WSIKF 2018 Featured Guests

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phone booth kite

Paul and Helene Morgan have been designing and building high quality, high performance kites in Shropshire, UK. since 1986.

Both Paul and Helene went to Shrewsbury Art School before going to Art College. Paul took a course in Illustration and Graphic Design in Cambridge and Helene studied Fashion and Textiles along with Business Studies and Art History in Brighton. In 1982, just before the birth of their second son, they took their two year old son on holiday to the coast and bought an inexpensive plastic octopus kite. The kite was flown all day and they became hooked. From that day forward kites became a bigger part of life until, in 1986, Morgan Kites was set up and they started selling their kites to the public and other kite retailers. In 1991 they wrote “The Book of Kites” (published in USA under the title “The Ultimate Book of Kites”) and in 1992 changed the company name to Sky Bums to coincide with the opening of their shop in Shrewsbury.  By 1995 they decided shop-keeping was not for them and returned to what they do best. Designing and building kites.

Ever since the start they have run kite making workshops for schools, art colleges, teacher training, clubs and kite flyers. This has even taken them to Washington State on numerous occasions teaching at the Fort Worden Kite Makers Conference.

In 1998 they also took over the organization of the Shrewsbury Kite Festival. Since then the festival moved out of Shrewsbury and is now known as the Shropshire Kite Festival which is held in the south of the county.

Their kites have been in art exhibitions, used in TV ads, and company promotions. They have been used by the British Antarctic Survey and archaeologists for lofting weather equipment and cameras. Their skills have also been used to design and construct light weight stage sets and props as well as designing a prototype “S.S. Windrush” ship for the 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony.

Recently they have been using more paint and print ideas alongside the usual appliquéd designs to decorate the covers of their kites. Paul and Helene still work full time from home and produce all their kites themselves. They can also be found on the field at festivals most weekends throughout the summer.

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