Corkscrew Balloon I: Construction

Here is how the Corkscrew Balloon I was brought into existence. These photos, taken at the balloon factory, show the construction process. Click to expand them!

The artist fills in all of the colors for each panel on the balloon, and she sketches in the corkscrew design. Here, she is pointing to the production work sheet for the first balloon. She would normally work from a sketch like the one lying there, in anticipation of it being the one for the second balloon.
This information is then loaded into a computer. The computer creates the huge templates that are used for cutting the fabric for the balloon. It also generates the art work.
This shows me holding a transparency that was used to make one of the five corkscrew designs on the balloon. In the foreground is a partial view of the artist's sketch for Corkscrew Balloon I.
The paper templates in the cutting room are overlayed with balloon fabric.
The panels are bundled and sent to those who do the sewing.
The panels and gores are sewn by teams assigned to each balloon.
Then they sew some more, just to be sure!
Usually, several balloons are in various stages of production at any one time.

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