Lindsey Johnson has been flying and building kites for more than 30 years. The first serious bite of the kiting bug came along when his wife, Ronda Brewer, went to work for Lincoln City’s Catch the Wind Kites in 1985. While Ronda was working at Catch the Wind she got him involved with her children’s kite making and other kite making activities. He accompanied her to some festivals but, for the most part, he was known as "The Phantom” – conspicuous in his absence from those events. In 1996, he became more visible and decided to try his hand at kite making. One of his first creations, a painted fabric and sewn appliquéd Della Porta kite named “Zegalope”, earned him the Mixed Media honors at the 1997 American Kitefliers Association National Convention.
Over the years Lindsey and Ronda have worked together to create many unique and innovative products. In 2004 they launched their company, PhantomStarDesign.com. Their Tyvek no-sew kite kits are used in workshops around the world by school teachers for science and art classes, for corporate team building exercises, by artists, and as individual kite projects for all ages. These kits allow the builder to enjoy the experience of creating their own kite without the need to know how to sew. Their goal is to bring kite making to the masses.
The Tametomo was a collaborative project between Lindsey and Ronda, it was developed from a basic design concept with elements from the noodle, and the edo. In 2016, Ronda was commissioned to build three memorial kites. She had just enough of the background fabric, that she had won in a raffle, to build four kite sails. Lindsey designed 3D printed parts and sparred the kites. Ronda chose to use a cascading bridle to enable quick and easy flight angle adjustments.
For a number of years Lindsey has been collaborating with a number of kite designers and makers to design and build fittings and connectors for their designs. He works at a distance with most of them using various communication methods available today. Once he and the designer have talked, sent sketches and photos, and sometimes videos, back and forth he then finalizes design and engineers the parts. He mainly uses 3D printers to produce the parts. Lindsey has refined the techniques needed to successfully print most engineering grade plastics. He uses nylon, carbon fiber filled nylon, flexible and semi-rigid polyurethane, and is experimenting with glass filled nylon. These plastics produce very strong parts.
Lindsey and Ronda recently purchased a laser cutter/engraver. This machine has added some very interesting and exciting design and fabrication elements to their kite making, some of the uses are to cut fabric, cut adhesive backed Insignia cloth and to cut Dacron reinforcements.
In addition to 3D printing, Lindsey is an accomplished woodworker having owned and operated a cabinet and furniture shop since 1983.
Lindsey has attended and taught at numerous kite making events including the Oregon Kitemakers Retreat, the Ft. Worden Kitemakers Conference, MAKR and the 2019 Keystone Kiters Summer Kitemaking Workshop.