Profile... Izzy von Lichtan
I suppose, like most people, I was fascinated by kiting from a young age. My first memory was on a grey and windy day in Poland, my uncle had brought me a kite from Germany in the shape of a bird. I was mesmerised, especially by the way it flew, but I did not have any success in flying it (nor had anyone else other than my uncle).
A few years later, this time at Elwood Beach, Melbourne there was a person who flew a stacked set of diamond stunters with very long tails. It was like a ballet in the sky. Seeing such a great display, and the wonder on my face, my dad bought me a kite, but yet again I had no success with flying it.
It was not until I was 15, and found a book that showed how to make a basic sled, that I had any success flying a kite. Once I got a kite working, I was hooked. I made a larger sled with interfacing and bamboo, and then another. A couple of years later I came across “How to Make and Fly Kites” and “Box Kites” in the library that detailed how to make fabric and dowel kites. At that point, I took over my mum’s sewing machine (to her joy that she didn’t have to sew anymore for me) and made a sizable collection of fabric kites.
I have been a serious kite flyer and maker for almost fourteen years now and have had many fantastic experiences in kiting. Far too many to list in this short story, but I should try to at least jot down some that are more prominent.
Now, lets see, best kiting experience... It would have to be at the Roaring 40’s Festival and Heritage Forest, Launceston. It was warm, and the smell of dry grass in the air. The breeze was very light, with a few minor gusts. You could feel the thermals coming off the ground. I was flying a small and very light star kite, more on the thermals then the wind. There was music in the background - Oxygene by Jean Michael Jarre, and it perfectly complemented the mood. The distractions of the world ceased to be, except my kite, the music and the wind. Absolutely perfect.
You have probably guessed by now that the star kite is now one of my favourite kites. For heavier winds I love my French Rescue kites, which happily performs in a gale, although at that stage I am usually dragged around the field. When I am feeling adventurous I pull out my Thunderfoil (no, I didn’t make that one) and have my arms stretched a little longer!! Oh what fun!
The most interesting place I have flown a kite is on the edge of a volcanic crater on Mt.Tarawera, North Island, NZ. There was a grey mist, and all could be seen was the almost alien landscape in hues of deep red (the volcanic rock) and sulphur yellow (a lichen that thrived on the volcanic rock), and a small diamond kite hanging in the sky.
Through kiting, especially when I joined the KFT, I have met many friends. I am sure this will continue as I explore my passion for this that fly on a piece of brained line.
Izzy, Hobart, 29/08/2005
website: Izzy's Bit Of The Web