Ken McNeill

Ken McNeill
Lenoir, NC

Facebook:  Blue Moon Kites









I (Ken McNeill) am a self-described "kite geek", who's spent the last 25+ years as a designer and maker of high performance aerial art. Well, that includes a stint as maker and breaker of carbon fiber tubes and rods as product manager for Avia Sport Composites.

Most of the first 20 years was devoted to sport kites, first as Aerie Kiteworks, and more recently, as Blue Moon Kites. It's been my pleasure to build several thousand kites for my friends around the world, as well as see more than a few of those friends fly my kites to regional and national championships.

Since day one in kiting, the "hobby" part was designing an occasional single liner to keep the creative spark alive. In 2013, the hobby became a new business, and I devoted myself to the art of single line kites. I don't know that 20 years with two lines fully prepared me for the complexity of sending a new design aloft with only the winds and a rudimentary grasp of kite physics. There have been, honestly, as many failures as victories with new designs, but, I must say that the last few years have been some of my most challenging, rewarding, and fun times in kiting.

I'm excited about coming back to the Taft Campus. I've been to Taft many times over the years, first as an elementary education major at NIU, and later as an attendee and 3 time instructor at the MAKR retreat. Always a good time at Taft. Although I've lived in North Carolina for the last 20 years, that part of the country still feels comfortable. It still feels like home
.

For my class at U-MAKE '18, we'll be building a new kite, the Vixen. The Vixen uses some time-tested design and construction techniques, as well as a couple that have been experiments, set aside with the intention of revisiting them someday. Well, that day is now, and I'm happy and honored to be able to share the Vixen with you at U-Make '18.

As of this writing, the Vixen is still in development, but I'll be sharing details and pictures soon.