top of page

November 23rd, 2020 Kite Newsletter

In the United States, Thanksgiving is this Thursday and it has us here at Fortuna Headquarters looking back on everything that we are thankful for this year. Usually we would be listing off the events, the festivals, and the moments spent with our kite family, but this year everything has been different. What we are thankful for is the frequent video chats with kite family, the new group of folks that are picking up a kite for the first time this year, and the new opportunities that are beginning to take shape in our kite world.

At retreats and kite camps we like to end the evening around the campfire asking everyone to say at least one thing they are grateful for from the day. So, I challenge you to do the same at the end of reading this newsletter. I would love to hear what you are grateful for in the kite world this year.

If you have any ideas, suggestions, or general feedback let me know at



Are you just getting into kite making? Make sure to find some fabric weights. You can make your own, or purchase them online. They do not need to be heavy, just enough to hold the fabric in place as you cut, detail, or do other work. This will save you a lot of time and heartache later on!!

Fabric weights can be actual weight plates, bags of sand, water bottles, solid doorstoppers, and more! The key is that they should be just enough weight to hold the fabric to the work surface with out damaging or marking the fabric.



You many have heard of this famous kite flier, but do you know what really happened during the famous kite experiment?

The kite experiment was described in The Pennsylvania Gazette on October 19, 1752 as follows:

Franklin's Statement Philadelphia, October 19, 1752 As frequent Mention is made in the News Papers from Europe, of the Success of the Philadelphia Experiment for drawing the Electric Fire from Clouds by Means of pointed Rods of Iron erected on high Buildings, &c. it may be agreeable to the Curious to be inform'd, that the same Experiment has succeeded in Philadelphia, tho' made in a different and more easy Manner, which any one may try, as follows. Make a small Cross of two light Strips of Cedar, the Arms so long as to reach to the four Corners of a large thin Silk Handkerchief when extended; tie the Corners of the Handkerchief to the Extremities of the Cross, so you have the Body of a Kite; which being properly accommodated with a Tail, Loop and String, will rise in the Air, like those made of Paper; but this being of Silk is fitter to bear the Wet and Wind of a Thunder Gust without tearing. To the Top of the upright Stick of the Cross is to be fixed a very sharp pointed Wire, rising a Foot or more above the Wood. To the End of the Twine, next the Hand, is to be tied a silk Ribbon, and where the Twine and the silk join, a Key may be fastened. This Kite is to be raised when a Thunder Gust appears to be coming on, and the Person who holds the String must stand within a Door, or Window, or under some Cover, so that the Silk Ribbon may not be wet; and Care must be taken that the Twine does not touch the Frame of the Door or Window. As soon as any of the Thunder Clouds come over the Kite, the pointed Wire will draw the Electric Fire from them, and the Kite, with all the Twine, will be electrified, and the loose Filaments of the Twine will stand out every Way, and be attracted by an approaching Finger. And when the Rain has wet the Kite and Twine, so that it can conduct the Electric Fire freely, you will find it stream out plentifully from the Key on the Approach of your Knuckle. At this Key the Phial may be charg'd; and from Electric Fire thus obtain'd, Spirits may be kindled, and all the other Electric Experiments be perform'd, which are usually done by the Help of a rubbed Glass Globe or Tube; and thereby the Sameness of the Electric Matter with that of Lightning compleatly demonstrated.

But, what is the SHOCKING truth about Benjamin Franklin and his kite experiment!?!?!?!

Know of a kid doing 'distance learning' at home? Why not share this video about Benjamin Franklin with a mention of his famous kite experiment.



For something a little bit different.

Check out what this guy catches when he goes 'Kite Fishing' from the beach in North Carolina


photos courtesy of Samantha Shanahan/KQED

The Kite Maker of the Tenderloin

This is an earlier article about Jeff Marshall, and is worth a re-share, it is a man you may never have heard of, with a good story.

"It was 1993 when Jeff Marshall, a 35-year-old born and raised Houstonian, had enough of the Texas heat. So he hitched up his motorcycle and headed for Seattle.

Except he never quite got there. Twenty-five years later, Jeff is an irreplaceable member of his Tenderloin community, a painter with a contagious passion for kites. When his creative impulses get bigger than his one-room apartment, he takes to the streets and flies his paintings across the San Francisco skies, proving art can thrive in even the most improbable places."....


bottom of page