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About this blog

Bringing my kite builds up to date with a bit of history on each kite.

Entries in this blog

Crazy Quilt.

Going off of the look of the Scrapestry, I decided to use the new batch of scraps to do an all color kite.. Some of the scraps were neutral White and Charcoal but I based the placement on the size of the scraps and not the color.  Crazy Quilt has begun..

riffclown

riffclown

The Hive is Complete

This commissioned sail has been completed and is ready for initial flight tests.. this one is as close to an exact 1.5 size as I could make it and still be faithful to the diamonds techniquen. I don't usually make an exact 1.5 size and the sail isn't as tight as one would expect but a simple glide test was surprising. Bungees are left long for the moment to allow a bit of tweaking if required. This sail has the wear strips, LE Tabs, fold relief and is set up to allow French bridles and magic stick at the request of the owner. You could even put springs on it if you so desire.

riffclown

riffclown

 

The Pattern Emerges

Just a short <90 second clip to share how I get to see the Diamonds pattern emerge from a striped sail each time. This is when I get to truly see the stage I call the "mock up" and is the first real indicator of how the final kite will appear.. Until this point the pattern is truly just in my head.   The Layout from the initial stripes isn't a mockup. it allows me to see the color mix but not the actual placement of segments. This difference is far more prevalent when the color count is higher than 3.. A great example of this difference can be shown with the Feeling Gray sails, The Layout doesn't show the real pattern of the sails as they begin to take shape. The real trick to these builds is taking the stripes and de-conflicting the colors in your plan to prevent two diamonds of the same color from ending up side by side.    

riffclown

riffclown

 

D Leading Edge

Added Leading Edges to Scrapestry and Purple Fade this morning..Touch of Blue Leading Edge was done last week and posted.  Sunset fade MIGHT be taking a different route to leave more camber and sail area. It may end up being more of a light wind kite for me..In short, there's a bit of sail there that is "extra" and I'm deciding if I want to leave it oversize or trim it down to standard 1.5 dimensions.

riffclown

riffclown

 

Diamonds and Updates

It's been a whiles since I added any entries to the blog but it not for lack of sewing kites. After Jester II I decided it was time for some new color chemes AND new fabric.. 22 YArds of Icarex in Black White, Silver and Gray followed soon after.. I decided to take a chance and make an offer on the scrap bin and received a good bit of the full spectrum of colors..A full sunset fade   was the first endeavor followed closely by  purple fade with several different shades of purple A touch of blue was commissioned by a friend and what color was left went into a true color quilt I call Scrapestry..   I PLAN for all of these kites to get first flight at the Rogallo festival at Jockeys Ridge, Nags Head NC in just over a week.  Still a ways to go but Leading edges are made and the panel sewing is all done except for the center panel section of Scrapestry.. Hopefully there will be video soon..  

riffclown

riffclown

 

Digging in the bag

So I came to a rude awakening yesterday.. Despite my best attempts, it's really hard to get all my framed quads in an easy configuration for travel.. Part of this is because I don't know how to leave ANYTHING behind..  Given that I've made a bunch of kites since my last outing to OBX, I decided to make a dig bag. I came up with a 11"x11"x44" pumpkin of a bag after visiting Joann's Fabrics this morning.. I picked up some Orange duck cloth and zippers that all combined with a tiedown strp I had handy to form this bag.. Definitely a first effort but also a usable item.,,Lots of space for Revs, Freileins and home mades.  So far, it has my home made rolloup bag, My Freilein Dig bag with all the Revs and both the Freilein and Spectrum stacks inside with room to spare.. Pretty sure it will hold ALL of my framed quads without breaking a sweat.. 

riffclown

riffclown

 

Diamonds in the dark

Diamonds in the dark Decided I wanted to take my seaming technique to a feasible limit. Using the same materials as the Midnight Royal and Yonder, I went with a diamond pattern and worked it through nearly the entire sail yielding over 450 panels. Encouraged by the mock up, I pressed forward. Once the sides were nearly done I realized how much actual area I had lost with the 1/4' overlap.. i decided to wedge  some poly at the top to give it a bit of a retro look. Ready to join the center and make this a flyable sail at this point.. More to come soon.

riffclown

riffclown

 

Changing Perspective

I've decided to take all of the perspective kites (Except for The Jester) and finish the individual panels.. I'll mix and match those to make 5 or six kites (maybe even 7) and fly as a stack for a bit.. By finishing them all at once I can ensure they are identically sized and with same aspect ratios. So the panels will progress but no finished kites until I'm ready to finish them all. This was the strategy for the Spectrum Stack and it worked well for me.. Otherwise I tend to have slightly different sizes and aspect ratios.  Keep in mind I don't use a pattern and these kites don't have a fixed size except for LE length..  While this makes for great kites to explore flying characteristics, it's not a good thing for stacking those same sails.. More to follow on perspective soon.. Have to wait for some more materials to get here.  

riffclown

riffclown

 

Playing With Perspective

Since the new year, I've turned my attention to materials other than tails.. Nothing wrong with the tails constructions but I wanted a new perspective.. and that perspective was perspective.. Angled shapes started out as a lazy harlequin pattern in complimentary colors. Because of the pattern it became the Jester. This was my first run at edge joining materials that were not already hemmed.   The Jester followed by a vanishing point perspective in dissimilar materials.   Because of keeping the grain of the fabric somewhat aligned for Midnight Royal Taboo, those strips fit together in a B2 sized kite I call Yonder. (Those that participated in my Christmas riddle got the reference right away)   Finally I went back to the Jester color scheme and created a new kite experiment with 2 perspective.. I suppose this was also inspired the cubic look of some of the @Polo design. The sail shape tens to lend itself to the dual perspective images in a somewhat natural progression. . Going with the Jest from Jester and the obvious checkerboard effect, Jest Checking In is laid out and ready for sewing.   Enjoying the way it truly bends the eyes, I decide to move the vanishing point to the bottom and the center instead of the top. While I have to finish one kite before I lay out another, I did use the small endpieces you see in the Jest Checking In picture to mock up a 70 panel version.  Nothing precision here, just wanted to see if the pattern will stay consistent.   It was pointed out tp me the points of the pattern don't line up perfectly. and I will acknowledge that fact.   My goal here isn't perfection but effect.  It has to look right at the end of the lines.. the overlap for the long angular strips (in all three kites since the Jester) is 1/4"  those angle just don't line up when you slice and overlap them in a different direction.. but at 100ft the effect is still there so I'm happy with it..   I have a bit more of the orange and blue so a large triple perspective will probably be next but I want to finish what's laid out before going down that route..        

riffclown

riffclown

 

FS#10 Yellow

This one is a bit differently sized than my typical builds.. It is a 83.5" Leading Edge. Midway between the 1.5 and 2.0 sizes.. This will either be my new night kite or the middle kite in a future progressive stack. Temporary bridles at the moment since I've never tied bridles this size. ZERO wind but still started with a toss, followed by a ground catch..  

riffclown

riffclown

 

First Flight in despite no Wright

Woke up with a song in my head this morning.. "Let's Go Fly a kite! We'll see if i made them right even though the wind is light we'll keep them soaring throw launch the sail first time catching the air so fine. come, let's go.....Fly a kite..   Even though I wasn't able to make the Wright Festival today, I had to get out for a few minutes before the rain hit to get first flight in on these sails. FS #3, Mesh #6 and the Spectrum Stack have all flown. (very light wind but I do have a touch of video proof)  

riffclown

riffclown

 

Wright and what's left

Looks like first flight for my new kites is going to have to be altered.. I won't be able to make the Wright festival this year after all.. Hopefully I'll get out for a few minutes to my regular flying field.. If so I'll try to  fly'em and get some footage there. Sometimes Life Happens  

riffclown

riffclown

 

Kite Quilt

While this will never actually be made (I DON'T Have the skills to replicate the pattern like this.) I have started sewing the scraps together to make anpanel I can use fer anything from a kite to a kite bag.. I decided to flip and mirror i into a 9 panel layout just to mock up what it WOULD look like.

riffclown

riffclown

 

Spectrum Stack

Finished Sails for 5 Kites from one 96' Rainbow Transition Tail today. Will finish the Endcaps, Bungees and custom Skyshark frames this week. Hopefully first flight will be at the Wright Kite Festival in 2 weeks. It's where I flew my first home made 2 years ago.  These kites all have 72" LE sleeves and will use 74" LE.  I'm still considering putting a vertical black stripe on the center of each sail. 

riffclown

riffclown

 

Mesh #6

The center panel is the excess material from FS#3 and the sail itself is Red White Blue, G-Kites Transition tails in the front and Skywriter tails in the back. My second kite with a proper LE and I did induce a slight curve to the LE to mimic the positive flight characteristics of Mesh #3. This one was bridled today and I expect to fly it along with FS #3 at the 2017 Wright Festival.

riffclown

riffclown

 

FS #3

This is my first kite with a PROPER Leading edge. As of this posting it has not flown but I expect it to fly similarly to FS#2 since it is truthfully its panel mate. The sail is a touch tighter than FS3.  Notice the white markers are offset between FS#2 & FS#3. Epected First Flight will be at the Wright Kite Festival in 2017

riffclown

riffclown