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Who is this Môssieur Ballon?

Hi, it's me... Pierrick, an enthusiast with a cross-disciplinary background in volunteer work, music, puppets, Open Source development or even old buildings renovation, but essentially, for the last 20 years or so, in balloon artistry.

It was the children who spontaneously gave me this nickname from the start, then I added the circumflex accent for fun.

Other similar spelling going around on the net can be plagiarism. But since "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", it's to be taken as a compliment.

Pierrick in action, preparing a balloon decoration

Mission

Popularize the amazing artistic properties of balloons.

Balloon twisting is not magic, it is an art that should be shared just like music, painting or juggling. And if there is a plethora of circus schools or music conservatories, there is still no balloon art school, or so few that it is quite difficult to find.

Yet there is so much to learn in this area: the classic little balloon animals so popular with children, but also balloon weaving that can sometimes be found in fashion shows highlighting breathtaking dresses in balloons. There is also the meticulous art of balloon flowers (whose concept is probably at the origin of the popular balloon distortion), and much more.

On a related note, we have all seen classic balloon decorations, usually in the form of arches, garlands or columns, at birthdays, weddings, political rallies or business events, but do you know that it is also possible to make giant decorations, with life-size houses, trees, characters or animals, entirely made with balloons?

 

Journey

 

1996First Balloon Animal

A friend suggests that I give balloon animals to the children after my puppet shows (I used to have a puppet show) and she gives me Marvin L. Hardy's book along with a balloon twisting kit. That year, I try, with a trembling hand, my very first balloon sculpture, on page 12 of the book, the mouse.

Marvin book cover, to learn easy balloon animals

1998First Balloon Events

First public events for the benefit of the Beau P'tit Monde association of which I am a member at the time. This organization works in Benin, where I spent my childhood.

Môssieur Ballon is making a balloon animal

2000First Balloon Decorations

In response to several requests, I start balloon decorations. Very simply at first, mainly arches, garlands and columns.

A balloon arch

2006The Official Birth

Registration of Môssieur Ballon brand and creation of the first logo.

The first Môssieur Ballon logo

2009First Tutorials

Preparation and video editing of the first balloon twisting tutorials that will be published a few month later on YouTube.

The first YouTube logo

2010Balloon Show

First balloon show in Cholet, which will be the start of a long series of shows where balloons and children are kings.

The very first Môssieur Ballon show

2011Meeting other Balloon Artists

Balloon convention, in Dourdan close to Paris, where I learn balloon weaving.

Weaving balloons to make a dress

2012Salon Linux

Multi-purpose mission at Zarafa stand at the Solutions Linux summit in Paris: translation, counsel and balloon twisting !

Pierrick with a GNU and a Tux made with balloons

2013Giant Balloon Scenery

Like an ice sculptor, this is my first live performance in Montpellier, to create this Robinhood themed balloon decor, with life-size characters and animals. Again this will be the beginning of a long series to come..

Country scenery in balloons with life-size figures and animals

2014Back to India

Short trip to India where I lived in the 80s and got married. Here in Pondicherry with the children of the neighborhood where I stay, introducing them to balloon twisting.

Balloon twisting with children in Pondicherry

2015Balloon Puppets

I am adapting my old puppet show to balloons. The booth is replaced by a castle entirely made with balloons and the puppets play on its ramparts.

Puppets made with balloons

2016Publicity Billboards

Besançon covered with 4x3 publicity posters advertising the show and the giant sculptures of M(ôssieur) Ballon.

City publicity billboards for Môssieur Ballon

2016Balloon Automatons

This project, which has been brewing for several months, is finally coming true. Balloon automatons slip into the giant sets to bring them to life. It is magic!

A balloon bear automaton that nods automatically

2017Giant Balloon Wall

10,000 balloons to make this giant billboard, 15 meters long and 3 meters high.

A 15 m long by 3 m high giant panel made with 10000 balloons

2019Giant Balloon Elephant

Life-size elephant in balloon weaving. Okay, maybe not quite life-size, but almost... let's say an Asian (baby) elephant, which as everyone knows is less imposing than its cousin, the African elephant.

Creation of a new life-size elephant in balloon weaving

2020Life-size Balloon Motorbike

Ten hours needed to make this Harley Davidson, which combines several balloon techniques such as balloon twisting and balloon decoration, as well as balloon weaving and balloon distortion.

A life-size Harley Davidson entirely made out of balloons

New Chapter

To sum it all up, after these twenty years, tens of thousands of kilometers and hundreds of thousands of balloons, it's time to switch gears.

In other words, moving from action to education:

  • by resuming the regular publication of new video and photos tutorials on balloon twisting,
  • by opening new learning sections on classic balloon decoration and on giant balloon decorations,
  • by setting up a structured method and a real follow-up for all those who want it or who feel the need for it.

This program is being put in place gradually, it is now the priority behind the new version of this Website!