JESUS AT 33 (Feet Tall) - MadeWithBalloons™

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JESUS AT 33 (Feet Tall) MadeWithBalloons™

---  ROUSEings --- By Graham Rouse


The design above was inspired by a similar project by Luciano Mancuso in Brazil.   Luciano's project is documented in this nine page paper:  JESUS, rosto divino do homem, rosto humano de DEUS.  

Jesus-by-Luciano-Mancus-01-477x645-webLuciano's design uses 3,191 balloons. They are comprised of both round and double-ended balloons (DEBs). Balloons are either black or white and are inflated to three different sizes.  The DEBs are "woven" into a large sheet of the basic design. The other balloons are added to flatten the sheet and complete details of the final image.

Jesus-sketch-01-223x322-webThe results (to the right) are an impressive, black and white balloon rendition of the sketch (to the left) that was the basis for Luciano's design.




I was impressed with the design and the skills necessary to sort through all the variations in pattern, balloon size, balloon type etc. to come up with such a fine result.

I wondered, however, if it might be possible to devise a different interpretation of the original sketch that would be easier to design and faster to build. I wondered if that might be accomplished while including more of the details and subtleties found in the original. And, I wondered if all that could be done with about the same or fewer balloons.

The picture at the top of the article shows the result.



In order to simplify the design process and to make the construction process easier, I chose a simple square grid pattern. The layout of 47 by 66 squares was about the right proportions.  It produced 3,102 openings. That number met my goal to keep it under 3191.

In order to show off more details and subtleties I added light gray and dark gray to the initial black and white palette of balloon colors.

The use of a regular grid meant all the balloons could be inflated the same size. And, it allowed for simple strings of double-ended balloons to be used to fill all the openings in the grid.

The strings could be planned and assembled as 66 strings of 47 horizontal DEBs or as 47 strings of 66 vertical DEBs. Either way, I believe, they are easier to plan and keep straight than (1) over 3,000 single balloons, (2) over 1500 pairs or (3) a mixture of strings, pairs and triplets.

Strings of DEBs can be installed in flexible, Expand-And-Load™ balloon frames very quickly as demonstrated by Eduardo Seiti in this 81 second video.

Eduardo's example is quite exceptional, but we have found that, with a little training, most students can double or quadruple their loading speed by switching from pairs to strings of DEBs.

Please note that use of this technique is limited in the USA by patent to official Rouse Matrix™ balloon frames.



My portrait of Jesus would be 33' tall if built with 6" square grids like the standard RMS™ GRIDZ Soft Pak™.  It would be half that height with 3" squares. And it could be built only 5.5' tall with RMS GRIZ 1" squares. Whatever the scale, however, I am pleased with the results. I hope you enjoy them also.




You may also enjoy these articles about how to make other great designs even better the next time around:

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