Articles

  • Editor’s Note: This tribute to Charlie Sotich captures the importance of the community of kiting. Drachen was honored to work with Marla and Ron Miller to help preserve Charlie’s legacy for generations to come. Examples of his work can be seen at www.drachen.org. Donate to the “Thank You Charlie” Program at www.gofundme.com/ThankYouCharlie. More information about the program should be directed to Marla Miller at kytpepl2@aol.com. Upload your photos of Charlie’s kites to our website at www.drachen.org.
  • You make your residence in Boulder, Colorado. How did you get there, and what’s a day like in Boulder? I moved to Boulder in 1992 when I was hired in a tenure track position in the photography area of the art department at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I had been teaching for about 18 years at that point at a number of universities around the U.S. but could never find a place to stay. I wanted to be in the west and it worked out.
  • Introduction by Ali Fujino Ben was there for Drachen in the early years as the professional writer to research and document the world of kiting. As a world-class traveler, there was no place that Ben wouldn’t go to find a story, documenting the history and culture of kites. (Ben reports that he has visited exactly 84 countries!) It is his journalistic talents that have given the kiting world professional documentation in both written and photographic imagery.
  • There is a whole range of radical, recreational sports dependent upon excellent kite flying skills: kite buggying, snow kiting, hang gliding, and paragliding, to name just a few. One of the fastest growing water sports in the U.S. is foilboarding (also known as hydrofoil kiteboarding), an extreme segment of kiteboarding. In place of a flat kiteboard, picture a small surfboard with a carbon fiber wing attached one meter below it. At speed, the wing lifts the rider and the board a couple of feet above the water, creating a virtual “magic carpet” ride.
  • 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.