I live in an stone cottage on a half acre of land in a small country town about an hour's drive south of Adelaide. I have a wonderful family made up of my wife Linda, and three teenage children. When I was a small boy living in England, my father bought me a red and green box kite when we were on holiday on the Isle of Wight. It fascinated me, and although the kite disappeared many years ago, I never forgot the pleasure we had flying it.
About 9 years ago, a lady I worked with gave a small plastic sled kite to my children. I took them to the local beach and we flew it. The kids were all extremely disinterested, but I was hooked. I wanted a bigger and better kite. So I went to a kite shop to see what I could buy. The shop was full of wonderful kites, but nothing quite matched what I wanted. A trip to the local library plus a fair bit of web surfing resulted in me attempting to create a small stunt kite. It was a modest success, but it gave me a huge feeling of achievement. That was the start of this wonderful hobby. I made my first serious single line kite for the Festival of the Winds in 1997 and now spend most of my kitemaking time on single line kites.
I am not an artist, and have never studied graphic design, so it took me a long time to work out how to make a kite look good in the sky. I usually decide on a shape of kite that I intend to make, then spend hours doodling in a sketch pad until something looks pleasing to the eye. After that I transfer the design to a computer drawing package and fiddle around with colours until I am happy with a particular combination.
Every festival I have been to has been special in its own way. Festival of the Winds at Bondi Beach, Sydney is always a fun event where I get to catch up with all the Aussie flyers each year. Washington State International Kite Festival in 2000 was where I met so many wonderful North American kiters. And at Jakarta International Kite Festival 2002 I was made to feel so very welcome, and had the pleasure of seeing the Asian side of kiting.