Public Lab Research note

Aurora Tang's Balloon Closing Method

by mathew | February 06, 2012 02:13 06 Feb 02:13 | #751 | #751

This is Aurora Tang's method of sealing up her balloons. I think its the best I've seen. It was developed during a project to document Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty with the Getty Institute. She has used it extensively for landscape photography.

Aurora Tang's Closure for Balloons

1) put a cable tie around the balloon neck, holding it in place around the helium nozzle.

2) when balloon is full, pull the balloon neck off nozzle while tightening cable tie.

3) run balloon neck through steel ring and fold back on itself, wrap another cable tie around doubled back balloon neck and tighten.

4) add another cable tie.

These parts are included in the PLOTS balloon kit, only with re-usable cable ties.


This is awesome-- i read about Aurora's work a couple years ago, as I was just starting to balloon map. It's wonderful that you've been able to connect with her!

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I've used 1.5" keyrings instead of solid steel, and it held up to a strong wind and a dunking(!) in Lake Pontchartrain. Shannon has not told me what happened to that camera. but the keyring held fine, and i imagine it is lighter than the steel ring.

Thanks for the picture and post, though.

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Cool. The ring is definitely overkill, but it does work great. I'd really like to move to a smooth nylon ring if possible, but haven't found one the right shape. I think the key ring would make me nervous, but glad to hear it worked.

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