Kites

 

By Scarlett Lingwood

 

 

In the summertime there are a variety of different activities and adventures to be enjoyed. Whether that’s taking a summer vacation, having a picnic in the park, going to a music festival, or playing with a fidget spinner - the summer for me is a celebratory time. 

In this writing I am going to be exploring, the history of Kites, Kite Festivals and how to make your own Kite too. 

You may be wondering about the history of Kites and where Kites originated. It was a surprise to me that Kites dated back over 2,000 years. It was thought that the first kite was invented in China around 2,800 years ago. After the first introduction of kites in China – Kites began to be introduced in Cambodia, Thailand, India, Japan, Korea and the Western World. Now Kite flying is a global phenomenon that is enjoyed by many.

People look at guidebooks, converse with one another, read, browse the Internet because they are searching for new places to go, new activities to explore, new restaurants to frequent. With many activities there are particular places that are recommended to have the optimal experience of the chosen activity or hobby. Along with recreationally flying a kite – there is also the option of enjoying the experience of going to a kite festival.

One place that is recommended to fly kites is Jaipur in North Eastern India. In Jaipur alongside flying Kites, people will also enjoy local food and drinks. In Jaipur in January there is an annual kite festival that takes place on January 14th where people from all over the world come to celebrate their kite flying abilities. During times of festival holidays in India – it is thought that the sky is covered in Kites. Many of the kites created for the festival are handmade.

Another place where Kite lovers may enjoy visiting is Dieppe in France – their festival takes place in September and is also considered to be a large festival. This festival began in the 1980s and also brings people together from different parts of the world.

What I enjoy about Kites is the way that they bring people together. Of course there are festivals for people to participate in if they choose, however people can also stroll to their local parks and play with a kite there. What I like about kite flying is that it is an activity that can be enjoyed anywhere in the world by Children, Teenagers and Adults alike. All you need for a fun day out with a Kite is a nice patch of ground to play on and a bluster of wind and the Kite will start to do its magic, just like blowing bubbles where you don’t know what creation you will make – yet you can be sure if you have the key ingredients something magical will appear.   

Also the great thing about Kite Making is that you can assemble your own kite too.

The materials you need are as follows:

A HEAVY DUTY Plastic Bag.

A Roll of Electrical Tape. (It is encouraged to get tape that goes well with your plastic bag – if you are using a bright pink plastic bag, I would go for electric blue tape to complement the bag)

Two lengths of Hardwood Dowel, at least the length of your plastic bag. Aim for around 5mm width if you can.

A line. A roll of fine nylon knitting yarn will work well. To add more contrast you may choose to add a different color, which will complement the plastic bag and electric tape.

A piece of Wood or Cardboard for the winder.

Once you have assembled all these materials together – you can move onto the next stage, which involves gathering the tools to create the kite.

The tools which you will need to create the kite are as follows:

A Ruler

Scissors

A Black Marker Pen

A Small Wood Saw or a Carving Knife

Once you have all these materials together you can begin the process of creating the kite:

Place your bag smoothly on a flat surface in portrait orientation with the opening of the bag facing the bottom. Mark three dots on the bag: one in the very top left corner, a second on the left edge 100cm down from the first dot, and a third 25cm from the top and 50cm in from the left edge.

Turn the bag over and on the reverse side trace over the original pen line to make a matching triangle.

Next step is to cut out a diamond shape, which will look like a kite.

After you have cut out the shape, take out a length of dowel and lay it down on the center of your kite. Connect the two pieces of wood together from left to right to create a T shape.

The final step should be to create a tail for the kite with the remaining plastic bag that is left… Now the Kite should be ready to fly.

Scarlett Lingwood is an interdisciplinary artist from London currently based in New York City. She works in drawing, video, sculpture, collage, text and sound and addresses themes of psychology, imagination, chance, color, shapes, and borders. Lingwood holds an MFA in Fine Arts from the School Of Visual Arts and is currently pursuing the MFA in Integrated Media Arts at Hunter College.

 

The images included in this article are two drawings of kites rendered by Scarlett Lingwood in 2017. One is a pencil drawing and the other is a digital drawing done using a small range of symbols and the letter "I".

 

Scarlett Lingwood can be reached at scarlettlingwood@hotmail.co.uk.