Apr 01

“BLUE ICE” MadeWithBalloons™

An abstract sculpture made with a single balloon

This abstract sculpture, though made with just a single balloon, raises multiple questions about the nature of what it represents and what it might become.

“BLUE ICE”  MadeWithBalloons™

[ (1)”MUSINGS”  &  (2)”HERE IS HOW” ]

———— ROUSEings™ ————
by Graham Rouse

Is it, instead, a living thing?

"ROUSEings" logo-icon(1)  “MUSINGS”


When I look at this sculpture I wonder if it was actually MadeWithBalloons™.  Maybe it is really ice  that has been melted into shape by the sun as the earth spins round  that star.  Maybe it was polished smooth by swirling night winds. It certainly seems preoccupied with growing, reaching, stretching to touch stars in the deep, dark blue of the night sky.

Is the base a block of frozen pond or is the scale much larger?  Is this the tip of an iceberg with roots a thousand feet deep in the ocean, now rising 100 feet above the frozen surf?

Or, is it only a smooth and frozen crystal resting upon a tiny snowflake and,therefore so fragile as to melt away should it be touched by human breath?

Is it, instead, a living thing?  Perhaps a cocoon?  Maybe the blue line circumscribing this monolithic form is actually a rib defining the outer edge of some marvelous creature within; a creature whose metamorphosis is not yet complete.



  • Maybe if we sit quietly, and very very still, with only the most shallow of breathing;
  • Maybe if we stare, hour after hour with eyes wide open;
  • Maybe then we will witness that magic moment when a new life breaks forth from within the Blue Ice, stretches its wings and flys away..


  • Maybe as we bear witness to the fact and to the form of this object;
  • Maybe as we involve our imaginations in its genesis, metamorphosis, and future;
  • Maybe then we are actually imagining scenarios for our own lives the way they might be imagined in our dreams..


  • Maybe, since we have seen these images in the Blue Ice;
  • Maybe since we have imagined its inner workings large and small, fragile and strong, inanimate and alive;
  • Maybe, then we are a little better prepared to imagine ourselves in new ways..


  • Maybe Blue Ice offers us the opportunity to taste, while we are awake, flavors of life usually hidden in dreams;
  • Maybe Blue Ice offers us the possibility  to make real in our lives what we imagine in the sculpture;
  • Maybe then, our own metamorphosis will complete itself and we will become one of those marvelous creatures who

Break forth,

….  ..

Stretch our wings and

 ….  ..

FLY  AWAY ….  ..    .



"ROUSEings" logo-icon(2) “HERE IS HOW”

TO MAKE YOUR OWN ABSTRACT RIBS™ (Rouse Internal Balloon Structure)


Here are materials and steps you may use to create your own abstract sculpture MadeWithBalloons™


(1) Pair of wire cutters
(1) Stiff wire (16 gage or larger) 22″ or longer
(1) Roll of 1/2″ floral tape
(1) Base ( Suggest 4″ by 4″ by 1/4″ or thicker
Pre-drill hole or ad vertical tube to receive sculpture
(1) Straw can work as base tube
(1) # 260 or #350 long balloon



  1. Cut wire to length ( Suggest 22″).
  2. Wrap ends with floral tape.
  3. Bend wire to desired shape.
  4. Stretch balloon over wire (top end of planned sculpture goes in first).
  5. Inflate balloon around wire.
    1. Aim the balloon and the wire down.
    2. Get the wire to the bottom of the balloon.
    3. Stretch the balloon over the wire and beyond.
    4. Hold the end of the wire to the bottom of the balloon if you can.
    5. Inflate the balloon but leave the very tip end of the balloon uninflated.
    6. If you inflate the balloon by mouth, place your thumb over the top end of the wire to protect yourself.
  6. Work the solid (closed) end of the balloon so that the padded end of the wire is centered against that closed end.
  7. Pinch the balloon at the end of the wire nearest the open end of the balloon.
  8. Release the air out of the top end of the balloon (from the pinch to the mouth of the balloon)
  9. Slowly release more air from the balloon as you massage the balloon into the desired form around the wire.
  10. Pinch the balloon an inch or two above the end of the wire and let the wire slide into the added length.
  11. Tie a knot at the end of the wire and center the end of the wire on that knot.
  12. Cut off the extra, uninflated balloon.
  13. Wrap the knotted end of the balloon and wire with floral tape.
    1. Be sure to keep the wire centered on the knot.
    2. Use the floral tape to fill out the volume necessary to fit tightly in your base.
  14. Do any additional bending or massaging necessary to meet your needs or design concept.
  15. Insert your sculpture into the base.
    1. The end of the wire with the knot goes into the base.
    2. You may use hot glue or “cold glue” in the base opening to secure your sculpture.



We would love to see your abstract sculptures MadeWithBalloons™ and RIBS™.  Please give us links in the “Reply” section below.  And, if you have comments, questions or related stories , we would love to see them as well.
Thanks for joining me for ROUSEings.  Do return for more 
Pictures – Instructions – Reviews – Musings about all things MadeWithBalloons.
Graham Rouse
Your host and author for ROUSEings“.
Copyright 2013 by G. Rouse


  • ROUSE MATRIX …………….. Enter “Rouse Matrix” … Include ” “
  • ROUSE TECHNOLOGIES….. Enter  “JustRouseIt” …. Include ” “
  • ROUSE TALK ……….. Enter  “MadeWithBalloons” …. Include ” “


About the author

Graham Rouse

Graham is the owner of Rouse Technologies LLC, Clemson, SC USA.

He has 30+ years professional experience in the balloon industry.
He produces, publishes, exhibits and teaches balloon arts worldwide.
He has 5 patents on technologies for balloon professionals.
He is the creator of seminal innovations for the balloon industry:

(1) structuring balloon sculptures from inside
(2) building balloon displays with aperture frameworks
(3) manufacturing film balloons in connected series.

Graham's companies manufacture, distribute, teach and support Rouse Matrix Systems™ brand, Expand-And-Load™ balloon grid frames

Google More Rouse:

"MadeWithBalloons"       "JustRouseIt"      "Rouse Matrix

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