Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Balloon Walls Part 2

Alternate Size Square Pack Walls

I love this wall type, it is robust, always looks good and is probably the most widely used method of precision wall. It is made by alternating clusters of four balloons in two different sizes packed on to 50lb Dacron line. This produces a square garland (see example below).
The first and last garland in your wall start and finish with one size of balloon cluster, the next garland starts and finishes with the alternate size of balloon cluster. The example below shows the green balloon being the bigger of the 2 sizes.
Sue Bowler
Square Garlands
The difference in size between the two sets is relative to the size of balloon used.
 2" - 4½" = use a ½"differential
4½" - 7½" = use a 1" differential
7½" - 11" = use a 2" differential

5cm - 11.5cm = use a 1.5cm differential
11.5cm - 19cm = 2.5cm differential
19cm - 28cm = 5cm differential

Practice to see  which size  works best for you. The garlands when built are laid side by side and interlocked, then joined together using the elastic band method (See Balloon Walls Part 1).

Sue Bowler
Square Garlands locked together

Consistent sizing of balloons is paramount with balloon walls, some methods are not very forgiving of badly sized balloons or inconsistent  'dupleting'  of balloons. To form the duplets we must make sure that the  balloons are tied as tightly together as possible, leaving no slack latex between the knot and the inflated part of the balloon.

Everyone will pack clusters on to line at a particular tension. It is usual to have only one person pack the garlands while others inflate and tie. This is not possible on large jobs, so you will need to practice consistent sizing and packing with your crew. 

This method produces quite a smooth design with a flat surface, it allows for good diagonal lines and triangles. Not all balloon wall types work with different patterns!

Here are some examples of balloon wall using the Alternate Size Square Garland method:

I designed and made this wall with a group of delegates at The Qualatex Event Slovenia 2009.

Sue Bowler

Below is the same wall design but using a different colour combination, I also added a border around the edge of the design. This is a great example of a monocromatic colour harmony.
Sue Bowler balloon walls
This is a great design to work on. It takes a total of 684 balloons. I have added all the details below.

Sue Bowler Balloon Wall
2012... a year of celebrations!

2012 will see many celebrations with both the Olympics and the Queens 60th Jubilee. Some years ago I created a balloon wall replica of the Union Jack using the Alternate Size Square pack method, so here it is, I hope that you get the opportunity to try it out!

The Union jack is made up of 9 columns, each column has 33 clusters a total of 1188 balloons!

Sue Bowler

Sue Bowler
And finally, here is one of the balloon walls that I created for WBC 2012. The US Flag! Sadly, I never got a photograph of the wall, so if anyone has one please send it to me and I'll add it to this blog!
Sue Bowler

Last year I made a very large wall to frame my "Island' Sculpture at BACI, It allowed people to walk between the wall and the sculpture and made it look like they were on the Island... great for photographs!
Sue Bowler

Let me know how you get on with this type of wall, I think that you should find it a little easier than the Duplet Square pack method!
If you have any examples of balloon walls that you would like to share on my blog page please send them to me at 

Good Luck!

Sue... hope to see you soon at the World Balloon Convention!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spring Fair 2012 review with photographs...

Sue Bowler
2012 is a big year for celebration!
This years Spring Fair took place from the 5th-9th February at The NEC, Birmingham, England.

Against a backdrop of economic pressure and inclement weather (snow) it still attracted over 63,500 buyer visitors. The Spring Fair is divided into 13 main categories, 

Contemporary Gift & Home

Gift & Home

Volume Gift & Home

Greetings & Stationery

Kitchen, Dining & Housewares

The Summerhouse

Toys, Games & Kids Gifts

The Party Show

Festive & Floral

Art & Framing

Body, Bath & Home Fragrance

Fashion Jewellery & Accessories

The Jewellery Show

Balloons, costume and party goods were represented within the new 'Party Show' sector in Hall 3.
New 2012 Catalog

The Spring Fair for Pioneer Europe (Qualatex) is the perfect opportunity to launch the 2012 Everday Catalogue, to showcase the amazing range of Qualatex balloon products to new and existing customers.

With both the 'Education Centre' and 'The Stage' daily demonstrations, visitors were 'wowed' with the endless ideas and profitable designs being shown to them, the demo teams was made up by myself, Dee White, Dom Cassidy & Keith Stirman.

Me in one of the Education centre's... before the show had officially opened!

To give you an idea of the size of the entire show, 17 miles... yes miles of carpet was used to cover the endless walkways between the aisles and halls!

I have been part of the Qualatex Spring Fair team for many years. I have had the privilege and honor of designing and creating the stand/ booth window displays, showing a host of new products and design ideas. Working along side Jodie Norris & Dee White, who each year create the most incredible stand/booth decor, which I can honestly say makes the Qualatex stand probably one of the most colourful and professional looking stands in the entire show!
Spring Fair is very much a team effort, with a number of the Qualatex Sales team (Michelle, Mark, Debbie, Linda. Jag, Michelle) being an integral part of the stand/decor build as well as being on the stand once the show opens talking to customers and of course taking order!

Preparation starts earlier in the week prior to the show with stand builders building the stand.

Dee White adding graphics to an 8' Giant Cloudbuster- Chloroprene balloon

View of the completed stand/booth - Stand designers Jodie Norris & Dee White
                           Retail display... Microfoils, Bubbles and Qualatex Retail Latex
New Microfoils & Bubble balloons

Beautiful new Special Shapes balloons
The Qualatex Hot Air balloons with Dee's fantastic Smiley Face men

New holographic balloons... they are lovely!

The Animal head shape balloons worked so well, especially with Dee's added touch for the 'ladies'!

View from the other end of the stand.

Sue Bowler
Window displays using the beautiful new holographic balloons!

Sue Bowler
Birthday Display!

Sue Bowler
Numbers Display!

If you would like to see a little more, I have put together a short DVD that gives you a great look at the stand, the fantastic new balloons and some inspirational design ideas!

Spring Fair 2013 will be 3rd-7th Feb 2013... mark the date in your diary!

If you attended the show please add your comments to this blog, we would love to hear what you thought of the stand decor, new balloons... anything really!

I walked around the show after I had finished my stint on the stand, I only actually managed to visit a few of the other halls. I saw some great new products that will work very well for balloon artists... watch this space as I hope to try out and review some of these soon!

Sue :)