Years of balloon twisting has taught me to listen. Yes. Listen. You need total silence, like a cold winter night when you can hear the ice cracking as the lake below slowly tears at the weakest points. The next day you can see an open patch of water and with each minute that passes, the opening in the ice widens.
Stretched and twisted to its breaking point, the thin layer of latex is transformed into balloon art. Any imperfection in the balloon is like the San Jose fault line. We do not know when it will erupt, but when it does, it is not good.
I sit straining to listen to any squeaks, creaks, or crackles that may reach my ears. If all goes well the balloon art will sit for hours prior to delivery. If a tremor should happen, a squeak will be heard.
Now becomes the game of hide and seek. Where is the leak? Is it at a critical juncture or just an easy fix? No matter where the break in the ice occurs, the sound is not pleasant for the person standing on the ice. The sound of a finished balloon sculpture squeaking in the night sends balloon people running in fright.