Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Great book for kite makers

William Farber's kite making book, Painting With Light and Air is now available from the Drachen Foundation. My wife got a copy for me last year but she had to deal with international money orders and shipping from Australia. She did get the first copy in North America but it cost a bit. Now it is a simple click and you can get it for $35.

In the book, William Farber illustrates his method of creating wonderful pictures on kites using ripstop. His prize winning kites are many colored pieces of flying artwork. The kite on the right is one of two he made for the kite festival in Dieppe France in 2008. He gives step by illustrated step instructions for his modular method of kite construction, very much worth learning if you want to make more complex designs on kites. They don't have to be as elaborate as this one to benefit from his method.

I have found myself referring to the book before and during my kite construction, before to get some reminders of his design and color teachings, during to help with construction details. There are lots of great nuggets of information hidden in the pages from how to make perfect corners with your zig zag stitches to what to look for when buying a sewing machine. Little details that you might never think about spring from the book and into your kite building technique. I built a sewing table extension as suggested in the book. He even gives instructions on sharpening and tuning scissors! This is in addition to his chapter on design and one on the details of working with ripstop. To top it off, he includes detailed instructions on the building of two kites, one a large rokkaku, the other a small rectangular kite,

While it is not a book for beginner kite makers, they could certainly benefit from the book. Much of the book's information can be useful for kite makers of all abilities. The sewing tips and the chapter on working with ripstop is good for all of us. The details of his more elaborate kite making methods can simply inspire us. And if all that is not enough, he includes color photos of more that 20 of his kites

The book is available from the Drachen Foundation for $35.
Painting with Light and Air

The Drachen Foundation is a non profit organization devoted to sharing knowledge of kites worldwide. Their store includes books and kite making materials and the money helps support the organization.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tony, I am interested in buying this book, but it seems even the Draschen foundation does not have it anymore. Do you know who/where can I get one ? You may contact me at

Anonymous said...

They are avalaible direct from Willim Farber



Calvin Shelton said...

My name is Calvin Shelton and I am on the Board of Directors for the Bridgton Historical Society.

I am writing in hopes that you may be able to help or at least point me in the right direction.

Part of our mission at the Bridgton Historical Society is to carry-on and teach traditions of the past to the next generation and keep the past alive. This year we would like to present to the public a view into the past concerning kites and kite flying. We are looking for individuals interested in perhaps sharing the history of kites, kite making and kite flying at a weekend outing at the historic "Narramissic," The Peabody-Fitch farm here in Bridgton scheduled for Saturday, August 14th, 1pm to 4pm.

The Historic Peabody-Fitch Farm has several large open fields ideal for kite flying and demonstrations. A large barn with ample indoor's area which is available that may be used for work areas and booths where interested party's might demonstrate the history and art of kite building and repair as well as sell kites and materials related to the day's activities.

We are currently in the planning stages and would appreciate any input and recommendations you or others might have. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone you might feel would be interested.

Thank you for you valuable time and I look forward to hearing from you and others about this fun topic.

Calvin Shelton
Bridgton Historical Society
Treasurer - Calvin Shelton (