MALLARD DESIGN - Inspirations - Bringing Ideas to Life
KiteSport - Custom Made Traditional & Modern Designs
Kitemaking is an ancient skill, some 4,000 years ago plant leaves and twine were used for fishing the reefs without a boat on islands in the western Pacific Ocean. From these beginnings was a long development of kites as things primarily of mystery, from a childs eye viewing a kite flying the first time, to later having fun in that connection you get holding the line. Still later they are a part of festivals and rites, then of being used in wars at first to scare the opponents, then they became man-lifters long before the industrial age.
From those first archeological finds of kites to today's kite-boarding models, kites have become a part of humanity from the large festivals in Asia to the cheap mylar dragon that kids like so much, they will always be here with us and perhaps one or two of the things we see today will make it another 4,000 years.
By chance, while making a tent and needing fabric, was found a small kitemaking shop nearby at the time so stopping in discovered the owner in need of finishing a really large banner for opening day ceremonies the next day and had a problem with her foot so couldn't sew, the patterns weren't done and a touch of panic was in the air. It worked out, we became partners in the shop and it grew over the next few years to where it was relocated very close to the local park on a lake overlooking the city.
This was great fortune, an idea could go from a scaled sketch to patterns, cut, sewn, bridled and flown in less than three hours. Being a researcher kites were arranged by the number of sticks, starting with none of course, like used for kite-boarding, a soft kite. Should be obvious that two sticks and cloth can be done many different ways but over time discovered some simple and great flying combinations out of the many tries. Probably the easiest way to sum this up is from a visit to a huge mall in Minnesota, the kiteshop had a Starflake© over the main entry, some rewards are a surprise.
The designer became a general partner in the retail and wholesale kitemaking business, Gasworks Kite Shop & Suspended Elevations, in Seattle, WA, for a number of years. Then the parnership was ended and KiteSport started with a try for a retail space in Redmond that was built in the 1880's with 30-ft ceilings, perfect for kites but lack of collateral or a partner ended the try and it became an online business and was successful that way until moving away from Seattle to a city where there is no kite flying scene at all. Then, without the local contacts demand fell off along with the website not being a typical "store", www.kitesport.com
, although it worked well for wholesale orders it just doesn't make it as an online storefront. In the real store were made a lot of custom kites and kites of our own design in traditional shapes.
This experience was a designer's dream machine, it brought together years of sailboat design studies that found a direct outlet and became a skill along with a small Pfaff sailmaking machine that is now being used to re-cover old bicycle saddles for cruisers that are being rebuilt. Kitemaking takes up too much floor space so the kites offered are small and easy to make on the website.