Happy Almost 2014!

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a great month of holidays and are poised for an even better 2014. This was a great year for balloon twisting in the NYC area, and I thank you for being a part of it. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s happened recently:

First, our pre-Thanksgiving workshop with David Brenion was awesome! He taught a huge variety of holiday balloons that many of us immediately used. It was a nice mix of very simple items and showstoppers. Hopefully we can get him to come back next year and do it again. . . .

American Way Magazine

Next, if you are flying with American Airlines this month please grab a copy of their in-flight magazine, American Way Magazine. They have a nice article on professional balloon artists with contributions from a number of us from around the country. The article plugs the NY Twisters — giving us international exposure. Woohoo!! I have a link to both the online magazine and a scan of the entire article on my blog. I think that is a pretty big deal, and I’m stoked that so many business and casual travelers will read about us in a positive light. Let me know if you hear anything about it.

Shipping Wars Dragon

In October, Larry Moss and Kelly Cheatle (of Airigami and BalloonHQ fame) made an awesome balloon dragon for a museum. The coolest part is that the A & E show, Shipping Wars, transported the dragon from Rochester to Brooklyn. The episode aired on Christmas Eve, and now that it’s aired I can “officially” talk about it. The dragon was on display here for a week and stayed looking fresh that whole time. Larry has a short time-lapse video of the dragon construction that you should watch  and look for the episode to air again (or just buy it from iTunes for $2).

If you are a fan of Larry’s big impressive twisted balloon projects, the coolest one is about to start. A bunch of us from the NYC area will work on Balloon Manor in a few weeks. Balloon Manor will be a huge multi-person balloon sculpture of Jack and his beanstalk. This incredible sculpture will be built in 4 days and the completed piece will be viewable from February 5-9, 2014 in Rochester, NY. Make sure to check out the website: BalloonManor.com

Twist & Shout Balloon Convention logo

January is also the start of convention season! Everyone is gearing up for the big balloon twisting convention in February. For over a decade, Twist & Shout has been the place to take the best classes and see the best competition pieces. There’s a stage competition, a dress competition, and figure competitions. It’s tons of fun, and I haven’t missed a single one. Happily, my birthday falls during the convention this year, so come celebrate with me! The early-bird registration ends at the end of 2013, so head over to balloonconvention.com and sign up. Many New Yorkers are also heading to Orlando for the Florida Super Jam next month — that promises to be lots of fun too. In addition to Twist & Shout, the other big US balloon convention this year is Pioneer’s World Balloon Convention. Their early-bird discount ends January 31st.

The good folks a Tricky Business in Long Island have three events coming up:

Dec 27:  Beginner Balloon Class

Jan 8:  Intermediate Balloon Class

Jan 14:  Balloon Jam

 

That’s it for now. I’ll keep you posted on everything!

-Todd

David Brenion’s Holiday Balloon Workshop

David Brenion Winter Wonderland Workshop
David Brenion Winter Wonderland Workshop

David Brenion Presents: Winter Wonderland

Get ready for the holiday season with some of David’s favorite go-to designs! You’ll learn everything from quick designs for line work, to more elaborate show pieces and everything in between!  Reindeer, Stars of David, Jingle Bells, Jolly Saint Nick himself, and much more!

Balloons will not be provided for this workshop, so make sure to bring your kit!  We’ll be covering a WIDE variety of designs… they’ll incorporate all size balloons from 160 to 646, 5″ rounds to 12″ QuickLinks.  If you don’t currently stock these sizes – don’t worry!  You’ll still be able to follow along, and who knows… maybe a kind fellow twister will share from their supply (’tis the season)!

WHEN:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
1:00pm to 4:00pm

WHERE:

Ripley-Grier Studios
520 Eighth Avenue (17th Floor)
(Bet. 36th & 37th Streets)
New York, NY 10018

ADMISSION:

$45 for regular admission
$100  for VIP pre-class Lunch + admission (sold out)

NOTE:

This class is limited to 20 people, and the VIP lunch is limited to 4 people.  Please sign up now.

DIRECTIONS:

Take the Subway 1,2,or 3, & A,C, or E to 34th Street Stop at Penn Station

QUESTIONS?:

Contact Todd or David

Register for class

Sorry, but registration is closed

Willy Monroe performance and Balloon Jam

I am excited to announce that Willy Monroe, the amazing Spanish entertainer, is in town and he will be performing his balloon magic act that he took first place at the Twist & Shout competition in St. Louis this year! He will be one of four entertainers of the night, it is sure to be an amazing evening! Where: Monday Night Magic

Where:   115 MacDougal Street, New York, NY 10012
When:   Monday, April 29 at 8pm
Tickets:   http://www.brownpapertickets.com/producer/12862
Directions & Parking:   http://mondaynightmagic.com/directions.html

Free Balloon Jam

I am also happy to invite you to a Free Balloon Jam in Long Island at Tricky Business Magic Shop. John has been teaching balloon workshops at the shop forever, and he has a lot of creative people who buy and work there. As always, this is a laid-back night of twisting balloons. A few of us will be there experimenting with new designs and playing around with ideas. We’d love to see you there!

Where:

Tricky Business Magic Shop
2590 Hempstead Turnpike
East Meadow, NY

When:

Wednesday, May 1st at 7pm

Cost:

Free (but please buy a bag of balloons)

The NY Twisters are homeless

Santa Doll

This is a very strange holiday season for all us. Businesses and families are going through happy and difficult times, often simultaneously! For some it was the storm, others health, and some the ebb and flow of the economy. Whatever the situation, we have all found truth in Winnie the Pooh’s immortal words, “Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon”. And as a group, we are some of the most cheerful people I know!

Santa Doll
Santa Doll

I am thankful for all you who have become a part of this ragtag balloon family by coming to balloon classes and/or jams and spreading cheer with balloons. Amazingly, we have been doing this together for TEN YEARS! During that time we’ve had guests from all over the world come and teach us. We’ve also had students and visitors from from all over. We’ve learned and taught so many different balloons. For example, here are directions for a “Santa Stick”taught at a jam in 2003. I still use that balloon to make my Santa, although I now usually add a quick body, as in the picture on the right.

I was hoping to announce a new schedule of balloon jams and classes, but sadly, we are now homeless. Our home for the past half-decade moved, remodeled, and can no longer host us. Please be on the lookout for a new meeting space in Manhattan for free (and paid) balloon classes, jams, and workshops. It needs to be easily accessible by people taking trains from all over, and a friendly atmosphere for us to twist balloons in. If you have an idea for a venue let me know.

Otherwise, have an awesome holiday season, and I’ll keep you posted on balloon twisting events in the area.

Cheers!

-Todd,
p.s. Does anyone want me to put together a private email list of volunteer opportunities this season? For example, Robert Moy is looking for one or more people to twist at a Christmas party for families at the shelter for the Center Against Domestic Violence in BedSty in Brooklyn. If you can help out, email him at robertmoy@nyc.rr.com.

Pictures from Oct 3rd Balloon Jam

Dozens of twisters gathered on October 3rd at Fantasma Magic to celebrate Balloons Around the World.  Nick the Balloonatic, Mr. Smiles, Joe Dynamite (with his mom and daughter), Todd Neufeld (me!), Patti Myers, Peggy Hamlin, Ray Santana, Mrs. E, Sammie The Clown, Royal and Patty Sorell, Summer the Clown, Candy the Clown, Terry, Tristan Strauss, Rose Burkholder, and many more twisted piles of awesome balloons.

Here are a few pictures from the jam –>

[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157631705242461″]

Balloons Around The World

Logo for Balloons Around The WorldOn Wednesday, October 3, 2012, the NY Twisters will join an international group of balloon artists for Balloons Around The World, the annual event highlighting the act of giving, delivering thousands of smiles, and showcasing the art of balloon twisting. The NY Twisters will be meeting at Fantasma Magic at 4pm to share ideas and twist awesome balloons for our community. Local balloon artists Todd Neufeld, Robbie Furman, and Nick Rotondo will sharing some of the techniques and sculptures that have won them international acclaim.  Additionally, Patty & Royal Sorell will be coming from Boston to help us celebrate this 12th Balloons Around The World!

Nifty Balloons classes in April!

Brenion DVD #3

David Brenion East Coast FlyerLearn new balloons with David Brenion

Internationally award-winning balloon artist David Brenion will be teaching a selection of sculptures from his best-selling “Nifty Balloons” DVD series!  David specializes in wearable art that leaves party guests’ hands free for playing, eating, high-fiving, and other party activities!  From big cartoon jet-packs for your back to adorable chubby animals sitting on your head, David’s sculptures make a big impact, and are an impressive addition to any twister’s repertoire!

David will be teaching two classes in the New York City area in early April.  While there will be some overlap between the design concepts, many of the sculptures will be different.  The April 3rd class is in New Jersey, and is free for clown alley members and $20 for guests.  The April 4th class in Manhattan is free with purchase of a DVD ($35).

To learn more about David and his groundbreaking work visit his website, NiftyBalloons.com, or stalk him on Facebook.

Read moreNifty Balloons classes in April!

March Balloon Twisting News (a jam with Nancy Dalton, and more)

Flyer for Todd's Kidabra Class

Great news everyone-

Image of Nancy Dalton, Top Twister
Nancy Dalton, Top Twister

All of a sudden there is lots happening in our little balloon twisting world.  There are jams, classes, and more!

First, Nancy Dalton, who recently won the 2012 Top Twister award, will be in our neighborhood for two rare appearances!  Sheree Brown-Rosner is hosting Nancy on March 13th for a balloon jam in Baldwin, NY and Hank Degenring is hosting Nancy on March 19th in Red Bank, NJ .

  • Join us March 13, 2012 from 5pm to 10pm at the Baldwin Coach Diner.  It’s a “Get Ready for St Patrick’s Day” jam and there will be lots of prizes and gifts.  So be sure to wear green.  Contact Sheree for more information and please RSVP on Facebook for the jam.
Flyer for Todd's Kidabra Class
Todd's Kidabra Class on March 21, 2012

Then, I’m teaching a rare area class at this month’s Kidabra #10 chapter meeting on March 21st.  The class is on “Entertaining with Balloons” and I’ll be teaching balloon routines, effects, bits, psychology and more that I use at every gig.  You can get more information at the groups page: fb.com/kidabra10 or just email me.  It’s free to chapter members and only $20 to nonmembers.

Heading into April, there are two events on the horizon.  The first is a to-be-announced David & Shana Brenion class.  For the second year in a row they were the sell-out class at Twist & Shout, and I am excited to bring them in for their first area class.  David was a guest at a jam last year and held the room spellbound for over an hour . . . . and you’ve been asking him to come back ever since.

Finally, there is an awesome balloon decor seminar in Brooklyn in April 16-18.  Colin Stewart will be teaching a 3-day intensive seminar that goes from beginner to expert.  It is hosted by our friends at J & R Wholesale Balloon Distributors and you can learn more about it on jrballoon.com/classes.html

 

Balloon Twisting news for January 2012

[flickr size=”small” float=”right”]5057468085[/flickr] 2011 was a great year for balloon twisting, especially here in the New York City area.  We had lots of heavy-hitters come through town for both workshops and casual jamming.  So far, it looks like 2012 is going to be even better.

This year started off with a zillion of our friends invading Orlando for the awesome Florida SuperJam, and continues to get more exciting.  Coming up this Thursday, John Reid is teaching a beginner balloon twisting workshop in Long Island. Details are on the Tricky Business website.  In two weeks Larry Moss is teaching 4 excellent classes in Mystic, CT.  Larry is a special guest teacher at the Clown Jamboree later this month.  That is quickly followed by Twist & Shout, the premier balloon twisting convention, in Phoenix from Feb 1-5.

We’ll be back stronger than ever with regular balloon jams at the end of February. In the meantime, send new people to the monthly Free Balloon Class, and be sure to come to one of these big events.

If you are also a clown then you are probably already going to the Clown Jamboree.  If you are not a clown, Larry’s classes are the reason to check it out this year.  If you have not yet been to one of Larry’s classes then you should drop everything and be there.  Here is what he is teaching:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Make me a bicycle, clown

Handling requests from an audience can be a challenge. Several intermediate to advanced sculptures will be taught, including a bicycle, that can be used in restaurant and festival situations. In addition, there will be discussion of how to satisfy unexpected requests.

Balloonicature: The many faces of balloon art

Caricature with balloons. This is all about making faces of friends, family, celebrities, or anyone else you happen to want to produce out of latex balloons.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Entertaining with balloons

Turn your balloon twisting into more than a product to be handed out. Learn to apply ballooning skills to stage and street performances. Includes story-telling and climbing inside balloons.

 Twisted Installations: Large scale display art

Looking to take your twisting skills in a new direction? Learn to make display pieces that no one thought were possible to create with balloons. By understanding a few techniques, anything can be created, no matter how outlandish it seems. Vases, clothing, furniture or anything else you can envision can be made. In this class, a number of methods are taught, and examples are given on how best to use each one. You will learn how to break down your subject into manageable chunks that can be tackled with basic and not-so-basic styles of balloon weaves and fabrics. Large non-round balloons, such as 646s and 350s can be used to create intricate sculpture pieces in relatively little time. Smaller balloons, like 160s and 260s can be used to add intricate details. You will understand how to make a wide range of things by the time you leave the room.

 

Pics from Oct 4th

[flickr size=”small” float=”left”]http://www.flickr.com/photos/toddneufeld/6236646566/[/flickr]  A couple dozen twisters came to Fantasma to jam on October 4th.  We had a great time exploring some halloween designs, learning some pro tips on the marriage twist during the Panda teach-in, and working on some really difficult distortion techniques.  It was another successful NY Twisters balloon jam!

[flickr size=”small” float=”left”]http://www.flickr.com/photos/toddneufeld/6236134183/[/flickr]
[flickr size=”small” float=”right”]http://www.flickr.com/photos/toddneufeld/6236129501/[/flickr]