Basharat Bashir

Twisters Twisting

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Twisters are the people who twist balloons into different forms to create balloon animals and other twisted balloon sculptures; they are also called as Balloon Benders or more simply Balloon Artists. The art of twisting, is the most common and attractive public art practiced and appreciated around the globe. The most beautiful thing about this art is that it’s directly connected to the common people and it’s not bound to a particular set or space. Balloon artists or Twisters perform in any public space or gathering where they demonstrate their unique skill and making their art more like Performance art. Informally it is very old practice that its origins are unknown, in fact some believe that ancient Aztecs may have been the first balloon artists. But they didn’t have the rubber or latex balloons at that time so they may have created their own homemade balloons from the dried and inflated bladders of dead animals. Probably this art came into light around 1920 in the US as part of trick art show programs. Balloon artists can twist special modeling balloons into almost any given shape; most popularly they create animal shapes. They often perform live in streets, fairs, restaurants or any other public places.

Balloon art or Twisting requires a great deal of skill and is generally of two types based on modeling design style it can be either single balloon modeling’, which restricts itself to the use of one balloon per model, or ‘multiple balloon modeling’, which uses more than one balloon. Each style has its own set of challenges and requires distinctive skills. Balloon artists or twisters in most of the cases are skilled enough that they can easily move between the one-balloon modeling and multiple balloon modeling approaches, or they might even incorporate additional techniques such as “weaving” and “stuffing” depending upon need of the moment. Advanced balloon artists have developed many different types of special techniques to create more complicated balloon sculptures. Along with the evolution of other art forms the art of balloon twisting also incorporated new trends and styles to make it more vibrant and approachable.

Balloon twisters have been around for quite a long time and there is hardly anyone who hasn’t encountered a twister on a street or some other place. Balloon modeling brings joy and amusements to the kids and is admired by audience as whole. Balloon twisters used to inflate balloons with their own lungs, considering it as a standard and necessary part of the act. However, in contemporary world twisters find no hesitation in using a pump of any sort, whether it is a hand pump, an electric pump plugged in or run by a battery pack, or a compressed gas tank containing air or nitrogen. Twisters do not generally fill their creations with helium, as these designs will not usually float anyway. The balloons for twisting are too porous for helium and the designs are generally too heavy for their size for helium to lift. Twisters have developed a range of new modeling techniques including a range of very complex moves, and a highly specialized vocabulary has emerged to describe the techniques involved and their resulting creations.

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