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Spitfire Two-Line Airplane Kite

This Spitfire is one of six kites that I made in 2012. It is based on a Guillows model kit, but I replaced the balsa spars with bamboo, and I strengthened many parts of the air frame using balsa wood. It is covered in Japanese washi paper in multiple layers and sealed with nitrate dope. It has no paint. I fly it on two very fine Spectra fishing lines that are 100 feet long. I hold a wooden dowel handle that is about a foot wide and fly it one-handed. It flies in the 50-70 mph range in a 15 to 20 mph wind. It pulls very hard so that I have to lean back in gusts, but it is very light, quick turning and fun to fly! Below I include articles on a family project that l led to building this and other similar kites, and a shorter article in which I attempt to explain how they fly.

Spitfire Two-Line Airplane Kite2022-11-28T22:00:38+00:00

Name Them―They Fly Better: Pat Hammond’s Theory of Aerodynamics

Pat Hammond is not your ordinary artist. In fact, she doesn’t even consider herself an artist. She takes everyday objects, such as spinning tops and jars of cicada shells, and infuses them with new meaning and hope. Through humor and personalization, she uses insignificant and unconventional objects to illuminate a “grand truth” about the world, and even about herself. Author Christopher Ornelas found out about Hammond through her remarkable kite collection―hundreds of kites amassed over twenty years. Hammond’s kites, which have been featured at the Smithsonian and the Modern Museum of Art, were gathered from every corner of the world, including Guatemala, Korea, and Polynesia. Hammond also designs her own kites, drafting ideas and sketches for numerous creations she has dreamed of flying. While many of these kites have never made it into the air, they demonstrate her untamed creativity: a corset on a string titled “Of Corset Flies,” a kite made of chicken wire titled “Flew de Coop.” Hammond’s idiosyncratic humor soars beyond her kites, and as Ornelas quickly discovers, they are just a stroke on the canvas of an artistic life that includes troves of trinkets laced with whimsy and beautiful intentions, all displayed in Hammond’s home in San Antonio, Texas. Hammond’s love for the unexpected and her fascination with science and physics are contagious. She is passionate about bees and collecting honey, and her shelves upon shelves of books touch on subjects as varied at Goya and Asimov. From her assortment of animal specimens (bird wings, butterflies, beetles) to crates of small spinning tops (she makes hundreds of them from round metal discs and matchstick spindles), every item is an exploration illustrating the heart of an artist and the legacy of a true free spirit. With a foreword by poet and friend Naomi Shihab Nye and intimate photographs of Hammond’s home and collections, Name Them―They Fly Better offers a portrait of a woman who has sought to transform each moment into a creative act.

Name Them―They Fly Better: Pat Hammond’s Theory of Aerodynamics2020-10-29T01:05:44+00:00

Handmade in Japan

This book was conceived, edited and designed by gestalten. Edited by Robert Klanten and Lincoln Dexter, Preface by Kengo Kuma. Artisian stories and introduction by Irwin Wong. Regional introductions and material essays by Antje Papist-Matsuo.

Handmade in Japan2020-10-29T00:34:42+00:00


Known for its large fighting kites, Afghanistan has a long kite history. The kites probably arrived via trade routes from India and are made in much the same form as the Indian patang, but much larger (almost 1M x 1M) due to the predominately light, mountain winds.

The kite culture of Afghanistan is well described in the bestselling novel, The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.



1992 JKA Japan Kite Tour

Aomori Japan Kite Festival, Don and Ron Collado (twins, Hawaii) and Modegi of the Japanese Kite Association.

1992 JKA Japan Kite Tour2019-07-25T00:05:45+00:00

1992 JKA Japan Kite Tour

A photo of miniature kite maker Charlie Sotich of Chicago (now deceased) at a kite dinner at the Aomori Japan Kite Festival

1992 JKA Japan Kite Tour2019-07-25T00:02:14+00:00

1992 JKA Japan Kite Tour

Invited guests of the Japan Kite Foundation included Americans, Left to right, Modegi, Elmer Wharton, (Illinois) Don and Ron Collado (twins, Hawaii) and Charlie Sotich (Illinois)

1992 JKA Japan Kite Tour2019-07-06T01:33:44+00:00

Koi Sport Kite

Joel Scholz's Delta 2 - Line Sport kite features a large Koi fish in pink, purple body with yellow head

Koi Sport Kite2019-05-06T16:17:28+00:00
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