Apr 05

“RIBS OF GOLD” MadeWithBalloons™


“RIBS OF GOLD”  MadeWithBalloons™

(1) “MUSINGS”  &  (2) “HERE IS HOW” 

———— ROUSEings™ ————
by Graham Rouse


"ROUSEings" logo-icon


When I pause to consider this sculpture, these eight “Ribs Of Gold”, they suggest to me, a swirling motion without moving.  They give form to empty air.  They give rhythm to hollow space.

They seem almost alive.  It is as if they be dancers performing an ancient rite.  They circle an invisible flame, to honor an absent god.  They lift their arms with hands together pointing upward.  They are swaying to and fro. 

It seems they must originate in millennia past and yet they are akin to

  • An aboriginal ceremony in an Australian desert
  • A native rite in a tropical jungle
  • An Indian ritual in the North American plains.

They even foretell actions of thousands today as those thousands rise and sway to create waves of motion in sports arenas and stadiums around the world.

I know these ribs must be fixed and motionless in this picture, but the longer I stare, the more it appears that they are expanding and contracting with my own ribs as I breathe.

Or is it flickering that I see reflected in the surrounding frame?  Are these actually golden flames licking the air for a taste of cool aromas in the night?

Are they actually petals of some exotic flower, exuding their own sweet scent into the atmosphere for others to taste and be drawn back to the source.

Are they, in reality, a musical instrument tuned to the passing winds.  Does each golden arc vibrate to different frequency depending on its volume and curve and angle to the breeze.  Does their aggregate form focus their vibration like the chambers of a violin or a tuba or a drum?  Are they humming tunes for the pleasure of butterflies and beetles and bees? Or are they singing for me?

Can we use our eyes and imagination to hear the music, to smell the scent, to feel the rhythm, to taste the flavor, to experience ourselves floating in the open chamber surrounded by these golden ribs?  If so, then, maybe, the “art” of the sculpture is more in us than in it.  And, yet, we can celebrate the object as catalyst for our experience and value it for what it brings out in us.

Each time we breathe and feel our ribs move, we can then recall these Ribs Of Gold and experience once more those sights, sounds and scents that earlier filled our thoughts. We can be, once more, a partner in the art.  We can experience once more, ourselves as artist.


  • All this is because
  • we paused
  • to ponder
  • these
  • eight

“Ribs Of Gold”.


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

TO MAKE YOUR OWN 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


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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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