Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Qualatex @ The Moscow Balloon Festival 2019

Beautiful "Mythical Caticorn" Column Design
by Larisa Ketskalo,
CBA and Anhelika Vahurna, CBA.
This year the Moscow Balloon Festival celebrated its 20th Anniversary, and it certainly did not disappoint! I first attended the festival in 2002, and so much has changed since my first visit! This event is sponsored by different balloon, equipment and accessory manufacturers, and many of the competitions are sponsored by different balloon companies. It is always very interesting to see how different manufacturer's products have  an impact on a design - but in my opinion the Qualatex Chrome balloons really stood out this year! 

1st Place Winners of the Master Sculpture Competition
Olga Baranova, Olga Samoilova, Tatyana Dyusmetova,
Ekaterina Poroshkina, Artem Sadovnikov, Tatiana Afanasieva.

Many of the Russian balloon professionals who attend this event are extremely talented. I would even go as far as saying that they are probably some of the best in the world! It was an absolute joy to be able to see their incredible work up close!

Attendee's attending the festival were greeting with fabulous Qualatex decor created by
Olga Baranova, CBA & Olga Samoilova, CBA.

Two of the teams at this year's festival were sponsored by Qualatex, and I am delighted to report that each team did exceptionally well. Between the two of them they won many of the competitions!

SD Shar Team:
Alexander Solomatin
Vadim Shushkanov
Dmitry Novikov
Vadim Nesterenko
Olga Nesterenko
Armen Egshatyaan

Olga Baranova,
Olga Samoilova,
Tatyana Dyusmetova, 

Ekaterina Poroshkina,
Artem Sadovnikov,
Tatiana Afanasieva.

First Place Winner of the Masters Large Sculpture - Team Captain Olga Baranova, CBA

Here are a few words from team captain Olga Baranova who, in a message on Facebook, describes her joy, happiness and gratitude to her team members. The text was in Russian and with the help of translate I have changed it to English, and although it's probably not a perfect translation, you can definitely feel her excitement!
"The 20th Balloon Festival in Moscow!!! The most prestigious and most awaited event of the year!!! The whole thing flew by one breath!! Joyful meetings, nice news, open family faces!!!This year, the team "Group of Comrades" performed at the Moscow Festival for the seventh time, and showed a very high level of skill in all categories of festival works!!! We did it! We did it, we have the first place in the nomination "Big Sculpture" in the Masters League!!!! We made a gorgeous dress, very worthily worn by Katya on the podium!!!My dear, comrades, thank you for this competition, for the atmosphere on the set, for understanding with half words and half-looks! And despite the fact that the preparation was not easy at all, we did decent work and became winners!!! Our bird of happiness revealed its wings!!!! and yes, happiness is!!!!!"

Here are a few more photographs and designs from Olga's Team!

Designs by Olga Baranova,  Olga Samoilova,  Tatyana Dyusmetova,  Ekaterina Poroshkina,  Artem Sadovnikov,  Tatiana Afanasieva.

Grand Prix Winner (the team that scores the most points overall) and Third Place Winner of the Masters Large Sculpture - Team Captain Alexander Solomatin, CBA.

Team Captain Alexander first attended the Moscow Balloon Festival 2008. He attended one of Alberto Falcone's classes, and this experience changed both his balloon perspective and life forever.  

 I asked Alexander if he would tell me a little bit about this years festival and what it meant to him.
"This year the Moscow Festival was very important for me. This was the first time after a long break that we reunited with almost our original team, which in 2014 saw us win our first prizes in the industry. Working with my old friends side by side gave me great happiness.  
It took us a very long time to find an idea for our large sculpture; it was our 20th sculpture and we didn’t want to do something boring or repeat ourselves. As a prototype we chose the dragon 'Drogon' from the 'Games of Thrones' series. We have waited a long time to create this dragon. The biggest problem creating such an impressive figure for the balloon festival is that it is very difficult to make it realistic and well detailed. So we decided to make only a head, and the image that we chose made it rather risky because we decided to build it on the diagonal of the site, and with the direction not from bottom to top, but from top to bottom. Initially, we transferred the image to a large scale grid, and day-after-day we measured each corner by a millimeter, this allowed us to create an accurately scaled wireframe structure. 
In total, the creating of this figure took us around two weeks. It was precisely calibrated and meticulous work on each line and every corner of the figure that gave such a realistic result in the end. We are very happy that we decided to do it and we believe that at the moment it is the pinnacle of our career. I would like to express my gratitude to all members of our team: Dmitry Novikov, Vadim Shushkanov, Vadim Nesterenko, Olga Nesterenko, Armen Yegshatyan."
The picture of the complete Drogon head can be seen above and in greater detail on the video.

It is always an absolute joy and pleasure to attend the Moscow Balloon Festival. Seeing in excess of thirty large sculptures in one room is awe-inspiring! The level of design, creativity, and skill is truly breath-taking! I love how each team embraces the competition categories, and different members of the team take on lead roles in each of these categories. The fashion show is one of my personal highlights; not only are the costumes pure works of art that demonstrate an incredible skillset, the designs and models are also choreographed to music, which makes the show even more exciting!

My role at the festival was to share some of my design ideas and to showcase the magnificent range of Qualatex balloons to the delegates. Here are a few of the designs that I demonstrated:

"Selling the Dream" Tropical Balloon Wall by Sue Bowler, CBA
"Selling the Dream" Tropical Balloon Wall by Sue Bowler, CBA

Valentines Design by Sue Bowler
Valentines Designs by Sue Bowler

International Woman's Day - March 8th by Sue Bowler
International Woman's Day - March 8th by Sue Bowler

Halloween Surprise Box design by Sue Bowler
Halloween Surprise Box design by Sue Bowler

A huge congratulations to the organisers, Europa Uno Trade and all those involved for another tremendous event! 

Happy Ballooning! 



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