The Drachen Foundation thanks Seattle Audubon and its counselors for the opportunity to test the Brasington Bird kite kit with attentive students at All About Birds, one of a series of Nature Day Camps that Audubon presents during the summer. Tasmanian designer Rob Brasington had originally given his Tyvek kite a two-point bridle; DF wanted to test the design with a one-point bridle, a construction detail easier for young kite makers to handle. What better group to help test our kite than 4th-6th grade campers who had been immersed in learning about birds for the week before we arrived?
The workshop began with a display of Brasingtons own bird kites that he had created for a project in Salt Lake City. Campers were introduced to design elements Brasington had incorporated in his kites: how he had used bright colors (ripstop nylon rather than Tyvek) for high visibility in the sky and how he had positioned the head and beak to the side, so as to include these details that distinguish different bird species without disrupting the shape of the kite. Some campers worked with bird books in designing their kites; others brought stuffed animals for 3-D models; others devised fantasy species.
Winds were strong at Magnuson Park on the day of the workshop. Kite maker Greg Kono was on site, tested the kite before campers completed their designs, then busied himself helping students with flying techniques that would work in the gusty winds.
An article about the workshop will be featured in a newsletter mailed to Seattle Audubon members, and will be archived on Audubons website in a few months. Watch for the Brasington Bird kite kit in the DF Online Store after further testing at an in-school site, fall 2006.