Blogs

 

  • June 14 2013 by Erin

     

    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.)
  • June 10 2013 by Erin

     

    We lost Lois early in May; she was 98 years young! As an avid kiter, she supported the creation of the Junction Retreat, making our quality of life complete. "I'm the luckiest person alive..." Before the "Women's Movement," before "feminism," even before World War II, Lois Card was an independent, self-reliant woman with an adventurous spirit. She never took "No" for an answer after she grew up, and she remembers most of her life history as if it were yesterday.
  • May 14 2013 by Erin

     

      Seattle’s Drachen Foundation will host a “day on the field” at this year’s American Kitefliers Association Convention in Seaside, Oregon.  The original brainchild of Drachen Board member, Jose Sainz, it will be a day to fly your most special kites, engage in spontaneous contests, earn special prizes, and promote the many joys of kite flying. Originally, Jose thought this might be a way for kitefliers and kitemakers to get together, without pressure, and simply “show off”; flying their newest kites, brushing the dust off their oldest kites, resurrecting failures, and celebrating successes.  Without detracting from organized Convention field activities, this will be a chance to gather, fly kites that might have been stowed away for years, and generally, fly old favorites just for the pure fun of it!  Of course, we might even award prizes for special kites that participate in Convention Mass Ascensions and other field activities.
  • January 24 2013 by Erin

     

     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.
  • January 19 2013 by Erin

     

    For almost 20 years, the Drachen Foundation has grown and thrived thanks to our dedicated board of directors, staff and the kiting community.  The Drachen Foundation has supported an investment in people and technology to capture all aspects of kiting and to now bring it online to share with the world.   I have been very fortunate to have been a part of this work, in the role of executive director, for the last 20 years, doing a job which inspired and delighted me daily. As we continue the transition to a web-based presence, we have reduced the amount of outreach and programming that has been such a large part of the job over the years, and as a result, my role will shift to serving as a board member of the Drachen Foundation.  In this transition, I have the satisfaction of knowing that the work we have done has allowed us to take this next step in our evolution, and I am excited that I will continue to be a part of the future of Drachen through my work on the board.  
  • January 12 2013 by Erin

     

      For almost twenty years the Drachen Foundation has worked to produce innovative, interesting, and broad-reaching projects for the kiteflying public and general public alike. In those years we have grown from a noted kite-material archive to a producer of exhibits, workshops, publications, and online information. We have amassed a sizable collection of contemporary “western-style” kites through in-kind donations from a number of sources. Additionally, we have worked to collect prime examples of ethnic kites when the opportunities arose. Together with the collection of Samuel Franklin Cody archive, that we purchased in 1996, we have become one of the world’s largest repositories of kite-related information and artifacts in the world. 
  • November 26 2012 by Erin

     

    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.
  • November 26 2012 by Erin

     

    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.
  • October 29 2012 by Erin

     

    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:
  • October 15 2012 by Erin

     

    In gathering with the committee that is trying to make Fanoe’s World Wind Center a reality, we were treated to an after-hours tour of Windstarken, by its curator, Martin Mohn.  Windstarken, a special exhibit in just a small part of the Deutches Technik Museum, has been a great success since its opening in October of 2011, and has been extended at the museum through the end of October 2013.  Already, over 450 groups comprising over 10,000 schoolchildren have visited the exhibit and with another school year just starting, that number is likely to double.  Already the exhibit has been accompanied by family celebrations, lectures, radio discussions, and workshops. A memorable moment for Martin, when asking a school group to describe the wind, was when one child said, “the wind is blue”.
  • September 17 2012 by Erin

     

    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.
  • September 17 2012 by Erin

     

    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
  • August 27 2012 by Erin

     

      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.  
  • August 13 2012 by Erin

     

    The Drachen Foundation search function is better than ever! We've upgraded the filters, enhanced the listings and made it easier than ever for you to find exactly what you're looking for. Give it a try and let us know if it works for you. You can use the search bar in the upper right corner of any page, or click on 'collections' and use the search bar that appears under the page header. Happy searching!  
  • August 06 2012 by Erin

     

       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?