Saturday, September 11, 2010

Balloon Sculpting

Being a clown is such fun. I guess I make it look easy because many people say, “Oh, I could be a clown.” They think all clowns do is put on some makeup, colorful clothes, and act silly.

There’s more to clowning than that!

Clowning is a lot of work. It took me a long time to master balloon sculpting. I first started with a little hand pump to inflate the balloons. That took forever to make balloon animals! The kids got restless, especially when balloons popped and I had to start all over again! Wah! I did not like making balloon animals.

But, I didn’t give up. I attended balloon workshops that taught me which brand of balloons to buy. Fresh, high quality latex balloons are really worth the extra money. They last longer! My hubby made a big floor pump out of plumbing supplies. That really sped things up and I got the hang of it. Finally.

“Peppermint Patti promotes peace,” I say when someone asks me for a balloon sword or gun. It may seem silly, but I think that balloon weapons send the wrong message. That’s why I won’t make them.

Only once in my thirty-plus years of ballooning a parent insisted her child get a sword. I made a fishing pole and said imagination could make it anything. That was a win-win situation.

There are two major laws concerning balloons:

1. It is against the law to give balloons to children under the age of three. Babies put everything into their mouths and a balloon could make them choke.

2. It is against the law to give uninflated balloons to children under the age of eight. When you inflate a balloon by mouth, it could pop. This could startle you, causing you to gasp and inhale the balloon and choke. According to a New York Times article, “Balloons Made of Latex Pose Choking Hazard,” (make that title a link) shiny Mylar ® balloons are much safer. (Collins, March 13, 1997)

I sculpt the balloons at the END of my show because they are fun, but distracting! It’s great to get all the balloons made and gather the kids for a picture! Great ending to a great party!

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