Medio's KitesMedio Calderoni

Medio Calderoni, the poet of the Comets

I met Medio several times, sharing the common interest of making toys and having friends in the same town of Ravenna.
Now he is no longer living anymore.
Mainly, I saw him playing or making homemade colourful flying objects. But for him, “Comet” was the name to call what we usually know as a kite.
I remember him as joyful and cheerful man, always dedicated to his passion of making kites all of them made with natural and scrap materials. Many times and with great generousity, I saw him leading workshops for children during traditional and local festivals. Genuinely and as a gift, he was there donating his time to make simple kites.
Some of the kites he made are now permanently displayed in two different Museums, which are “La Lucertola” (The Lizard) in Ravenna, and “The Eco-museum” in Villanova di Bagnacavallo (near Ravenna).
His own approach to the kite’s engineering was really practical. He never made a proper design for his hand-made kites, he only made a simple sketch, drawing with pencil on pages of old diaries. But those drafts were enough to start making incredible flying objects. After the sketch, the process was mainly led by his own imagination, experience, empirical methods, and the knowledge of tools and materials.

As Roberto wrote in his notes about Medio: “…from his own hands come out vessels, butterfly, airplane, huge birds with wings and wonderful little kites simply decorated by small elements.”
In fact and looking closely at these kites, Medio was always rejecting any kind of modern technology and the use of special materials. Tradition was the stream-path to complite the making tasks.
Medio is well also known among his friends as having a great natural talent for stoytelling of his own life. Everybody liked his stories, which were all different one from each other. Medio lived 89 years participating to one of thetraditional kites most changeable century, and this contributed to give him “materials for our ears”.

“You were sitting near Medio and drinking his stories as a tisana. Little or nothing ceremonious, you would get out of his garage a bit taller and feeling thankful to the world” wrote Primo, one of Medio’s best friends.
“Like the other genuine storytellers, and from the beginning of the story, for him it was easy to catch people’s attention and to make listeners’ imaginations fly. His stories were a mix of many tangled things, always combined with humor. In them you can find things of his own childhood and war experiences, kites and his passion for motorcycles, or the first time he saw his wife or that time when he was a coach of the football children’s club. He was so capable to catch the people who appeared the last interested” wrote Roberto about his “master” in kite making.

Ciao Medio!

To learn more about Medio and his kites you can see the second part of the article on this website or visit this new website:

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