Dave’s World: Dots in Cervia

Variety and creativity are often hallmarks of European kite festivals, and the kite makers at Cervia 2012 excelled!  None more so than Anke Sauer, whose “Dot Project” showed just what you can achieve with “only paper, glue and string”.

Combining origami, engineering, imagination, perseverance and incredible patience Anke created six kites.  Each one measures about 3 metres tall by half a metre wide and comprises 150 paper pyramids.  Each individual pyramid has a 6 metre bridle line.  That’s 150 bridle lines and 900 metres, or nearly 1000 yards of bridle per kite!

The 900 pyramids are mostly white, but some of them have black triangles of different sizes hand painted on their faces.  The mainly white pyramids have white bridle lines, the mainly black pyramids have black bridle lines.  I’m guessing there are long winters where Anke lives.

Flown side by sikde in the correct sequence, the six kites combine to form one image‚ a black dot on a white background.

Pyramid pixellation!

Cervia’s ideal wind conditions provided more than one opportunity for Anke and her helpers to fly the Dot Project.  The aerial display was fascinating, each individual kite an item of beauty, the combined collage totally mesmerizing.

So how does Anke carry such delicate kites around?

Just as fascinating as the flying exhibition, is the packing and unpacking of the kites.  Without tension on the bridles, the pyramids flatten in sequence and form a spiral stack of paper.  Simple but careful braiding of the bridle lines yield a parcel  that fits easily into one compartment of a specially crafted “jewelry box”.

So next time someone tries to tell you they have to use the latest hi tech carbon, polyester and mylar to make a kite,  tell them they really only need paper, glue and string.

Kevin Sanders
(reporting for Gomberg Kites)