Walk through Hearts
Luc Bertrand, CBA
For this months article I would like to explain the way we make walk-thru hearts.
We sell them for several occasions, but most of all for weddings. In my region they would mostly be placed at the entrance of a venue or at the entrance of a church. I suppose by now many of you know this picture I took.
Not often I have the chance to take pictures of my clients in the balloon setting.
For this occasion I had agreed to take away the heart frame right after the ceremony. So I was waiting for them to come out of the church and had the time to take this picture. It was a shot in a million. I pressed the button exactly when the wedding doves were released.
On the picture you can see the married couple, the doves, the exited family and most important two photographs and a cameraman adding the drama to the moment. The photo has already been used several times (with my permission) by Pioneer and Conwin and still is my favourite picture showing how balloons can set the mood.
The heart frame I use is made of several parts.
- Two 1/2 circles
- Two straight tubes
- One top connection
- Two bases with a start at 90 degrees and a start at an angle of 60 degrees
- Two heavy massive metal weights
All parts interlock and can be screwed together by hand. All the tubes are square so they would not turn around.
As the heart is made in parts, it can be unscrewed and fits in every car.
I always inflate the balloons in my shop and take them on site with my delivery van. I take two columns of 12 clusters (inflated to 9″) Two columns of 10 clusters and some separate clusters.
When I arrive at the venue I mount the metal structure. As it is a metal structure with heavy weights I never have to attach the structure to any solid point. (So I never have to go on site before to look for rigging points as well) I attach one cluster to the middle, start applying the columns from both sides and finish with the separate clusters.
Unless otherwise agreed, the client is the one that has to bring the structure back. In this way he is the one responsible up to the last minute for the structure. No way will he say “when we left the venue it was still OK someone must have damaged it after we had left.”
I choose not to make the frame too big. People still can pass under the balloons and if you want to take a picture there is no void in between the couple and the balloons. But most of all the frame fits in most interiors as you can see on the picture of this gold and white heart.
Want to hear the story of this balloon heart? It was actually part of the decor I made for the golden wedding anniversary of my parents. (Hi Mom, Hi Dad) I wanted it to be perfect and had worked on it a lot longer than I normally would have. I had finished on time leaving me enough time to go home, dress up and prepare for the party.
Exactly when I wanted to leave the room, a waiter passed pushing a hand truck with a pile of boxes filled with champagne glasses. He politely stopped to let me pass. By this abrupt action the pile tumbled, smashing probably one hundred glasses on the ground. Bits and pieces flew around popping half of the balloons on the heart frame. I must have looked as devastated as the poor waiter and all I could do, was start all over again, rush home, explain to my wife and arrive largely to late at the party.
With the same elements one can make an arch. That is why the base has a start connection at an angle of 60 degrees (for a heart shape) And a start connection at an angle of 90 degrees for the arch shape.
You may have wondered why the shape of the base is triangular:
- It gives most stability as it is wide.
- It can be turned in different directions if used for the arch. This comes in very handy in some situations. (If placed on steps. If there is not enough room at one or both sides)
As with the heart shape I always take the inflated balloons on site. I take two columns of 10 clusters (inflated to 9″) Two columns of 6 clusters and some separate clusters.
I personally think it is very important to have the spiral line in the balloons pointing down-inwards as can be seen on the picture. I don’t like an arch with a spiral line starting from left and continuing up to the right side. It gives me an impression the arch is not standing strait or out of shape.
It must have something to do with me being interior architect. I feel as well the spiral pattern should invite people to enter the room. When they turn in the other way it is like you would be asking them to go out.
That’s it for now. I will be teaching at the Millennium jam (Mol) Belgium in June and at JBAN (Yokohama) Japan early August.
Hope to see you there.
Luc Bertrand Cba Qai firstname.lastname@example.org www.wawballoons.be