Thursday, June 3, 2010

Geisha Kites

Unlikely as it seems, I appear to know something the Internet does not, at least as far as Google searches go. The subject is geisha kites: tiny, delicate, beautifully crafted little kites no more than a few inches across that fit into equally beautiful small lacquer cases that could be slipped into the geisha's kimono sleeve. Envision a group of geishas in a Japanese garden with a flock of colorful little kites flying a few feet above their heads.

How do I know about geisha kites? I have no idea. I have known about them for decades. That's why I made a few for myself several years ago so that I could relive the experience. The results are displayed below. I can fly these kites in my living room with the wind coming through the window.

The spools of thread in the pictures, used as reels for the kites, give you an idea of just how tiny these kites are.

Click on images to see larger version.

The kite above was made with tissue-thin Chinese joss paper.

The kite above was made from part of page from a Chinese astrology book; the tail is thin ribbon.

This final kite is also made of Chinese joss paper. Tail is thread and little joss paper triangles.

Struts for the kites are made of balsa wood, cut very thin with an X-Acto knife.

Now that the word is out, you too can make geisha kites. Just use any standard kite pattern or how-to instructions (which you can find on the Web) and scale down the measurements to create a kite no more than two inches long. 

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