Drachen Foundation Newsletter: March 2006

Featured Archive Item: Panama Hotel Paper Kite Interviews

As DF’s Paper in Flight artists prepare for their residency in Japan, now seems an appropriate moment to showcase interviews with the eight artists who participated in DF’s similar paper kite project, a residency at Seattle’s Panama Hotel in 2003. Part of Drachen’s archive, the interviews are being posted for the first time on the DF website. They are accompanied by images of the artists at work and of kites each artist created during the week-long residency. 

Among the most interesting documentation of the Panama Hotel Paper Kite Residency in 2003 is the set of interviews with each artist conducted by Programming Assistant, Courtney de Rouen, whom Drachen was lucky to have on staff at the time. Fluent in German as well as English, she was able to interview the five German-speaking artists in their native language and then translate each interview. 

To encourage the close reading these interviews deserve, Drachen has devised a quick quiz about the creative sounds (as approximated by Courtney) the artists used to represent some aspect of the kite making or flying process. Match each sound with the kite artist who made it, and e-mail to info@drachen.org by April 30, 2006. All correct entries will be entered in a drawing for a set of three color screened t-shirts, by graphic artist Kiyomi Okawa, honoring the kite flights of the Wrights, the yakko, and Cody.

1. wupf! (feeling of lightness)
2. mmm (happy)
3. zhhhhhhu (folding together)
4. chchch (nail pounding)
5. zzzzzzzzt (bamboo splitting)

A. Kisa Sauer
B. Anna Rubin
C. Christine Schwarting
D. Robert Trépanier
E. Anke Sauer


First Young Explorer Field Experience Grant

Aron Curzon, a junior at West Salem High School in Oregon, has won the first Young Explorer Field Experience grant, awarded by the Pacific Northwest chapter of the prestigious Explorers Club, with support from the Drachen Foundation. Learn what Aron will be investigating with KAPer Scott Haefner and USGS scientist Mike Rymer. 


News for Educators

What new, free DF kite template did Seattle kite maven Kathy Goodwind snap up at DF’s KAP event? The Kono Dihedral Diamond, by kite artist Greg Kono, a simple but elegant design for introducing students to the effect of dihedral on kite flight. Take a look.


DF Volunteer & Visitor Doings

Once DF Executive Director Ali Fujino learned that Ralf Maserski would be heading to the West Coast of the United States to teach at the Oregon Kitemakers Retreat, she decided to lure him first to the Study Center for a few days of volunteer work. As past vice-president of the German Kitefliers Association, and past editor of Hochhinaus, the club magazine, Ralf has the broad familiarity with a range of kiting topics to cast a judicious eye over the contents of the Skinner Snoek archive. After three full days of work, Ralf had reviewed just one file drawer of twelve; discussion can now take place on how to proceed with the rest of it. As the grateful Fujino explained, “Ralf could review in three days what it might have taken me, with my rusty German, three months to assess.” Most satisfying for Ralf? To be honest, probably neither the DF Study Center nor the Kitemakers Retreat; rather, on his way home to Germany, back-to-back concerts in New York by the Rolling Stones.

On the same front, two other volunteers are making invaluable contributions to DF’s Paper in Flight project. Videographer Matthew Stubbs volunteered his services for a whirlwind trip to Colorado, to record the making and flying of the 42-inch Lesley Dill kites. Since the ten-foot Divide Light that Dill and MICA students will construct in Baltimore at the end of February will not be flown, this weekend represented the one-and-only opportunity to capture images of Divide Light in flight. The wind-and-weather gods played their parts, but Matt, you’re the DF hero of the hour!

And the intrepid Jack Masashi Fujino, after counting every kite pin he could find on the shelves of the Study Center, has taken on the job of stuffing 2100 tiny glassine envelopes with Lesley Dill’s drawing of a miniature kite. The kite, to be included in copies of the twentieth anniversary edition of the journal, Hand Papermaking, is printed in red ink (via computer) on handmade paper. The journal will include careful instructions on how to cut out the image and assemble it as a kite, flyable indoors. Thank you, Jack.