Articles

  • For two years in the 1960s I was the assistant to Benjamin Thompson, the Chairman of the Department of Architecture at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard. Each spring the students held a Beaux Arts weekend which included a Kite Flight on the banks of the Charles River. There were elaborate and beautiful kites and silly prizes. It occurred to me at the time that the Kite Flight could be expanded to both sides of the river and hundreds of people could participate.
  • Art has been in my life for as long as I can remember. It existed in basic forms of imagery and objects viewed by people, admired in museums, and bought and sold in galleries. As a child, I was always drawing but would never have called myself an artist. Artists were almost mythical creatures in my eyes: men and women of museum and gallery legend. I, on the other hand, was always exploring nature and science. For me, representing the physical world through art was a way of better understanding its functions and processes.
  • Whether he likes it or not, Dr. Jeff Cain and I are forever linked by our fanciful (some would say, stunning) cover photo on American Kite Magazine in winter 1990. It was probably our common home state of Colorado that put our two very different kites on that cover, but it was obvious to all who met Jeff that he would rise to great heights in our passion. In fact, shortly after this photo and after another wonderful kite replica (this one of the Langley Flying machine), Jeff began flying “real” airplanes.
  • A FASCINATION WITH FLIGHT: GETTING TO KNOW THE MANY FACETS OF MARK REED Everyone’s personal history can either be crafted by the individual or someone else. I like the idea of having it crafted by someone else, as it creates a larger circle of interest, liberal interpretation, and “the thing that makes one a legend.” In this Discourse, I thought it would be fun to do an article that continues the 20th anniversary theme. I looked around in the kite industry, and who did I find?
  • It’s time to reflect on twenty years of the Drachen Foundation and talk about some of the moments that have made us proud. Before doing that, let me take a moment to thank three people who made the Foundation what it is. First, my wife Sherry, who agreed so many years ago to let me pursue this passion and then participated in funding the organization through its history. Sherry was nice enough to let me travel the globe while she managed kids, dogs, and household emergencies. Without Sherry’s support, the Drachen Foundation would have remained nothing but a dream.
  • Like all stories, there is a beginning and an end. This one has a definite beginning, and hopefully there is no end. In our 20th year anniversary, we wanted to celebrate those things in our history which made Drachen special. For me, it is one person, Scott Skinner.
  • A hobby and sport in the West and a religious celebration in the East, kiting became international in the last two decades through increased global travel and because the internet made verbal connections fast and easy. Intelligent patronage by the Drachen Foundation helped these developments significantly.
  • I was trained to be an observer of life; to find those incidents and experiences that influence people to the point of action. This delightful blog of how this kite came to be is the direct result of individuals who were inspired by something they saw; a wonderful kite by Texas Tech University art educator and artist Betty Street. Betty’s art was done with the passion of her past, patchwork quilting and textiles, using these motifs to make kites that flew.
  •  My fascination with kites stems from the way they capture light as they move in the wind. My own work has developed primarily in handmade paper, and I have yet to design my own kite, but I recently found a book on my shelf that I’d had since childhood called “Drachen Basteln” (Craft Kites) which I must have purchased or been gifted when my family lived in Germany for a year when I was sixteen.
  •  Introduction by Ali Fujino