Kings Langley balloon artist secures silver medal in world championships

Watford Observer: Watford balloon artist secures silver medal in world championships Watford balloon artist secures silver medal in world championships

A Kings Langley woman has won a Silver achievement award at the World Balloon Convention in Denver.

Joanne Dunne, 41, who lives in Coniston Road, Kings Langley, was part of the 11 person team who successfully built a Red Arrow using 30,000 balloons.

The mother-of-three represented Great Britain in the large sculpture and balloon hat competitions.

The GB team had just 27 hours to build the entire structure, which was designed by Mike and Sara Harris and were not allowed to do any preparation work for the event.

The team eventually finished second behind Russia.

She said: "It was a really emotional journey for all of us. The team had never met before, we’d not done any pre-work beforehand, so it was like let’s just give it a go and see what we can do, it was very much on the day and to achieve that, we were really proud because the other countries were groups of people who had worked together time and time again."

In the balloon hat competition, Dunne praised the standard of work on show.

She said: "The standard was so high; I’ve never seen work like it. I didn’t come anywhere, but I’m really pleased that I went forward and put myself under that little bit of pressure and competed. I definitely know for next time what I’m up against.

The 41 year-old added: "For me personally, I’m only scratching at the surface of what is actually there and what can be achieved through balloons and I definitely want to emulate some of the things I’ve seen."

As well as being a qualified balloon artist with Qualatex, the organisation who hold the World Balloon Covention, Joanne Dunne is also a face-painter and children’s magician.

Mrs Dunne, who moved to Watford when she was six months old, attended Kingsway Junior School in Watford before going to Langleybury.

The mother-of three, who wants to set up her own balloon décor business, believes her experiences at the World Balloon Convention are the perfect catalyst.

She said: "It’s just spurred me on to do more of what I want to do, which is the balloon decor."

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