It has been a while since I wrote and I thought about writing about balloon twisting. I am a largely self taught balloon twister and mostly do one balloon figures. But what is amazing to me is the joy balloons bring to the kids. If you make the figure with care and love, the kids absolutely love them. Most of my shows end with a long line of kids who stand in line patiently waiting for their balloon. Sometimes I twist one of each kind to show the children the figures that are the most popular and this is always a big hit for adults as well as kids.
If you are a magician, you should learn balloon twisting - it is not that hard. For the parents/adults/kids who want to learn I have a couple of tips. First and foremost - get high quality 260 balloons and a good sturdy hand pump. I use Qualatex balloons and I am very happy with them - I think most twisters use Qualatex. I also have a red hand pump made by Qualatex and it is great. Then you have to learn twisting and how to make things. For this the best way is to buy a beginner's DVD. I learnt from the Marvin Hardy video (also Qualatex) and then purchased many other videos/DVDs and also have many books on the subject. In fact most popular bookstores carry a few intro books and these are perfectly fine. You just have to read carefully and follow the instructions well. Don't forget to let a bit of air out before you tie the balloon - this will make the balloon a bit softer and easier to twist - don't overdo this though.
Another amazing fact - you may learn many figures and do many balloons but once a young boy asks for a sword and you make it, almost every other boy is going to ask for a sword :-) Fortunately this is not only popular but also quite easy to make. For girls there is no clear favorite though flower, swan, etc. are popular figures.
Until next time, happy magic. Spring is here and I hope to do many magic shows this spring and summer. if you see me somewhere, don't hesitate to ask me for a balloon figure.