The Balloon Artists

The work was created over three days by a team of artists from all over the UK.  Led by four professional in the balloon world.

Details of the Workshop Leaders

Samuel Stamp-Dod, CBA

Samuel Stamp-Dod, CBA

Samuel Stamp-Dod trained as a balloon artist with Qualatex from the late 1990s and gained his CBA (Certified Balloon Artist) qualification in 2005. His company, VIP Balloons is a member of the Qualatex Balloon Network, giving customers the assurity that they deliver a quality product, make ongoing training and education a priority and uphold honourable business practices.

Samuel has won several awards for his balloon art at international competitions and strives to be innovative with his customer’s designs ensuring he delivers the ‘wow factor’.

He has worked in the leisure and tourism industry, as well as the education sector, before turning his ‘hobby job’ of ten years into a full-time career in 2013. As a young adult Samuel worked with Lesley Dophin and Mark Murphy on their Saturday morning programmes at BBC Radio Suffolk as a Radio Production Assistant.

VIP Balloons, based in Ipswich, specialises in creating bespoke balloon décor for all occasions and often will be found making sculptures and personalised designs for clients across the UK

Samuel decided to create ‘Inflated Inspirations’ as he wants to open people’s eyes to how balloons can be used as a medium to create art and cannot wait to see what people’s reactions to the exhibition are.


Natalie Saunders.jpg

Natalie Saunders

Natalie Saunders describes herself as always having been a bit ‘crafty’. Growing up she made everything, jewellery, bridal headdresses, clothes, cakes… you name it, she has done it! Sixteen years ago her friend asked her to decorate her wedding with balloons. She’d never touched a balloon before but gave it a go and realised that she was actually quite good! A few months later she got herself trained as a balloon professional and hasn’t looked back since.

Natalie has been running a successful balloon decorating business, The Balloon Room, in Stevenage for fifteen years and absolutely loves it. She continually goes to new training courses and have recently qualified to teach Balloon Artistry.

Natalie has had the pleasure of working on some amazing jobs, London Fashion Week, Harrods window displays, the Big Brother House as well as big brands like Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

Natalie recently helped on an art exhibition called Cherophobia which was supporting an artist ten feet from the ground with 20,000 latex balloons! Natalie says she is so glad to be involved with Inflated Inspirations project and can’t wait to start.


Mike Hurst, CBA.jpg

Mike Hurst, CBA

Mike entered the balloon almost by accident when his wife felt she needed to add another element to her face painting business. During this addition, she had a job offer that was too good to turn down, and Mike being self-employed started playing with balloons!

In a relatively short career, he has built a home-based business into a small retail shop in Northamptonshire, attended conventions in foreign countries, become a certified balloon artist, travelled to Israel to teach balloon personalisation and will soon be running a class in his home town how to make large scale balloon numbers. He also recently won a competition for deliverable balloon bouquets and will go on to represent the UK in the worldwide final.

Mike enjoys working on large projects and jumped at the chance to be involved in this event and hopes to bring his experience in linking balloons to the exhibition whilst also hopeful of learning new techniques from other balloon artists involved.

lucy hennessy

Lucy Hennessey, CBA

Up until 2013 Lucy taught City & Guild Balloon Display levels 1,2,3 at Capel Manor College and now, as well as running ‘Balloon Power’ she is also an instructor for Qualatex throughout the world.
She has been working with balloon since 2001 and won several awards for her designs and creations including some for her large sculptures at IPS and winning NABAS Decorator of The Year in 2006
Lucy has also been involved with designing some of the décor for the Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Christmas Parties

The Balloon Crew


Graham Laycock of Absolute Balloony
Nicci Gibson of Balloon Bouquets
Jacqueline Allcock of Jacqui’s Balloons
Helen Garrett of Creative Decorations
Helen Martin of Bend it, shape it Balloons
Aimee Smith of Celebrations
Vicki Ward Hibbins of Bishy Balloons


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