When you think of balloons, you most likely think of them as very much in the background at kiddies parties as decoration, or kids throwing them around for fun.
Brian Getz in Indiana, USA takes them a little more seriously and he’s made a great living from creating sculptures made only from balloons. The kind of sculptures that leave you in awe and that take much skill and creativity to create. From intricately crafted aeroplanes and rockets to small scale but aesthetic hats and animals. There does seem to be a bit of a preference for large scale animals with dinosaurs being quite popular, and now the worlds biggest Dragonfly… oh yeah, and made out of balloons that is!
This one sure isn’t your typical balloon animal. Brian the ‘balloon artiste’ and his merry balloon sculpting crew have gone and created the worlds biggest balloon sculpture ever created before at a whopping 88 feet in height and made from 6,813 balloons. The whole mammoth Dragonfly sculpture took 5 days to complete with around 400 man power hours dedicated to the task. The enormous insect was constructed at the Indiana State Museum and has been on display until recently… because, as with all balloons, they eventually wither away or pop!
Brian is currently touring on a Caribbean cruise ship, but we managed to reach him to give a quick insight into the project:
“It has always been my dream to make the worlds biggest balloon sculpture. It’s been on my bucket list since I was sixteen in fact and it has taken years to build up the skills, techniques and volunteer base to make it happen,” says Getz.
Getz himself worked for weeks to design every detail, including drawing diagrams of where to place each balloon:
“We chose a common green darner dragonfly for our subject because of its vivid colors,” explains Getz.
“Since our hosts are the Indiana State Museum, I wanted something native to Indiana, and these large insects are commonly found on the canal 20 feet from the museum. They’re remarkable bugs too. They migrate all the way to Central America and their offspring fly right back.”
One other reason to pick a dragonfly was its long flat wings:
“I suggested he make a dragonfly,” says Lisa McIntire, a fellow balloon artist.
“I said it would look really interesting and no one has done it before.”
Brian and his crew of fellow balloon artists worked for 5 full days on the sculpture, and hit some snags along the way.
“We were feeling pretty good after the third day,” says Getz.
“We packed up all the gear and hoped to have a couple days off. The next morning I found out we needed a lot more height to ensure our sculpture was in fact the worlds biggest. We came back in and worked for 70 more hours just to get our feet to stand up right.”
After a local surveyor took accurate measurements, the team made some adjustments and rigged ropes to lift the hundred pound sculpture into the air. And the rest now has become quite epic amongst the world of balloon art and sculpture creating. One day another artist will come along and decide to go bigger with their balloon sculpture… and maybe Brian himself may wish to go for it again.
One thing’s for sure, we think a perfect opportunity may have been missed by balloon enthusiasts worldwide what with the current release of the Jurassic World movie… the worlds biggest balloon sculpture being a gigantic Tyrannosaurus Rex just sounds even more epic than the movie itself!
For more about Brian visit: BriansBalloons.com
And check out what happened during a live US tv report during construction of the sculpture: