Maybe the best introduction to Steve Ferrel, founder of Kite Studio and Kitebuilder.com is his 2009 Edeiken Nomination. And he won!
2009 Edeiken Winner for the American Kitefliers Association
It’s a great pleasure and honor to nominate Steve Ferrel for AKA’s 2009 Edeiken Award. Steve Ferrel is a highly active and dedicated member of the American Kitefliers Association who untiringly supports kiting and kitemaking, making inspiring contributions to the enjoyment and skills of others in a highly impressive continuation of the spirit of Steve Edeiken.
Steve Ferrel has been a great friend and supporter of the kite community for almost two decades now. In this time, he has offered tremendous assistance to all kitefliers and kitemakers of both single-line and multi-line kites.
One criterion for the Edeiken Award is “…showing friendly, loving, fair, and even-handed concern for . . . people . . . kiteflying . . . craftsmanship and technical developments in particular . . .” It is hard to imagine someone who better meets these criteria than Steve Ferrel. Steve has been part of the kitemakers’ competition judging staff since 1994, is once again chairing the AKA Kitemakers’ Competitions Committee, and has been head judge of AKA’s kitemakers’ competitions since 1997. In this time, he has made substantial improvements to the judging process for both competitors and judges. His wry humor spices up the awards ceremony and he provides a superior method of giving feedback on scores to all competitors over the Internet. His fair-handed, friendly manner has soothed many a novice kitemaker and encouraged them to keep increasing their building skills. The way he structures the competitions keeps most everyone happy nearly all the time, even while they are engaged in the somewhat anxiety-producing competition. After spending long days on the field with kitemakers and judges, his job has just begun. He spends more time creating wonderful slideshows of the kites and kitemakers to be enjoyed by all AKA members at the Convention’s banquet and on his web site.
Steve has served on AKA’s Board of Directors, has been active in kite-making retreats and competitions in many states, and has provided judging services for kite festivals all over the country, including AKA’s national competitions, the Smithsonian kite festival, the Newport kite festival, Wildwood, the Maryland International Kite Exposition, and events sponsored by the Keystone Kiters, the Connectikiters, and the New York Kite Enthusiasts.
As well as sharing his skills, Steve builds highly crafted, beautiful, and innovative kites. Some of his kites have been graciously donated to the AKA and auctioned at the AKA’s annual banquet. His innovative “Tern into Dolphin” compound kite brought $1,300 at the 1994 AKA Convention in Wildwood. His kites have also been featured in the Lewis and Clark exhibition at the Billings, Montana airport, and he has helped to create stage sets for musicians and displays for convention centers around the country.
Another criterion of the Edeiken Award is for providing “…communication in general, and leading and participating in kite events in particular.” It is hard to think of anyone else who does this better! His website is a treasure trove of information about and supplies for kitemaking and kiteflying. He has created a fully searchable, interactive dictionary created by, and existing for, the kitebuilder community. It is basically a kitebuilders’ encyclopedia that archives information on all things related to kitebuilding, including Kite Plans and Reference Information. His Internet forums give flyers and builders world wide a great place to interact and share information with others. The forums have had more than 79,000 posts from more than 2,200 registered users.
Steve Ferrel epitomizes the best attributes of Steve Edeiken and the highest ideals of AKA members. He is a truly unique person and an inspiration to other kitefliers. Steve has made quantum steps forward in educating people and distributing information to flyers, builders, and the general public. He has made it possible for many, many others to experience the joys of kiteflying. He is a fantastic friend to many widely (and wildly!) assorted people, and a credit to the name of Steve Edeiken.
Glen and Tanna Haynes
John and Diana Pollack
Mearl and Adrianne Balmer
Kevin and Cinda Shannon
Jon and Karen Burkhardt
Charlie and Joan Dunton
Bevan and Margo Brown
Bob and Karen Kelly
Scott Skinner offered these additional comments –
Steve Ferrel has been an indispensable asset to the American kite community. In providing kite-making materials, innovative plans, and informed service through the Kite Studio, he has lifted the community’s knowledge and know-how. For over ten years he has been an integral part of the Committee.