Date: Sat, 13 Jul 1996 16:42:54 -0400 (EDT)
From: Larry Moss 
To: Balloon Sculpting Mailing List 
Subject: jester, pig nose, my history

I haven't had a chance to post this in the last few days.  Kevin & Donna
Kinney were in town a few days ago.  As you may recall from Lorna's post a
while ago, a jam session without Donna isn't complete.  She doesn't twist
balloons, but she does critique everything and has a peculiar way of
looking at things that often helps.  Most of what we did just amounted to
filling my living room with random bits of balloons, but a few interesting
things did come out of it.

Jester.  I wanted to make my logo out of balloons.  This comes close.  It
also comes real close to Clopin, from Disney's Hunchback.  I'm not going to
go into detail now, but I'll give you all the basic idea.  I realized after
it was done that it's started much like Arlene's Power Ranger (highlights
section of Balloon HQ).  where I gloss over details, look at the pictures
there to get ta clearer idea of how to do this.  It uses 2 balloons and can
be made fairly quickly.  The reason for the two balloons is to get a
two-color look.  Each side of the body is a different color.  Fill the
balloons leaving about 7 inches uninflated.  Tie the balloon off with a
loose knot.  Start at the feet.  (One foot out of each balloon.)  Make a
1-inch bubble followed by a half-inch bubble that gets ear twisted.  Roll
the knot toward the nozzle so the foot bubble gets extended a bit.
Quickly, so a lot of air doesn't rush into the new extension of teh bubble,
wrap the nozzle around the twist at the ankle (base of ear twist).  This
forms a really nice curled jester's shoe.  If it doesn't look right to you,
keep trying it.  Without pictures it may not be real clear, but it's worth
doing.  next, 2-inch bubble for lower leg, small ear twist at knee, 2 inch
bubble for upper leg.  Twist the two balloons together at this point and
make two ear twists, one in each balloon to help it hold it's shape.  The
ear twists form his butt.  3-inch bubble in each balloon lock twisted
together.  The arms are another new thing for me.  We're going to do a
pinch and pop series but in a way that I've never thought to do it.  Make a
3-inch arm, followed by 3 1-inch bubbles.  Lock twist the base of the arm
with the need of the third small bubble.  (You get a loop of bubbles: 3
inches, 1 inch, 1 inch, 1 inch.)  In every use of the pinch and pop series
that I've seen prior to this, the loop is closed with another bubble the
same size as the first, making it a 5-bubble chain.  Ear twist the first
and third 1 inch bubbles and pop the middle one.  the outer ear twist is a
hand.  The inner one ends up being the collar.  Do this with both balloons.
We do it this way, rather than with the standard 5 bubble series used in
the Power Ranger in order to use both colors in teh arm and to give the
jester a collar.  Make a small bubble in both balloons and lock twist for
the head.  yes, this means the head is two colors, but I turn it so that
from teh front or back you only see one.  The remaining two bubbles should
just come out the head as the points of a hat.  I like to put bubbles (like
on the poodle tail) at the end.  This has been very popular the last few
nights.  To turn this into Clopin, make a hat brim with one of the bubble
sof the hat (two ear twists) and deflate the rest.  The bubble from teh
other balloon is the feather on Clopin's hat.

pig nose.  This actually came out of an attempt to make Hugo, also from
Hunchback (the Jason Alexander gargoyle).  We didn't succeed at making
Hugo.  We came real close but it required a hand to hold part of it in the
right shape.  maybe I'll try to draw a picture of it later for others to
work on.  I'm hoping though that with the nose as a starting point, someone
else can finish the sculpture.  This is another real basic idea that just
never occurred to me.  Start with a 1-inch apple twist in each of two
balloons.  Twist the balloons together at the base of teh apple twist.
With very little effort you can get the centers of both apples facing the
same way.  These are nostrils.  Build the face outward from there.  We came
up with some very interesting looking characters, some that we were even
convinced we recognized, but none that looked like what we wanted.  With
the bubbles pointing outward you get two cool eyes.  We made some
interesting birds by starting with that.  At one point we had a teradactyl
of sorts also.  It wouldn't be hard to make it a really cool teradactyl.

Now, the last quick note that's important to me, but maybe not anyone else.
It has to do with how I got started in all of this.  Back when I was 11 I
saw Barnum on Broadway.  It was a show I never forgot.  I also never forgot
the song "Join the Circus."  I fully intended to do just that when I left
the theater.  This was the first time I ever saw a twisted balloon.  Before
the show started there was a guy walking through the crowd making balloon
animals for kids.  (I got a giraffe.)  I learned only a few minutes later
that this was a cast member and that the show had really started outside
the theater.  Well, I never joined the circus, but you can see what's
become of me.  Before getting into circus arts I was into musical theater.
For years I've wanted to be involved in a production of Barnum.  I was asked
just a few months ago if I would be part of the pre-show at a local college
summer production.  For the last 3 nights I've been doing that.  I couldn't
say no.  It's been a blast.  Believe me, I made quite a few giraffes for
kids and a lot of other cooler stuff.  last night was the night that I got
to watch.  I felt like I was watching it for the first time 14 or 15 years
ago.  I was just a kid dreaming about joining the circus.  It was really
awesome.  The show's running for another week.  Unfortunately I don't know
how many other nights I'll be able to participate.