Talk:Balloon modelling

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There's a lot more info to be had by following the source link, especially on techniques. It would also really help if someone could upload a few pictures; I might even buy a few balloons and do it myself. Importance in carnival/fair atmosphere and clowning/stage magic might be appropriate, as well as mention of books, movies, video games where it's used (i.e., The Mask, Kingdom of Loathing, etc.)--Polyparadigm 08:06, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Professionals use Sharpies?[edit]

In Simple techniques: "The most common marker used on latex is a Sharpie" and "(Note: Professionals do not use Sharpies on balloons it comes off on kids hands and Clothes)"

Most magicians I know use sharpies (It's a bit of a running gag). I'm not a professional twister, but I'm asuming that sharpies would work quite well on balloons.

Someone who knows want to take this bit out? VIQleSthe2nd (talk) 02:48, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Professionals DO use Sharpies, they do not come off on children's hands OR clothes unless the balloons deflate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:38, 5 April 2013 (UTC)


I have created a link to the other article on the subject entitled Balloon animal, which seems to have gone unnoticed. Rather than merging the two, it might be a good idea to keep and expand both, focusing on the various techniques in one and on the results in the other. However, I myself do not have enough knowledge to do it, but someone else surely will. <KF> 17:50, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Seems to me that a merge would make sense, since there appears to be ample overlap between the two articles.Fishal 22:29, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree - there's already duplication, and a merge would avoid confusion. There's no clear distinction between "balloon animals" and "balloon modelling" in most people's minds, I don't think. Joel.Gilmore 00:26, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Added merge tag per this discussion. -- 20:26, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
I have no problem with that, I questioned this myself before making my modifications. But peronally think "Balloon Twisting" should be the primary table rather than "balloon modelling." Ooops didn't log in (Balloonman) 20:29, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

I've merged the two, but it could do with a good thorough cleanup. violet/riga (t) 14:31, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

     I addressed this below in "Is this correct?", but are we catering to an American or European crowd?  The word "modeling" has varying spellings. Please see item after "Pictures??" LondonTaxi (talk) 07:38, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Dry Erase???[edit]

I've never met a balloon twister who uses dry erase markers on balloons. In fact, in all of my experience dry erase markers are an extremely poor choice for the very reason that makes them popular on white boards---the ink is designed to be wiped off. When used on balloons this remains the case. I am going to change this section, but am open to somebody else's experience with dry-erase markers.Balloonman 21:22, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

I know several twisters who use dry erase exclusively, and I use it most of the time -- could this be a regional thing? They don't smear any more than permanent markers do, but this may depend on the brand. I've tried several, and find that the generic brand from Staples office supply stores work very well, are quite inexpensive and last quite a long time. The advantage of using dry erase is that when the balloon pops or deflates, the ink doesn't come off the scrap in that highly staining powder. I've been very happy with it, although I do use Sharpies as well.
I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this, as I know it's a point of some controversy. It's obviously in the minority, but wouldn't it be acceptable to make mention of the option? The previous version clearly implied that Sharpies were what all twisters use, and that's simply not true. I've made a small change to clarify: are we getting closer? Lauridg 19:14, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. I don't think the previous article said that Sharpies were the exclusive. If you've had success with dry erase, I have no problem leaving it there, but I've never had success with Dry Erase Markers. Balloonman 20:27, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Oops sorry - didn't read this bit all the way through. i'll stick taht back in. VIQleSthe2nd (talk) 03:20, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

The way it reads now it seems like a mistake - is it worth rewriting that bit? "Some brands of DEM can be used on balloons and won't smudge or rub off" etc? VIQleSthe2nd (talk) 03:28, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Russian Blog[edit]

What is the policy regarding links in foreign languages? My guess is that this is somebody adding their personal webpage/advertisement, but I can't read it. Balloonman 21:22, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Also removed * 100+ balloon animals instructions from the fewdoit project as it didn't seem to have any balloon pictures, was an inaccurate link are maybe a website that is down. dirkjot. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dirkjot (talkcontribs) 20:46, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

copied text from another website[edit]

The section entitled "History: The Inventor of Balloon Twisting" appears to have been directly copied from another website - here and probably other places too. I have therefore blanked the section. Here is a link to the version before I removed it. Please rewrite. Witty lama 20:31, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Note: I wrote the original and have since re-written for Wikipedia. Plese do not delete as the information is accurate and original. 02:07, 27 March 2007 (UTC)JM

Rewriting does not mean adding a "*" in front of the different paragraphs. It means rewriting and obtaining original unbiased research. Since you are signing this as JM and claim to have written the original [which was written by Joseph Maar] then I am going to assume that this is Henry Maar's son Joseph Maar? If it is, then you should note wikipedia's policies concerning original research. Wikipedia is not the place for OR. I will also note that while some people find your evidence 'compelling,' they also note that IF your hypothesis is true that the history of balloon twisting will need to be updated.[1] Eg your position on your father is NOT established fact. You are by far and away not a neutral source on this subject---despite your association with major balloon companies and apparent Emmy award!Balloonman 18:31, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Much more was done than adding a "*" -- as someone in the industry for over a decade in the 70's I knew firsthand the information and can cite others who relayed to me the same plus brochures and posters predating other written evidence. This is not OR.unsigned comment by

Again, I'm assuming this is JM---Joseph Maar, the son of Henry Marr, reposting a letter that he has sent to numerous sources in an effort to get his father recognized as the originator of balloon twisting. This is the epitome of OR---which you acknowledged in your last posting a few months ago "accurate and original". The fact that you "knew first hand" makes it a first person account and OR, which you acknowledged a few months ago "I wrote the original and have since re-written for Wikipedia." Independent sources state that your evidence is "compelling" but do not acknowledge it as indisputable---they have simply republished your letter stating that it a letter they received. In fact, they state that if your claims are accurate, then the history of balloon twisting will have to be rewritten. Wikipedia cannot allow for simple copying and pasting of original research/statements that are published elsewhere--especially if you are the originator of the hypothesis. Your "rewrite" remains essentially the same as the letter you've given to other sources---in each case, the other location discloses that it is your belief/interpretation/understanding. They do not state that your father was the originator of balloon twisting. You are free, welcome in fact, to make a request for comments but I can pretty much guarantee that your reversions will be deleted as against policy and OR.Balloonman 23:29, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
In general outline I agree with Balloonman, but have a few thoughts to add...
  • It would be good for Wikipedia to be right about the origins of balloon twisting. JM, I find your narrative compelling.
  • However, as Balloonman writes, WP isn't the appropriate first outlet. Also, it's generally not considered good form here to make article edits to which one is personally connected (cf WP:COI). Suggestions, including relevant links, are very welcome here on the talk page.
  • To the extent original source media is available-- eg, images of flyers advertising Henry Marr's shows, images of props, video interviews with old-timer colleagues-- it may be suitable for upload to commons: and reference in this article.Jeremy Tobacman 01:10, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
I have no problems if somebody wanted to write an objective history that included other stories concerning the origins of balloon twisting---but the claim that Henry Maar WAS the founder is not supported by independent sources. And the facts that this inclusion is virtually identical to a letter published elsewhere.Balloonman 01:17, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
I've created an article on Henry Maar, he does appear to have been a notable balloon twister. I'm not convinced that he is the original balloon twister, I don't think anybody will ever really know. But I did summarize Joseph Maar's letter and attributed the case to Joseph Maar, while indicating that the jury is still out on the subject as a whole.Balloonman 03:21, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Thank you balloonman. I've cited physical evidence being supplied to balloon history site(s) supporting clains about Henry Maar including a 1968 newspaper article citing back then his "30-years" of experience and old brochures, posters, films/videos. I will upload them here (or put in the links) as I learn how and am able. JM 2:22m 6, November 2007
Joseph, if you have a picture of your father performing it would be a great addition to the Henry Maar article. BTW, congratulations on your third emmy... what was it for? I'm guessing that it was in 2007?Balloonman 15:28, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, again, balloonman. I have recently moved, am now with Fox Sports Net North, and am just now unboxing things of my fathers. Yesterday, I found a couple of article that help date things with my dad and balloon animals -- though still may not be as conclusive as some would like it makes a strong case. One is from 1957 or 58 where he talks about having started blowing balloons "27 years ago" (note he was not yet performing, just doing them on his own) and another from 1968 where it talks about him being in show business for 30 years (he started as an acrobat and moved quickly to magic and balloons). Also, I have a 1945 letter from a comedy museum asking his agent if he could be included in the museum for his work as a balloon animal maker -- guess at that time they saw his act in a comedy category, go figure! Anyway, I'm looking for help to have someone verify all of this so folks are not just taking my word. I will touch base with Balloon HQ folks but if you'd be able to help in any way, I would appreciate it. I have several old photos from back then as well... but still don't know how to upload them! (BTW, you asked about my third Emmy. It was awarded in 2007 for an ESPN series I did in 2006.) All the best! JM 19:52, 28 April 2008. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)


It would be nice if this article were illustrated with pictures of balloon models. -- 00:23, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

I added the most recent photos that I had a local balloon artist, Peter John Linday, provide some as a demonstration of variations in balloon art. If you need more, or want anything specific, please ask and I can see if I can get him to make it. LondonTaxi (talk) 06:59, 24 December 2007 (UTC)


I have checked out 3 different dictionaries to see how "modeling" is spelled. It shows that Modeling is spelled as "modeling" in America, but as "Modelling" mainly in England. Are we trying to appeal to America or British users? If British, than "color" is spelled wrong as it would be "colour". If we are trying to appeal to Americans, then the title should be spelled "Modeling". I have changed the body of the texts to reflect in agreement with the spellcheck I have here, but this differs from the title. Should there be a balloon Modeling and a Balloon modelling page? My personal opinion on the matter is we could forgo all this bother and call it "balloon artistry", "Balloon Art", or "Balloon Twisting". LondonTaxi (talk) 06:59, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

The general rule on Wikipedia is to keep the current spellings. So this article ought to use British spelling. (talk) 19:11, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

hello —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:02, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Sources and incorrect information[edit]

This article needs sources. Also, I believe it contains some incorrect information. It states that the most common balloons are 2" by 60" and 1" by 60". I don't believe this correct. 60" is five feet. The balloons that I have used and which I believe are the most common size for typical balloon animals are probably about 1" to 1.5" by 3.5' or so. Five feet sounds too long. JBFrenchhorn (talk) 09:58, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

A quick search on the web shows a large number of websites (usually wholesalers/retailers) mentioning the sizes of the 160 and 260 as being 1X60 or 2X60 inches. The sizes are what I was taught when I first started twisting balloons 20 years ago, bu I agree, I rarely see my balloons grow longer than a 3 feet or so, so I wonder if it should really be 2 cm x 60 cm? That would be more in line with what I experience. BUT I would need some source to indicate that was the actual size.---I'm Spartacus! NO! I'm Spartacus! 18:57, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

I have gone to several websites including and and these sources both seem to imply this was the sizes. Art_Student_8

Balloons are measured in inches a 260 is "approximately" 2 inches in diameter and 60 inches in length. I have been twisting for over 25 years. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:36, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Credit for work =[edit]

I gave a name to link the balloon artist who made a multiple display (The one from Waukesha) but I have not been able to find out the name of the twister from Vienna. Should we not try to make every effort to give their names? The Waukesha, Wisconsin artist had no idea that his image was on here and did not give consent to have his photo here without his name being attached. Some other balloon artist, in his area, could take credit for his work as the artist is not seen in the photo. Art_Student_8 —Preceding undated comment added 15:35, 21 November 2010 (UTC).

Credit can go to them, but it goes on the page where the picture is stored. We don't need to (or want to) "give credit" everytime a picture is used on a specific page. So the place to put the artist name is where the image is stored unless the artist him/herself is notable and worthy of specifically identifying (ala a Don Caldwell, Larry Moss, Ralph Dewey, etc.) If we let every artist put their name on the page, it would be a form of spam and people would start inserting their images so that it gets the additional hits and implies and endorsement from WP.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 02:43, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

I don't know any of the people you are naming. Balloon people? The artist in this case is not using the name that was posted for commercial name. He uses Half Twisted/Half Knot. If you do not give credit to artists for their work you are allowing other people to steal images from here and put them on their sites and claim credit for the artists work. I agree we should not use company, stage or other commercial names but why not give the artist credit for their work? In this case the artist was not aware his images were being used and only requests his name be attached or the images being removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Art student 8 (talkcontribs) 02:48, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

But we do give credit to the artist when we know it. But the credit goes on the page where the image is stored. Pick any image on Wikipedia and click on it. It will take you to the page where the image is stored and it will give you the rationale and justification for the images use. If there is an artist/photographer associated with the art (and that identity is known) THAT is where the artist/photographer information goes. By including the artist name on the article on Balloon Modelling, it becomes a form of spam. Unless the artist is notable and worthy of a Wikipedia article in their own right, then the artist name generally doesn't belong on this page. (And there are probably only a handful of twisters who deserve WP articles.)
The problem that PJL has is that he let the image stay here for a year after learning about it (based upon your words.) Again it isn't worth fighting about; but if what you claim is true, the the artist has possibly lost control over this image because he didn't defend his copyright when he became aware of the infringement. Also, if this image is NOT one the artist took or if the artist doesn't have the rights to the image, then it doesn't matter if it is the artist work. The image has been deleted, it's not worth the fight.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 14:54, 1 September 2011 (UTC)