Cos recently featured the very cool, very whimsical furniture by Seoul-based designer Seung Jin Yang that appears to be made of the kind of twistable balloons used to entertain kids. Inspired by childhood memories, his furniture grew out of his exploration of blowing up and shaping balloons into unique objects. OMG, we thought, could we make furniture out of balloons?
We immediately went on the hunt for the raw materials — fat sausage-like twistable balloons — to discover that the kind commonly sold for kid’s use are pretty small, about 2 inches thick by 4 or 5 feet. Deep research led to the discovery of a chart of escalating sizes for what are known as “Entertainer Balloons”, with the fattest being the 660B or 646Q.
Those fatties inflate to about 6 inches wide and 46 inches long, big enough to twist into life-size shapes. We found them at Amazon, along with a hand pump. YESSSS!
Then we read that having made such cool shapes out of the unstable material —the balloon — Seung Jin Yang had embarked on a years-long process to create balanced structures and rigid textures out of them.
…Seung Jin has tried multiple methods to increase the quality of craft from balloons that are highly unstable. A series of trials resulted in… a solid piece of furniture or objet made with eight layers of epoxy. Multiple layers of coating brings not only solidity but also glass-like glossy surface and texture to the piece.
By displaying the process of transforming undefined and fragile balloons into a solid piece of furniture, Seung Jin shares the pleasure of identifying unexpectedness in an ordinary material turning into another with the very opposite qualities.
Yang has a compelling little video on his website showing the process of making the balloon structures. (Click the arrow > to view)
Even though making furniture out of balloons may be a bit impractical, seeing Yang’s work has inspired us to play with Entertainer Balloons. (We’re totally inspired by Yang’s balloon light…)
The smaller balloons might make swell doll furniture. There are MANY YouTube videos showing how to use them to make balloon crowns, hats, guns, flowers, animals, elephants, fishing poles, parrots, bow and arrows, monkeys, butterflies, tortoises, airplanes, swans, teddy bears, heart wands…
Gustavo will show you the gist (try sound off):