Big Brothers/Big Sisters Delta Kite
An especially commisioned Kite
by . . .
About the kite:
The Big Brothers/Big Sisters delta kite was commissioned from us by the Elgin County/St. Thomas chapter of the Big Brothers organization in 2003. We have very seldom done this kind of work because of the nature of the methods we use to make kites. We use serigraphy (or screen printing) to apply the dyes onto the nylon sailcloth to make our designs. This necessitates a huge amount of design planning in order to ensure the design will reproduce properly when the various printed pieces are assembled to make the kite. Each colour of each part of the pattern needs a separate silk screen prepared to print that part opf the image. For this kite we needed four screens in total, two for each printed colour.
This is why we produce our kites as a series of each design, rather than doing individual kites only. This spreads the cost and the labour of the design preparation over 100 (or fifteen in the case of our handpainted kites) kites, rather than loading it all onto one kite. We had explained this in advance to the Big Brothers people, but they did really want us to make the kite and hoped to sell other copies of the design to other chapters.
We ended up making the full-size 11 ft. delta in the photograph, as well as one medium sized delta, and a banner to be hung from the line beneath the kite. Unfortunately, we have not heard from them since we delivered the kites to them, no further orders have appeared, and much though I'd like to see the kite flying at our Strawberry Fields Kite Festival, the only time I have seen it flying was when I took this picture at its test flight.
The kite pictures above is a custom version of our full-size tailed delta kite, 11 ft. from wingtip to wingtip. It was made by screen printing the dyes onto eight yards of Contender/s 3/4 oz. Nylite spinnaker nylon and framed with hollow spiral-wound fibreglass rods as are our other deltas. We also produced a medieum version of this kite and a display banner to hang as laundry on the kite line, althouh I have pictures of neither of these.
Finally, we greatly enjoyed making this kite, but have never done another commission like it and have actively discouraged some approaches because of the cost problems involved in making just one of these printed commissioned kites.