October 25, 2010
The inspiration for creating the unique LINK-O-LOON® came to the prolific Australian balloon artist, Jean-Michel Lucie in the early 1990s. Realizing the limitations of the conventional balloon for sculpture designs, Jean-Michel had the thought, “What could I do with a balloon that allowed me to tie on two points?” Visualizing the convenience afforded to advanced balloon designs and becoming totally committed to its development Jean-Michel contacted Premier Balloons, the only Australian manufacturer of balloons.
With the prototype, first came the arch, then a cube, followed by a sphere. Premier Balloons further developed the LINK-O-LOON®, then launched it in 1997 at the Australasian Balloon Convention. Simplistic in its use, the LINK-O-LOON allows both the novice and experienced decorator to produce balloon décor economically and extremely rapidly. It allows end to end balloon chain construction for garlands or more complex patterns for intricate designs.
- Chain Garland – air or helium
- Helium Arches
- Tunnels and Canopies
- Pillars and Roman Columns
- Corrals – round or shaped
- 3D sculptures
- Balloon Wall
- Picture Frame
- 15cm (6”) Air-Filled Garland
- For Smaller Venues
The LINK-O-LOON is made up of four parts:
- Body: the large spherical part of the balloon.
- Neck: the tube through which one inflates the balloon.
- Bead: the rim or lip at the opening of the neck.
- Tail: the unique protrusion at the opposite end of the balloon.
When the LINK-O-LOON is inflated, the tail remains uninflated, so it can be used to tie to the neck of another balloon. The LINK-O-LOON® is based on latex 30cm (12”) and 15cm (6”) balloons, but with a more symmetrical shape. It is designed and manufactured in Australia.
MATERIALS & EQUIPMENT
- 30cm(12”) LINK-O-LOONS®
- 15cm (6”)LINK-O-LOONS®
- 12cm (5”) round balloons
- Balloon sizer
- Suitable balloon weight
STEP BY STEP
The LINK-O-LOON is inflated in the same way as any other balloon and is suitable for both air and helium. Before inflating LINK-O-LOON place as much of the neck over the inflating nozzle to maintain the rounded shape and consistency in size.
Measured Length Wise
When consructing chains the balloons should measured length wise very accurately to ensure structures are symmetrical.
Avoids Fishing Line
Where arches are constructed without fishing line (thanks to LINK-O-LOON®) they are free from entanglement and can confidently be bagged and transported.
Collars Add Strength and Beauty
Twist a cluster of 12cm (5”) balloons around each join. The chain gains rigidity and a solid appearance. Collars can be a different color from the LINK-O-LOONS®, resulting in some stunning combinations.
THE LINK-O-LOON® KNOT
The tying of one LINK-O-LOON® with a standard ‘double knot’ (reef knot or granny knot) is quite secure. However, we recommend the ‘LINK-O-LOONis more secure, easily undone (for repairs or alterations) and prevents the burning which can create a slow deflation hole in latex.To tie the ‘LINK-O-LOON Knot’, start with a simple half hitch (the first half of the ‘double knot’). Then flip the free balloon around again to increase the length of the overlap. Then complete the second half of the ‘double knot’ and only pull it in quite loosely.
Hint: The LINK-O-LOON® knot is the best way to tie 6” duplets and larger under-inflated balloons as it eliminates leakage without needing to pull the balloons to set the knot.
Simply tie the neck of the just-inflated LINK-O-LOONinflated LINK-O-LOON® to the tail of the previously. There is no need to tie off each LINK-O-LOON before attaching it to another. Continue in this way until the chain is the correct length. For uniformity in appearance it is recommended that when forming a LINK-O-LOON chain it is better to consistently tie neck to tail. There will be some exceptions to this general rule.
Used as Single Balloons
Air-filled LINK-O-LOONS hanging by their tails look as though they are helium-filled. The cost is much less and the ‘flying time’ is much greater.
A SIMPLE ARCH
- Take a bag of 25 LINK-O-LOONS and construct two chains of 12 balloons.Hint: Tie neck of first balloon directly to weight then simply add the rest one at a time -no worry about it floating away!
- Join the two chains tail to tail at the peak of the arch.
- Collars of 12cm (5”) balloons may be used as appropriate
HINT. Adding collars of 12cm (5”) balloons will reduce the flying time.
The arch becomes an extremely profitable item for your business, because it is now quick and reliable to erect.
The LINK-O-LOON® is a great step forward in balloon technology. Never before have balloon artists had such versatility at their fingertips. They are easy to use, quick to inflate and assemble, so cost effective to you and your customers. Like the alphabet, they can be arranged in an infinite variety of combinations.