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The Best Tip/Trick I Ever Learned From a Fellow Instructor

A Latin Proverb states, “In learning you will teach. In teaching you will learn.” This quote certainly rings true for Qualatex instructors! Read on to find out what some of the world’s top balloon instructors learned from each other while teaching.


This is a tip I got from Luc Bertrand from Belgium: Use a funnel to hold a 3' balloon on top of an outdoor column. It was one of those "duh" moments. Why didn't I think of it!

Jill Shortreed, CBA

Luc Bertrand, CBA:

Luc Bertrand headshot“This tip came from Hyun-gu Park AKA “Beating” from South Korea:
When one wants to make 2 pinch twists, it is better to make 2 small bubbles. Now twist the beginning of the first to the end of the second (keep hold of the neck!). Start to make 2 pinch twists by turning the bubbles in the middle, but do not continue. Take the neck that you still held and turn this a few times around that middle. Done…EASY! It may seem like nothing to many until tried. It sure made my life a lot easier as I use that for every twist in any figure.”

Sue Bowler, CBA:

Sue Bowler headshot"Probably one of the best things that I have learned from a fellow instructor was how to twist a 260Q! After quite a few years of telling myself that I would never be able to work with 260s or other modelling balloons I decided whilst I was at an event that I would have another go! The instructor was the lovely late David Grist. David was a UK instructor. David was a gentle and very patient man who explained so well how to twist a 260Q without it popping! He taught me that you should always remove the tension from the latex, by removing a little air before tying and squeezing the balloon before twisting - very simple tip, but something that I did not know and it certainly gave me the confidence that I was looking for.

I have loved learning from Zoe Adam-Jones from JAZ Trading in Australia. Zoe has shared some wonderful tips and advice when working with CANVA and photo editing tools! She made a very helpful online tutorial where she explains how to use CANVA, after watching that I became hooked and use CANVA all the time now."

View Zoe's CANVA tutorial


I love how Dante Longhi in the USA opens his bags of latex balloons. Rather than ripping them open, he uses scissors and cuts a "U" in the top of the bag. This leaves you with two "handles" on each side of the bag to make it easy to tie them back up for storage.

Keith Stirman, CBA

Alberto Falcone, CBA:

Alberto Falcone headshot

“Learning is the first step to teach. There is no good teacher who is not a good student.

The art of learning materializes when we are able to pass on what we have learned. Just learning for oneself does nothing but increase our ego but does not become useful for any community or relationship.

Linda Bruce. At the time I met her I was at my first experiences as an instructor. Concentrated on my techniques and on my language difficulties. In other words: I was there but only for myself. Looking at Linda, I understood a great lesson: she was totally at the service of the delegate. She knew how to put anyone at ease and his explanations were simple and direct.

The same qualities that I can find today in Sue Bowler.

Sue Bowler. In addition to the aforementioned, I add: refinement and meticulous care in the application of design rules.

Fabrice Bolzoni. One day, we were teaching together in Israel, he told me that the compositions are like wine, you have to let them decant a little and let the delegates taste them before going on to the next one. He was right.

Luc Bertrand. His analytical approach, from the architect he is, taught me to experiment more. If you want safe answers on the physical mechanics of the balloons there is no one better than him.

Finally, but not least, among the best teachers are all the delegates. They are the ones who, with their objections, pose the right doubts, spurring in fact a constant search and consequently a continuous updating.”

Jackie Ochitwa, CBA:

Jackie Ochitwa headshot“One of the best things I learned from Sue Bowler was that in a pinch, you can use Stretchy Balloon Tape to completely and effectively seal a small foil balloon if you've forgotten to put a heat sealer on your equipment request list. Oops.

One of the best things I learned from Luc Bertrand was to bring a box cutter with me to slice my prep balloon boxes in half so I can organize all my product by class and keep everything super organized.

One of the best things I learned from Eve Antonello was how to stretch a 260Q over monofilament to make cute little balloon curls that you can add to so many different designs to add some texture.”

Chris Adamo, CBA:

Chris Adamo headshot“I had a good think on this one. It was about 3 years ago now but I remember I was struggling to create a consistently round organic textured topiary tree (it was for creating little hot air balloon table centrepieces). I called Tina Giunta and she was so quick to help and share her time to explain to me her method. The method was so simple yet it never occurred to me!!! It is through people like Tina and the feeling that I had that day, knowing I can call on someone at any time for advice that encourages me to share and return the favour to the next wave of balloon talent. A year or so later she filmed the method for Qualatex (seen below). You can view a photo of the job I completed with Tina’s advice on my Balloons Online Pinterest account.”

View Tina’s Structured Organic Topiary Tutorial: