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Rob Pratt
Olympia, WA

My first kites were the paper diamonds that we all received every spring. However, when I was 8 or 9 years old my father started going to San Francisco for business meetings and he would bring me Chinese and Japanese kites as souvenirs. These kites were so very different from what I was used to. I hung them on the walls of my bedroom after flying them. That was the beginning of my fascination with kites.

My parents later bought a motorhome and started making regular trips to the beach, which led to their flying kites. Then my mother bought me a stunt kite for my birthday, which was pretty cool. I started looking at better kites and I decided that I could make them for myself. This led to my first kite-building book. Soon after that I borrowed my mother's Singer sewing machine and made a box kite and a couple of stunt kites.

Then the Daily Olympian newspaper had an article on kite festivals and kite clubs in the area. This led to the Capitol City Flyers (a now defunct kite club), where I met members of the Westport Windriders. This is the group that I ultimately found a kite-flying home with.

After hearing about Ft. Worden Kitemakers Conference, out of curiosity I went to see what these other kitemakers knew that I didn't. What an eye opener! The next year I went to Oregon Kitemakers Retreat in addition to Ft. Worden. And it is these two events that still shape the kitemaker I am today.

I have taught several kite-building classes at Ft. Worden Kitemakers, Oregon Kitemakers Retreat, Westport Club Meetings and finally at the World Kite Museum in Long Beach. I am also on the board of directors for the Ft. Worden Kitemakers conference and a past president of the Washington Kitefliers Association. Other kite clubs I belong to are the American Kitefliers Association, the Association of Oregon Kitefliers, and the White Horse Kite Fliers (from Swindon, UK.)

My interest in kites has led to me travel to England to fly kites at the Portsmouth kite festival, the Bristol kite festival and to Dieppe, France for the Dieppe kite festival. I have also attended the American Kitefliers Association annual convention in Wildwood NJ, Billings MT, Ocean Shores WA, and Dayton OH.