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PLEASANT GROVE — A Pleasant Grove man is getting national attention for recreating Bilbo Baggins' home in "The Hobbit" — Bag End — out of balloons.
Jeremy Telford, of Balloon Guy Entertainment, said he has always been a big fan of Tolkein's books and has been looking to do some sort of large-scale project for quite a while.
Three days and 2,600 balloons later, Telford had a respectable looking Hobbit hole.
"The hardest part was my fingers getting raw after the first day," he said. "I woke up the second day and one finger was swollen a little bit, so I couldn't use it all day."
Telford tied 1,300 balloons in just over 15 hours on day one, building the main part of the structure, and another 600 in 14 hours on day two, when he completed the furniture. The rest of the balloons added finishing touches to the project.
Telford's wife composed and played the music in the background of the 5-minute timelapse video he posted on YouTube.
The project remained in Telford's living room for two days after he completed it the last week of September, at which point he set his three children loose on it.
"We let the kids jump all over it, and they just popped it all," he said. "They thought it was cool but they especially liked destroying it."
He said he hasn't undertaken a project of this scale since 2008, when he led a team to create a life-size T. rex skeleton for Thanksgiving Point's birthday celebration. The dinosaur was 45 feet long and 18 feet tall, and although it was smaller than Bag End, he said it took more effort.
"We built every bone within a half-inch accuracy," he said.
The T. rex project was a part of his senior capstone project as a recreation management major at Brigham Young University. Now, four years later, he says what started as a way to put himself through college turned into a career when he realized it wasn't something he was willing to give up. And the projects will keep coming.
"I haven't decided what, but I'm going to do something like this again," Telford said. "It was too much fun not to."