Articles

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When you combine a love for nineteenth-century literature with a love for kites, some interesting things happen. As I began researching nineteenth-century kite literature, I realized that there was preciously little material on the subject, even though nineteenth-century stories involving kites abounded.
  • About a year ago, at the Cervia Volante kite festival in Italy, I was lucky enough to bump into one of my favorite kite people; Carl Robertshaw.
  • Harry and Charlie Thuillier are two brothers from the United Kingdom. This August they decided to kite buggy along the coastline of Brazil from Natal to Jericoacoara. They did it without vehicle support, without being able to speak Portuguese, and having only had one lesson in kite buggying. Harry takes up the story…
  • One of the first archival discussions at the Drachen Foundation came from original board member Martin Lester. It was about a rather small and nondescript canvas tube with several surprises inside: a survival kite that was meant to be launched with a flare gun, automatically opening and becoming a rigid, winged-box kite. Additionally, closer inspection of the canvas tube revealed a sophisticated line-management system that encapsulated the flying line in the walls of the tube.
  • With a festival that has run for over thirty years, one that emphasizes the worldwide cultural importance of kites, it is appropriate that Dieppe, France is front-and-center as a kite festival that must be seen. But this year, at Dieppe, a more powerful legacy of kites was found six blocks from the flying site. It was the wonderful collection of Robert Devautour kites in an exhibition organized by Thierry Nénot. Here were two generations of Dieppe kite builders, fliers, and researchers, bound to each other and to the rich history of French kite making.
  • In November 2009, I was included in an email that reported the discovery of a kite that was shaped like a bird. It was Mr. Bernhard Dingwerths from Kassel, Germany who sent out this email. He asked the receivers of this email: ”What should I do with it?” Bernard was directly aware of the fact that he found a unique kite, of which only a few are preserved.
  • ML: HOW DID YOU INITIALLY MEET HEATHER AND IVAN MORISON? CR: I was contacted by Ivan Morison in September of 2008. He also contacted Cameron Balloons. He was looking into the feasibility of flying either a hot air balloon or large kite, shaped like a meteor, that could be flown over the city for the Venice Biennale. WHAT STRUCK YOU ABOUT THEIR IDEAS THAT MADE YOU WANT TO COLLABORATE?
  • In 2001, Achim and Sabine Kinter, supported by Drachen Foundation, organized the 1st Historical Kite Workshop in Haltern, Germany. Since then, this event has taken place every year in Germany or in The Netherlands. It is always organized by different people without any kind of fixed structure or an elected committee. The 10th Historical Kite Workshop took place in Stade, a small town close to Hamburg, Germany, on April 23-25, 2010. The event was organized by Werner Luehmann, Ralf Maserski, and Holm Struck. FRIDAY