Friday, December 4, 2015

Fun, friends and excellent workshops at this year's Balloon Jam Hamburg!

Last month I was invited to teach at the Balloon Jam Hamburg, Germany. I previously attended this event some years ago, but then it was known as The Euro Jam.
The Euro Jam was founded in 1998, after Rüdiger & Cordula Paulsen, along with mutual friend Happu Krenz, attended a Qualatex® Event in Prague.

Enjoying the camaraderie and excitement of sharing ideas and skills with other twisters from around Europe, they decided to establish a twisting event of their own in Germany. Over the next seventeen years they ran 15 very successful Euro Jams. In 2013, Andreas Zier and his wife Meike, with the help of Sandra Brandt, took over the event and re-named it Balloon Jam Hamburg.

This year's event saw 155 participants, coming from 14 different countries, including Germany, USA, Israel, Hong Kong, Spain, Ireland, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, and UK.

This event has the reputation of being a big family, and meeting once a year is like a "family reunion," which is one of the main reasons that Andreas took over this event when Rüdiger, Cordula, and Happu decided to retire as the event organisers.

Sandra Brandt with Antonio Bécares Rodríguez and Andreas Zier.

I asked Sandra, who works as Andreas' assistant at the event, if she would tell me a little about this year's Balloon Jam;

"We had many workshops for decorators as well as twisters. It's always very hard to choose between all these good classes... 
This jam is very communicative. It's not only visiting some seminars but also sitting in the Jam Hall, enjoying a nice beer or two, and chatting with old and new friends and colleagues. Or exchanging ideas while jamming with the balloons that are available 24/7. Our participants appreciate that, as well as our Jam Bar, where you can buy snacks and drinks all around the clock. 

The evaluation sheets tell us that we did a good job organizing everything, and that they were very happy with our choice of teachers and topics. 
This year's line-up of instructors: Ken Stillman, USA; Frank Jeschke, CBA, Germany;  Sabina Kellner, Austria; Cody Williams, USA; Patrick van de Ven, Netherlands; Niko Fric CBA, Slovenia; Peter Kramer, Switzerland; Klaus Löffert, Germany; Silvia Reichert, Germany; Tom Bola CBA, Germany; Gudrun "Guddi" Hoh, Germany; Sue Bowler, CBA, UK; Cordula Paulsen, Germany; Rüdiger Paulsen, Germany; and guest lecturer, "Happu" Krenz.   

We want to continue being a jam where you can meet and share with your balloon-family and have lots of fun as well as participate in excellent workshops for both twisters and decorators with very good teachers.
We also have a great team that decorated the Jam Hall with us beforehand and some awesome helpers who clean the workshop rooms and make sure that there are always enough balloons available for the workshops and Jam Hall."

Bride & Groom Sculpture taught by Frank Jeschke, CBA, 

of Balloonmeinster, Wuppetal, Germany.

My role at this year's jam was to teach a wedding decor class. My class was one of a number of decor classes taught at this event, all of which were very well attended. I love that there is a demand for both twisting and decor classes at events such as these. Over the years the divide between twisters and decorators has diminished. In fact, there are many who offer both skills to their clients!

The main aim of my class was to create a fully-decorated room, giving delegates the opportunity to learn some great new designs and skills, and to take photographs that they can use to promote the decor to their customers once they return home.

Here is a selection of the designs that we created. As you can see, the group did a great job! We created a beautiful balloon wall, an entrance arch, elegant centrepiece designs, wedding favours using 9" Hearts and columns! The room looked truly beautiful, filled with very elegant wedding decor!

This is my amazing group! They worked very hard over the 2 sessions that we had to build the decor.

I really enjoyed being part of this year's Balloon Jam Hamburg; It really did have a lovely feeling of being with friends both old and new. I loved working with everyone who attended my classes. They really enjoyed working on the wedding designs and embraced all the different skills and techniques that I sent in their direction. 

For more information about the Balloon Jam Hamburg, visit

Happy Ballooning!



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