We are complying with the Stay-at-home order and limiting our trips out of the house to the grocery store and the pharmacy. There is still quite a bit of traffic locally and there are still people who are gathering on the beaches. My kite flying has been very limited. I tried to fly in the backyard and had moderate success with the light wind glider kite, the Emong by Flying Wings Kites.
I’m sure the neighbors found it amusing watching me stumble around the backyard with a kite string in one hand and a cell phone in the other. At one point the wind appeared to be picking up and I tried another kite I happened to have handy, the Joel Scholz Parrot by Premier Kites. While it did go up for a while, it was never very high and needed constant supervision.
As for my kite building, I have been suffering from a serious lack of motivation. Part of which was due to the fact I was going to have to crawl on the floor in order to get the whole appliqué piece properly situated on the main sail. One of the drawbacks of not having a large table to work on. I finally convinced myself to just get down and get it done. With absolutely no help from my able assistant.
The Stay-At-Home order came down. Except for essential errands, we are to stay home and away from other places and other people to help stop the spread of the virus. While you would think this would give me lots of time to get things done around the house and yard and work on my kite projects. Instead, the lack of any type of deadline only increases my tendency to put things off. And so, this weeks post is late. Sorry.
I have started the Giant Hata kite. The main sail is black and is 60″ by 60″. That was a challenge on my narrow table. It was only made harder because my supposedly 60″ roll of fabric was really 61.5″. So instead of making just one long cut, I had to trim one side as well.
The pattern for this kite is a variation of the sun theme I used on my Maryland Kite Society build. Only this is going to be a sun/moon. The pattern was traced onto the yellow fabric and the white moon fabric laid over it. Then it was sew the outline and cut away the excess.
Add a face and position and sew the sun onto the sail and I’m on to the actual construction.
As for actual kite flying, I have a couple of places in mind to try to put a kite or two up. While the “powers that be” say you should only be out for essential trips, kite flying is essential to my mental health. I find it soothing to watch my creations floating in the sky. So when I give it a try, let’s hope I don’t get arrested for trespassing.
Well, the virus has caught up with us. The beaches have been shut down. The State Park is closed. There isn’t another good place to fly here. All of the school play fields and the soccer fields are surrounded by buildings and trees. Until I can find another suitable place, I must find an alternative. And that alternative is kite building.
So I have two projects on the table. Although I really don’t need more projects as there are a couple of unfinished projects and about half a dozen repairs already on the table. I guess I just enjoy appliqué over repair and frame construction.
So I’ve got to get the new patterns on paper in the actual size I need. That, in itself, was a project. First I had to get the designs off my computer and onto an SD card. That was easy. Next I had to get them traced onto large sheets of paper. Well, I don’t have paper large enough so I had to piece segments of paper together. After taking a picture down, I taped the paper to the now blank wall.
Then I set up my LED projector, plug in the data card containing the image files, and display them onto the paper. This takes up some time as I’m moving the projector back and forth until the image is displayed the required size. It was quite the balancing act.
Finally I could trace the designs onto the paper. Now I’m ready to cut fabric and plan out the appliqué sequences. Looks like I’ll be on my knees as the plans are bigger than my table. Thank goodness the living room has carpeting and I have a couple large cutting mats.
The other is a older kite style that I found in an old kite book, Kite Flight by Jack Botermans and Alice Weve. It’s called the Russian Giant. This book was published in 1986 and the framing instructions call for dowels. I’m going to try and adapt it to either carbon or fiberglass rods. We’ll see how that goes.
Still waiting for some kite flying weather. Seems it is either warm with no wind or rainy and gusty. And when the weather does cooperate, I have something else that has to be done or somewhere else to be. The kite flying gods are against me.
So what does one do on a community kite fly day when there is no community kite fly? We hang out at the local kite shop, visit, see what new games and puzzles have arrived and play a little cribbage. Of course, I am the undisputed cribbage champion. But don’t tell Don at the kite shop that, he claims I cheat.
Since I’ve been unable to fly, I’ve been working on various art projects for exhibition in local galleries. I really stepped out of my comfort zone with the most recent work in mixed-media. Even there, kites are never far from my mind. One of my pieces is a miniature kite made of bamboo skewers and plastic, colored with alcohol inks. It is flying in a blue sky with puffy white clouds. One way or another, I have put “color in the sky”.