Balloon Chat

Uncategorized Boards => The "Star" Interview => Topic started by: G L Admin on March 31, 2008, 11:57:26 PM

Title: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: G L Admin on March 31, 2008, 11:57:26 PM
Have just confirmed that Ralph has agreed to be our star interviewer for a week,
7th to 13th April.
If you have any questions for him please post and Ralph will log on throughout the week to answer them.

Graham Lee
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: cashmagic on April 01, 2008, 08:05:10 AM
Hello Mr Dewey

when did you start twisting? and what made you get in to it?
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Graham Lee on April 05, 2008, 06:17:59 PM
Could I please ask you all to start posting some questions for Ralph as he will be logging on on Monday to hopefully answer them, Thanks.

Graham Lee
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Dave on April 05, 2008, 07:52:40 PM
what is the biggest model you ever made?
Do you have any advice for twisters starting out or trying to increase their business?
Have you always used balloons to entertain and educate?
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Professor T Wist on April 05, 2008, 07:56:44 PM
Ralph what is your favourite thing to make and what is the most asked for thing for you to make ?
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Graham Lee on April 05, 2008, 10:36:23 PM
Ralph,

After all these years balloon modelling how do you keep the enthusiasm going?

Graham Lee
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Petra on April 06, 2008, 08:48:05 AM
Hi Ralph,

we've met in Belgium a couple of weeks ago (I was one of the girls who game in mutch to late!!)
I liked you lecture and was wondering if you improved the little car you designed there.

Can I post a picture of it in the cars topic?

Petra
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Billy Bongo on April 06, 2008, 11:54:27 AM
Hi ralph,

Are you a full time baloonist or do you have another job?

Norm
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Fuzzy on April 07, 2008, 12:11:40 PM
Hi Ralph

Thanks for sharing at the workshop last month.

Question for you.

You have been bending all day, packing up then member of the public comes up asking for a Balloon.

What do do you do?

Fuzz
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 07, 2008, 12:57:04 PM
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 07, 2008, 01:22:29 PM
It depends upon the situation.  
If I can make them a balloon animal without a new line forming again, I try to do it.  This is especially true if they have a special situation or sob story as to why they need a balloon.  I try to accommodate them if possible.  At quiting time if there are lots of kids hanging around sometimes I have the child and their mum follow me to a location where we are not being in public view.  Then I can make the child a balloon animal.
In cases where I need to be somewhere else, I'm more firm about not making "just one more" balloon.  The best way to finish is to have someone who is in charge announce that I'm finished and that I need to go to my next job.
In my early years, If I was paid to twist until 2PM, for example, I quit on time even if I had kids still in a line.  Sometimes that caused kids to cry, hard feelings and parents complaining to the event organizer.  That was not the way to handle it.  I learned that I needed to leave in a positive way, if possible.
Dewey
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 07, 2008, 01:33:06 PM
Quote from: "cashmagic"
Hello Mr Dewey

when did you start twisting? and what made you get in to it?


I started twisting balloons on church busses as an incentive for kids to come to church.  I thought about using magic tricks at first.  However, with kids all around me I knew it would expose the tricks.  Balloon animals were the perfect solution.  I marked the balloons with slogans like, "Hope to it, get saved." on a rabbit or "Don't horse around, accept Jesus." on a horse.
Dewey
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 07, 2008, 01:52:02 PM
Quote from: "Dave"
what is the biggest model you ever made?
Do you have any advice for twisters starting out or trying to increase their business?
Have you always used balloons to entertain and educate?


I was a room designer for two of the Balloon Manor events in Rochester, NY.  One of my designs was a Scary-Go-Round.  I had some helpers work on it with me, but they might qualify as the largest model.

My advice is that you attend all of the workshops, jams and conventions that you can.  Also buy all of the DVD's and books that you can.  The more education and exposure to balloon styles and designs, the better you will become.  And as you get better, your talents will be more in demand as well.  And translates into more money for you.

I started twisting about 1975 and pretty much from the beginning I saw the potential for using balloons to teach ideas and lessons.  And I still do.  Probably the most gratifying part of balloon art for me is it being an outlet for expressing my creativity.
Dewey
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 07, 2008, 01:59:51 PM
Quote from: "Professor T Wist"
Ralph what is your favourite thing to make and what is the most asked for thing for you to make ?



Over the years, my favourite thing has changed.  One that I still use and like is the swan that lays an egg.  It is quick, easy to make and has a surprise at the end.  Currently I like my Chinese Dragon hat.  It isn't a quick design, but it looks very cool.

It's funny about what gets requested.  What is popular seems to change depending upon the venue.  One time I started making mermaids and for the rest of my gig, mostly I made mermaids.  I soon ran out of the right colours yet they still wanted mermaids.  I tend to like designs that are fairly quick, yet look good.
Dewey
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 07, 2008, 02:13:33 PM
Quote from: "Graham Lee"
Ralph,

After all these years balloon modelling how do you keep the enthusiasm going?

Graham Lee


I have to admit that I have periods where I seldom twist balloons.  Then I get inspired by something I see, balloon photos posted on BalloonHQ or models I see at a convention.  Then I start playing with the balloons again.  Every time I attend a workshop or convention, I come home with lots of inspiration and germs of ideas.  Then I have a flurry of several days where I am trying new looks, concepts and techniques.  I keep being motivated by because when I use my creativity, I get rewarded with a new design.  That makes it fun and exciting.  I also have carved out my own path in the balloon community.  For example, I seldom do "line" work anymore.  To me that's too much like being a balloon vending machine.  I have gravitated toward activities where I can be creative.  That helps me keep my passion for balloon art.
Dewey
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 07, 2008, 02:19:47 PM
Quote from: "Petra"
Hi Ralph,

we've met in Belgium a couple of weeks ago (I was one of the girls who game in mutch to late!!)
I liked you lecture and was wondering if you improved the little car you designed there.

Can I post a picture of it in the cars topic?

Petra


Hello Petra,
I'm still tweaking on the car design, but yes you can post a picture.  I posted a photo of it on BalloonHQ's photo page and I called it a Lady bug (Lady Bird to you) or a Doodle bug car.  I still haven't solved the hubcap design.  By the way, that is one of the keys to being creative, keep tweaking your designs until you get it just the way you want it.
Dewey
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 07, 2008, 02:34:03 PM
Quote from: "Billy Bongo"
Hi ralph,

Are you a full time baloonist or do you have another job?

Norm

Hello Norm,
For lots of years I had a full-time job and did balloon work on the side.  Now that I'm retired I have lots more time to do balloon activities.  Mostly I teach at workshops and conventions.
Dewey
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: cashmagic on April 07, 2008, 07:42:02 PM
have you got any more planes to do any more dvds?and if so what is likey to be in them?
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: bickers on April 07, 2008, 08:52:12 PM
You said to keep tweaking designs - have you ever tweaked one so much that it became far too complicated to make? Or have you ever tweaked one a few times and when you came back to it felt that your original design was better?
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Wim on April 07, 2008, 10:07:56 PM
Hi Ralph, we met in Belgium three weeks ago (do you remember the Dutch guy who was exited when he did a deep hook twist while you were already showing another model?... yep, that was me....)
You showed a Indian hat that turned into a (Belgium) mosquito that turned into the egg laying swan. Sadly I didn't took notes and made no picture but can you tell me, the second bubble (not the egg) was that a pinchtwist?I really cannot remember it.

I tried to make the thing again but somehow it was not as good as the one you showed...
And I want to take  this opportunity to thank you again for the great workshop, you inspired me a lot. Thanks!

Wim
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Dave on April 07, 2008, 10:08:58 PM
do you still perform magic?
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 08, 2008, 01:22:46 PM
Quote from: "cashmagic"
have you got any more planes to do any more dvds?and if so what is likey to be in them?

Books sell easier because of their lower price, but are harder to produce.  It takes a lot of time and effort to write the text and draw the graphics.  On the other hand, DVD's take a few hours to shoot.  The editing and jacket design does take some work, but I have that done by my video guys.  The big drawback is the upfront money that I have to invest in order to get my cost per DVD low enough.  I don't have a timetable for producing them, but here are some possible future topics.  
Making balloon caricatures and faces.
Balloon Flowers.
More Gospel Balloon Routines.
Professional Balloon Secrets & Techniques.
Balloons Designs That Transform.

Dewey
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 08, 2008, 01:29:15 PM
Quote from: "bickers"
You said to keep tweaking designs - have you ever tweaked one so much that it became far too complicated to make? Or have you ever tweaked one a few times and when you came back to it felt that your original design was better?

One of the secrets for developing your balloon creativity is "perpetual tweaking."  A few times I have tweaked and it led in a direction that was too difficult to make consistently.  Then I had to back off.  That has been rare.  Mostly the tweaking has led to a better design.
Dewey
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 08, 2008, 01:35:28 PM
Quote from: "Wim"
Hi Ralph, we met in Belgium three weeks ago (do you remember the Dutch guy who was exited when he did a deep hook twist while you were already showing another model?... yep, that was me....)
You showed a Indian hat that turned into a (Belgium) mosquito that turned into the egg laying swan. Sadly I didn't took notes and made no picture but can you tell me, the second bubble (not the egg) was that a pinchtwist?I really cannot remember it.

I tried to make the thing again but somehow it was not as good as the one you showed...
And I want to take  this opportunity to thank you again for the great workshop, you inspired me a lot. Thanks!

Wim

That design is called the Swan that Lays an Egg.  The #260 is tied off leaving a 1-1/2" nozzle.  Then I inflate that into a 2" bubble and tie it off.  That bubble becomes the egg.  Then I twist off another 2" bubble.  That is the bubble that later gets popped to release the egg.
Dewey
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 08, 2008, 01:39:21 PM
Quote from: "Dave"
do you still perform magic?

I like the easy and self-working type of magic.  I still perform it now and then.  About 7 years ago I decided to concentrate on my strongest talent, balloon twisting.  So other things that I do, clowning, magic, chalk talks, juggling and other skills have not gone away.  They have just taken a back seat.
Dewey
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Dave on April 08, 2008, 06:07:01 PM
What's chalk talk?
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 09, 2008, 01:08:55 PM
Quote from: "Dave"
What's chalk talk?

A chalk talk is a cartoon-style drawing presented to an audience which has a surprise ending.  In other words, a short talk using a chalk board.  That is how it got it's name, but now it is done with a marker.  So I use an easel with large sheets of paper and a marker to make simple line drawings.  One example is where I draw an axe.  I talk about how you wouldn't let your children play with something a dangerous as an axe.  Then I add some more lines and it is a train on some tracks.  Then I mention that we should "train" up our children in the proper ways to keep them out of trouble.  I sometimes use them in my stage programs to add entertainment, but mostly I use them with a gospel message for shows in churches.
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Graham Lee on April 10, 2008, 12:11:18 PM
Ralph,

A couple of questions;

1, What would you say has been your proudest achievment in our wonderful world of twisted latex?
or do you have several.

2, If you could start all over again, would you change anything?

Graham Lee
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 10, 2008, 04:22:35 PM
Quote from: "Graham Lee"
Ralph,

A couple of questions;

1, What would you say has been your proudest achievment in our wonderful world of twisted latex?
or do you have several.

2, If you could start all over again, would you change anything?

Graham Lee

Question 1:  It is difficult to point to just one thing so I'll name off several.  I was the first recipient (2005) of the David Grist Memorial Award.  In 2004 at the Millennium Jam I received the "Lifetime of Sharing the Magic of Balloons" award.  I'm grateful that I've been instrumental in the growth of gospel balloons as a way to communicate the Good News about Jesus Christ.  I was proud that Kevin Dewey, my grandson, made history by being the youngest (10 years old) instructor at a major balloon convention last January.  I had to do a lot of tudoring and encouraging in order for him to meet that challenge.  We are both proud of that accomplishment.  Giving out my annual Balloon Excellence Awards to deserving twisters has been a very positive event for me.  I was glad to be on the team for the world record balloon project that was constructed in 2000 at the Millennium Jam in Mol, Belgium.  I'm also glad to be part of a community of twister who are so willing to share ideas.  

Question 2: In my early days I was too concerned about being the fastest and best balloon twister on the planet.  Too often I tried to impress people with complex and fancy models.  As time went on and maturity kicked in, I modified my goals.  Now my balloon art and activities are more about creating ideas and sharing them with other twisters.  So even though I'm retired from my regular full-time job, I seldom take typical twister jobs.  I prefer to spend my time and energy teaching at workshops and conventions.  To me I get pleasure from helping other twisters become even better twisters.  And if they surpass me in ability, that's okay with me.  Another rewarding part of what I do is using my creativity to develop new and interesting ideas.  In fact, I've started working on a book that explains how someone can become a top twister by improving their balloon creativity.
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Dave on April 10, 2008, 04:41:57 PM
It's difficult to see all publications on each artist and when I saw you at Grahams care and share (which I got a lot from and enjoyed meeting you) you had loads of books I hadn't seen before, I was wondering if you could list them?
Congratulations to Kevin Dewey look forward to seeing his lecture sometime.
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 10, 2008, 10:57:44 PM
Quote from: "Dave"
It's difficult to see all publications on each artist and when I saw you at Grahams care and share (which I got a lot from and enjoyed meeting you) you had loads of books I hadn't seen before, I was wondering if you could list them?
Congratulations to Kevin Dewey look forward to seeing his lecture sometime.

Not all of my 28 books are on balloons, so I'll just list the balloon ones.  They all start with Dewey's so I'll leave off that part.
New Balloon Animals
Basic Balloon Sculpturing Course
Balloon & Clown Notebook
Gospel Balloon Routines #1, 2, 3, 4 & 5
Rubber Rascals
Mammoth Multiple Balloons
Extra Easy Balloons
Amusing Rubber Antics  (this one was an acrostic for DARA, my daughter.)
Zany Balloons
Celebrity Balloons
Balloon Anomalies
Wild Balloon Hats

You can see all of them on my web page.
http://home.flash.net/~balloonz/dewey.htm (http://home.flash.net/~balloonz/dewey.htm)

I'm not sure if Kevin will keep doing balloons, because he is beginning to like magic these days.
Dewey
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Graham Lee on April 11, 2008, 01:07:58 AM
Ralph,

Your more than welcome to plug & list your DVD's as well.

Graham Lee
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 11, 2008, 01:56:36 PM
Quote from: "Graham Lee"
Ralph,

Your more than welcome to plug & list your DVD's as well.

Graham Lee

Here is my list of DVD's.
Dewey's Balloon Jamboree
Dewey's Basic Balloon Animals
Dewey's Favorite Gospel Balloon Routines
Dewey's Advanced Balloon Animals
Dewey's Hat Factory
Dewey's: Born to Twist
Dewey's Restaurant Balloons

You can find them with descriptions on my web page at:
http://home.flash.net/~balloonz/videos.htm (http://home.flash.net/~balloonz/videos.htm)
You can also purchase many of my books and DVD's from IBS in Belgium.

Dewey
Title: Gospel Balloons
Post by: Stevie_Babe on April 11, 2008, 07:14:27 PM
Hi Ralph,

this is so exciting. I started doing Gospel clowning at a kids church we were running at the time because I found out about it through both you & another book. I've stopped that now. I have to say that your routines were really good.

Now I go round schools presenting gospel in a unique way (I won't go into it here) I saw someone do the jonah & whale story using a balloon I don't know if it was yours. But it blew me away. Now I'm interested in doing it with balloons.

Ok, ok, here's the  question. Can I get your gospel DVD's (I prefer to books) over here in UK. Also I would like to attend one of your jams (not jelly  :roll: ) how do I find out about when & where you are going to be next?
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Thelma Levett on April 11, 2008, 11:01:11 PM
Hello Ralph,
It was nice to meet you the other week and I did enjoy your lecture.  Are you finding the downturn in the economy has had any effect on the amount of work you are getting or in the expenses.  I have noticed here that enquiries for family birthday parties have dropped although the work for community projects has not.  How are you finding things over there in the States?
Title: Re: Gospel Balloons
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 12, 2008, 05:07:46 AM
Quote from: "Stevie_Babe"
Hi Ralph,

this is so exciting. I started doing Gospel clowning at a kids church we were running at the time because I found out about it through both you & another book. I've stopped that now. I have to say that your routines were really good.

Now I go round schools presenting gospel in a unique way (I won't go into it here) I saw someone do the jonah & whale story using a balloon I don't know if it was yours. But it blew me away. Now I'm interested in doing it with balloons.

Ok, ok, here's the  question. Can I get your gospel DVD's (I prefer to books) over here in UK. Also I would like to attend one of your jams (not jelly  :roll: ) how do I find out about when & where you are going to be next?

The Jonah & the whale was probably my routine.  Of course there may be other versions of it going around too.  Currently I only have the one Gospel Balloon DVD.  IBS carries some of my books and DVDs.   If they are out, you can contact me via email to order them.
http://home.flash.net/~balloonz/news.htm (http://home.flash.net/~balloonz/news.htm)

There is a possibility that I'll be lecturing somewhere in the UK next year.  Keep checking my schedule to see when and where it will be.
Dewey
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 12, 2008, 05:25:41 AM
Quote from: "Thelma Levett"
Hello Ralph,
It was nice to meet you the other week and I did enjoy your lecture.  Are you finding the downturn in the economy has had any effect on the amount of work you are getting or in the expenses.  I have noticed here that enquiries for family birthday parties have dropped although the work for community projects has not.  How are you finding things over there in the States?

Hello Thelma,
It was great meeting you and the other twisters as well.  By the way, on BalloonHQ your dog design should appear in May in my column.  Thanks again for sharing it with the balloon community.

My area (Houston, Texas) doesn't seem to be lacking for balloon work.  However, the increases in gasoline prices has impacted travel a lot.  I'm not sure about other areas of the USA as far as demand for twisters.  I haven't heard on the BalloonHQ email list that other areas are suffering yet.
Dewey
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Graham Lee on April 13, 2008, 11:07:17 AM
I would just like to thank Ralph for taking the time this week to log on & answer questions from the members of balloon chat.
I enjoyed reading Ralph's replies, made it a very nice thread.
Very much appreciated.

Graham Lee
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Dave on April 13, 2008, 11:30:01 AM
Thank you Ralph for taking the time to be interviewed, I got a lot from it and look forward to meeting you again :)  8-)
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: PrinCeSs on April 13, 2008, 12:57:34 PM
Are those price from ur webbie in USD or pound?
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Stevie_Babe on April 13, 2008, 03:15:41 PM
Thanks for that Ralph.

God Bless.
Steve
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: cashmagic on April 13, 2008, 03:57:37 PM
thank you :D
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Professor T Wist on April 13, 2008, 09:02:15 PM
Many thanks Ralph for taking the time to answer our questions, it was great reading and very informative. :D

Also I would like to say thanks to Graham for comng up with the idea and getting it going  :D
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: bickers on April 14, 2008, 05:07:17 PM
Yes thanks Ralph - very informative!  :D
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Smiggle on April 15, 2008, 09:29:47 AM
Thanks Ralph - very enlightening - I shall be looking out for your visit next year
Title: Re: Ralph Dewey Interview 7/13th April
Post by: Ralph Dewey on April 16, 2008, 03:24:05 AM
Quote from: "Graham Lee"
I would just like to thank Ralph for taking the time this week to log on & answer questions from the members of balloon chat.
I enjoyed reading Ralph's replies, made it a very nice thread.
Very much appreciated.

Graham Lee

Hello UK Twisters,
Thanks for allowing me to be part of your group.  I enjoyed being interviewed and had a good time chatting with my twister friends.  Now I've got to get busy and come up with some new balloon creations to teach the next time around.  And my thanks to Graham Lee for facilitating the whole thing.
May God bless you.
Dewey