design.
Don't you ever worry about someone popping the dress while you wear it?
My level of worry is low. Even if someone where to do so, contrary to what you might think the dress will not suddenly deflate. I think people would be more worried about me getting upset if they popped anything! Everyone is on good behaviour.
How do you get in and out of the dress?
There are what are called 'Balloon Buttons' created by pinchtwists that begin a row, and the last bubble of the row is left loose to wrap around that pinchtwist to put on and off. Also a trusted friend to help me get in!
How do you make the dress?
On one of my dressmakers dummies, or if they are not available, I have made to with male mannequins which have worked well. If preparing to attempt this, you need to work with something close to the body shape of the person who will be wearing it.
I'd love to get started in making my own balloon dress! Do you have instructions or a DVD you could recommend?
I can't recommend Marie Dadow highly enough! It was instructions that helped to get me started. She's made balloon garments that have graced the Victoria's Secret runway (!) and Disney's "The Wizards of Waverly Place". She was even sweet enough to give me some tips personally on success and they really did improve my art. Check out her Balloon HQ profile to be inspired by her amazing work!
Again if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me and I will add them to the list.