Blog Entries

  • An interesting environmental battle is being fought in Utah and kites have become one of the many voices raised to save Steep Mountain.  Steep Mountain, South Mountain, or Point of the Mountain is an iconic landform south of Salt Lake City that, for years has been a popular destination for local outdoor enthusiasts including mountain bikers, hikers, and runners, but is a world-renowned location for hang-glider and paraglider pilots.  Its reputation as the U.S.’s prime spot for paragliding is borne out by the increasing numbers of pilots who come here to earn their flight ratings and then return to enjoy the almost magical winds.  (The mountain formation creates a unique microclimate perfect for the safe pursuit of the sport.  Generally the winds push over the Point toward the Great Salt Lake in the morning hours and then, as things heat up, they return to the south in the afternoon.  Normally, they are an ideal velocity, steady, and almost eerily predictable.)
  •  Originally published on Kitelife.com I traveled to Japan for the first time in 1989 and had been introduced that year to the magnificent Kunstdrachen catalog by another respected kite artist, Peter Malinski. As I scanned the pages of the catalog, Yoshizumi’s name jumped from the pages and I had to meet him. Throughout the Japan Kite Association Convention, I searched for large, impressive kites like those in the Kunstdrachen book. Finally I came upon the kite group from Kyoto and introduced myself and asked to meet Yoshizumi-san. Here was a quiet master, confident in his abilities and secure in the knowledge that his kites, of any size, were some of the finest in Japan.
  • Cliff Quinn came to kiteflying in the early 1990’s as an adult approaching retirement.  He had spent his adulthood in a variety of “manly pursuits”: welding, woodworking, electronics and just about anything else that you might have found in the pages of Popular Mechanics.  He had a fully furnished workshop where he could escape and create almost anything.  As he observed the early-90’s kite scene, he in effect, said, “I can do that”, and started on the path that many of us have experienced.
  • For the past 20 years, the Drachen Foundation has served as a great resource for the kiting community when it comes to the design and construction methods of kites. In particular, Scott Skinner's extensive knowledge of kite designs from all around the world proves handy when people such as Aki Ishida write to the Drachen Foundation with conundrums such as how to design a kinetic sculpture inspired by Japanese Kites.
  • In early October, the American Kite Association presented the annual Edeiken Award to the 'Kiteflier of the Year' at the AKA convention in Enid, Oklahoma. This year's recipients recieved the following nomination:
  • Article by Scott Skinner Photos by Cliff and Jerry Pennell A very large hole in our sky has been created by the passing of Canadian kitemaker Art Ross. Art and his wife, Inge, have been fixtures at so many of the Northwest US Coast’s kite festivals and, of course, he was active in his own British Columbia as well.  Art created and refined large parafoils (his Red Baron was 2000 sq ft in area) and with Westport, Washingont’s Doug Hagaman, made the Northwest Coast the center of parafoil design and flight.  Art’s large-scale creations were designed to pull less than more traditional designs like Doug’s in order to compensate for their ever-increasing size – he also added functional tails that added to the majesty of his creations.
  • Check out this great article in Seattle Art & Performance Quarterly about the Nobuhiko Yoshizumi exhibit opening Wednesday at Paper Hammer in Seattle. We love how they refer to Drachen Foundation, and that they suggest flying kites down escalators and in your cubicle. Brilliant.  And Now for a Few Words from a Miniature Kite
  •   Jørgen centre right holding his Stairway to Heaven kite on Fano beach. 1986 I was greatly impressed by his beautifully made kites and unique use of graphics. Jørgen Møller Hansen was a wonderful travelling companion and throughout the tour he kept us all amused with his jokes and stories.  
  •    The true hero is Scott Skinner, who took the time and money to fly in for a one afternoon appearance to make Kathy Goodwind a very happy person. We grilled good brats on site, and had a rousing 50 people of all walks of life attend the closing of Kathy’s store and the fact that Drachen has a new location! (The most visual guest was a man who was dressed to the 9s as a Pirate…the only thing missing was his parrot.) Can we throw a party or what?
  • Via Facebook message, The Drachen Foundation received news that the World Kitebuggy Speed Records was broken on Tuesday, March 6th. Here's the report from the Peter Lynn website: