Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

 

How long does it take you to tiedye a balloon?

Anywhere from 6 months, for Gloria (including assembly), to 1 month for Lucy, without assembly.

 

How much does it cost to tiedye a balloon?

It depends on the pattern and the volume. For as little as $1500, we can tiedye a new parachute top for your balloon. A simple row of spirals around the mouth will cost about $4000, while a row of spirals around the equator costs about $8000. A fully spiraled pattern like Gloria will cost about $20,000, while the most complicated pattern, Spiralee, is even more. These prices reflect just the art and do not include the manufacturers cost.

 

Who makes your balloons? 

While Jonathan Wolfe sewed the first two SkyDyes balloons, HaleLucinations was assembled by Aerostar International, and Lucy was built by Lindstrand USA. We will gladly work with the manufacturer of your choice to create the perfect custom artwork for you. 

 

Are SkyDyes balloons Experimental or Commercial?

The first two balloons, Julia and Gloria, are homebuilts and are certified by the FAA as Experimental. The subsequent two balloons are both FAA type-certified Commercial balloons. Both Aerostar and Lindstrand Balloons have conducted extensive fabric testing, including accelerated UV exposure, to determine that our dyeing process does not comprise their fabric’s integrity in any way, and have approved the dyed fabric for inclusion in their balloons.

 

Where can I see your balloons flying?

Julia, Gloria and HaleLucinations all live in Albuquerque NM and they fly at several rallies in the southwest. Lucy lives in Massachussetts, and flies in many east coast rallies. Occasionally we’ll travel farther from home, and once Gloria even flew at the World Balloon Championships in Chatellerault, France. 

 

Do you sell balloon rides?

No. We sell balloons; we give away balloon rides.* How do you get a balloon ride? By crewing with us! Please Contact Us if you’re interested in crewing. Someday we hope to create a giant SkyDyes ride balloon for one of the balloon ride companies so people will be able to hire balloon rides in an art balloon. 

*Actually, we sell art. Technically, SkyDyes is a subcontractor to the balloon company, who is the manufacturer of record. 

Create Your Own

So you have to have one… You’re ready to join one of the world’s most exclusive clubs. You can you handle being the star of the show, and always having the most beautiful balloon wherever you fly. And besides, you have a little money left over that you’d like to invest in something tangible and beautiful.  Let’s talk!

Please Contact Us

The process is relatively straightforward. When designing a balloon for sale, Jonathan Wolfe, the lead designer and artist at SkyDyes works with you and your preferred balloon manufacturer to create a unique custom artwork that reflects your own tastes and desires. Once the design is complete, we sign a contract, and when we receive a 30% down payment, we begin the actual art production. We work with the manufacturer who provides us with the white panels. Our team then begins to spiral and dye the hundreds of meters of balloon fabric for the project. Upon completion of the dyeing, we send the panels back to the manufacturer for assembly. The dyeing generally takes about a month, and the entire process can usually be completed within 3 months. 

How much does it cost? It depends on the pattern and the volume. For as little as $1500, we can tiedye a new parachute top for your balloon. A simple row of spirals around the mouth will cost about $4000, while a row of spirals around the equator costs about $8000. A fully spiraled pattern like Gloria will cost about $20,000, while the most complicated pattern, Spiralee, is even more. These prices reflect just the art and do not include the manufacturer’s cost.


The Crew

A tiedyed balloon is a gigantic project – much larger than any one person can pull off. Both building and flying a balloon requires a large and dedicated crew. Jonathan Wolfe is the lead designer, artist and pilot of Skydyes, but over 20 people helped dye and build Gloria Caeli, and a dedicated crew of 5-6 people worked on the subsequent creations. Additionally we  have a large and colorful crew to help with the flight operations.

 

Are you interested in being part of the SkyDyes crew? Please Contact Us!

Flying Fractals

Look for the future of flying fractal art: the digital, mathematical fractal balloon. 

Using images of the Mandelbrot Set printed on balloon fabric, these will be the largest, highest resolution images ever made. Printed at 100 dpi, the fractal balloons will contain roughly 100 billion pixels, about  the same number of stars as are in our galaxy and as many neurons as are in our brain…

Fractals are infinitely complex, never ending patterns. You will be able to see the same patterns on the balloon from a mile away or a millimeter away. To learn more about fractals, please visit FractalFoundation.org.