Articles

  • The names of the places where Wilbur and Orville Wright made history are familiar to people everywhere who know and cherish the story of the invention of the airplane. The brothers tested their first kite/glider at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1900, then shifted their seasonal camp four miles south to the Kill Devils Hills, where they flew from 1901 to 1903. They perfected their invention at Huffman Prairie, eight miles east of Dayton, in 1904 and 1905, and opened their flying field there in 1910.
  • A Review of: Kites, The Art of Using Natural Materials by John Browning Culicidae Press, 2015
  • I have to admit, over 30 years after my first American Kitefliers Association (AKA) Convention in 1983, I still get excited to attend this annual event. My schedule conspired to give me only three days at this year’s edition, held in Enid, Oklahoma. In fact, one of those three days was Monday, when the convention hadn’t actually officially started.
  • In taking stock of some of the obscure collectibles in my back room, I ran across this unexpected image: a model-worthy woman retrieving a kite from power lines (top image at left)! It led me to think about my friend, Jose Sainz, who for the last decade or so has worked for San Diego Gas and Electric (Sempra Energy) to put all of these wires underground. One of many reasons for doing so is to keep company personnel from having to do the very thing my German friend is shown doing in the bottom image at left.
  • Introduction by Ali Fujino In 2005 Scott Skinner and I had the good fortune to be a part of a washi paper tour of Japan, organized by the handmade paper goddess Hiromi Katayama. We traveled from Osaka to Kochi visiting traditional handmade paper makers and meeting the families involved.
  • Part I: Making a Go of It My experience with kites began on Coney Island with two female friends of mine, Lee and Julia. We made a beach date – our bags packed with some of the vices of youth (beer, cigarettes) and a handful of kites from the dollar store. I watched as Julia and Lee tried to assemble the kites and then fly them. They came without instructions for assembly. We felt a little inadequate not knowing how to put together such common objects without referring to directions. We tried to figure it out ourselves.
  • In over 25 years of kiting, I have had many opportunities to write about kite personalities as part of my job for the Drachen Foundation. With each opportunity, I have been both charmed and bemused, as I have learned so much more about individuals I thought I already knew.
  • I grew up on a kite field. Several days, weeks, and even months of my childhood were spent with Eddys, edos, box kites, rokkakus, stunt kites, Chinese dragons, and sode-dakos (to name a few). Kites have taken me to locations across the United States and beyond; I’ve flown a kite above the Great Wall of China, among the hustle and bustle of London, and on a cow pasture in Thailand. These kite excursions with my father have given me a world of cultural knowledge, a lifetime of fun experiences and memories, and colorful acquaintances such as Dave Gomberg, Peter Lynn, and Modegi-san.
  • One of the highlights of last year’s “Tako Kichi: Kites of Japan” exhibition at Santa Fe’s Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA) was a beautiful display of miniature kites by Nobuhiko Yoshizumi. The exhibit, curated by Japanese kite collector and aficionado David Kahn, and featuring many of the kites from his massive collection, was a comprehensive survey of the kites of Japan and included several 100-plus-year-old kites, large paper koi no bori (fish kites), and many ukiyo-e (a genre of Japanese woodblock prints).
  • For twenty years I have been taking low-level aerial photographs using cameras lofted by kites. Considering the abundant buzz about drones these days, kite aerial photography (KAP) might seem a bit anachronistic. Indeed, kites were used for aerial photography long before the airplane was invented. However old, they remain a very practical platform for aerial photography in the current day. As my work in kite aerial photography matured, the technique led to topics, relationships, and communities that have been richly rewarding.