'It was not so long ago Qualatex® added Quick Links to their range of products. I was excited then, but as time has gone on I am becoming more excited. Already there have been some amazing techniques developed and fantastic designs produced.
I initially thought that Quick Links would be more suited to large scale balloon work, which of course they are tremendous for. What I did not realise was how they would be so useful, even for small designs delivery pieces.
I am possibly coming from a slightly different angle when thinking about designing with Quick Links, as over the years I have done a lot balloon weaving and also work with bubbles made from 260Q balloons. What I have come to realise is that anything that I can do with a chain of bubbles, I can translate to Quick Links!
The butterfly on the above is of course made with 260Q's and the one below is with 6’’ Quick Links. This lets me play and experiment with different designs quickly and cheaply using 260Q balloons with the knowledge that I can create the same design on a much larger and more profitable scale.
Colin Myles Butterfly made with 6" Qualatex® Quick Link Balloons™
When weaving with Quick Links, I follow the same principles as I do with weaving with 260Q balloons. One tip is that when weaving the horizontal bubble should be soft and smaller than you think, this stops gaps from appearing in the finished piece.
Boat by Colin Myles
This photo is of a boat that I designed using weaving for the boat and 'X Weave' for the sails, the boat was made entirely without framing except for two base plates to support the masts; even the lifebelt was frameless using Quick Links.
Tip: When tying Quick Links, I wrap the knots twice around, I then tie twice, this stops any possibility of the knot slipping and potentially causing a friction tear. Of course if a balloon does need to be replaced it is easy to do so.
I also like Quick Links for smaller fast designs like the one's featured below.
Bubble Tree by Colin Myles
U.S. Patent No. 6,782,675
Flower Man by Colin Myles
Hearts & Filigree Column by Colin MylesWhen using Quick Links for a column, I try to make sure the balloons are tied together as close as possible,(again I wrap the necks twice and tie twice). It should feel quite difficult to add the 5" Quad which I prefer to size to 4’’, between the two Quick Links. Also when attaching to the base of the design try to get a snug fit. This will help keep everything together and you should be able to put a completely air-filled foil shape on top. You can use half air and half helium in a shape Microfoil™ balloon for peace of mind.
As I said at the beginning of this article, I am truly excited as to the possibilities of working with Quick Links and I really look forward to seeing new techniques and designs developing in the years to come.'
A little bit about Colin Myles - Smiley Balloons
Along with his wife Ray, Colin runs a full service party retail outlet which has been successfully trading for over twenty years.
Colin specialises in the balloon decoration side, and has provided decorations for over eight thousand events, ranging from weddings, birthdays, product launches, corporate decor etc. plus providing a service for small sculpture work and deliveries.
Over the years Colin has competed at numerous industry competitions and has gained over 30 international awards for his balloon art, both in the decor and twister worlds. His work has been featured extensively in Balloon Images, Balloon Magic and is presented in the 2013 Qualatex calendar.
Colin has taught in many prestigious industry events such as The Qualatex Event in England, BACI in Italy, JBAN in Japan, The World Balloon Challenge in Thailand, The Millennium Jam in Belgium, Twist and Shout in the USA, plus a host of regional events throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and America.
Colin feels passionately that good education is the key to the Balloon industry continuing to have the remarkable growth that we have all seen over the last couple of decades.
A huge thank you to Colin for sharing his passion when working with Qualatex® Quick Link Balloons™ along with some great tips too! Colin teaches many classes around Europe. To find out where he will be teaching next click HERE. Plus he has 4 great educational DVD's, his latest release is 'Everyday Quick Links' that shows a fantastic range of quick and sellable designs working with Qualatex Quick Link Balloons®.
I am also excited to announce that Colin will be making his debut as an instructor at the World Balloon Convention 2016, congratulations Colin!