329nth, 330th, 331st and 332nd Balloon Sculptures: Oompa Loompa, Wonka Arch, Wonka Centerpieces, and Column.


Man was this a learning experience. I have never done decorations on this kind of scale before and this was my first full décor job. The color scheme was gold, green and purple.

I didn’t have as much time as I had thought that I would to work on it and there were things that went wrong- but luckily I had back up plans and was prepared and I did very well under pressure. I think I did especially well when you consider that I did all the balloon work single handedly.

I made a 25ft wide squared arch with WONKA gold mylar letters on it. It was originally planned to be in a different area and then was requested to be on the dance floor. It is about 10 to 12 ft tall not counting the mylar letters. They are about 14 to 16 ft tall with the letters.

No helium was used either. I had to build the underlying structure myself. I have become pretty handy with tools and hardware out of necessity for this career and passion venture.

FYI, helium is actually running out and gas companies won’t even sell me a tank. It is a finite resource and it is running out all over the world. It is an issue that strikes balloon artists and we are all having to adapt.

One of the ways to adapt is to use clear poles to make centerpieces. The clear pole gives the feeling of floating.

I designed and made these centerpieces to go with the dance. They wanted whimsical. I decided to put a little hat on the top of the gold balloon to give that Wonka feel. I made 10 centerpieces total.

I made and designed an Oompa Loompa using a face technique I learned from Phileas Flash. He has a dvd called “The Face of Things To Come” that I learned the facial structure from, you can purchase it for $40 dollars plus shipping on his website, http://www.flashballoons.com/. He is such a character and is one of the coolest most talented people in the world! Tons of personality and flair which I really appreciate seeing in people.

Now the columns were much bigger than I had ever messed with before, and time was running out when I got to them. I didn’t have time to put hats on them and bow ties. I also couldn’t find my pipe cutters and so was not able to get things measured out the way that I wanted. It is hard to explain but basically what ended up happening is the swirls were not able to be sized the same on the top as they were the bottom. This is because the top swirls needed to be longer in order to get me the coverage I needed, it was simply too late to go back and redesign. I would have perfected the columns if I had had more time. The sheer size of them made things tricky as well. They came out to be about 12 to 13 ft tall. I made two columns but because of time rush- was not able to get but one decent picture.

I feel like I learned so much and grew so much with this experience.

Pictures of my work for the event below. 🙂


Arch without letters on it,








3 responses »

  1. Wow wow wow wow wow unbelievable! Love the reverse/split barber pole idea and that Oompa Loompa is unbelievable! He has a little Rocky Dennis thing going but you were able to keep an inherently creepy creature from straying away from looking cute. Love the detail and colors on him. That hair is great, obviously your largest project to date.

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