Thursday, December 27, 2012

The 2012 Swatch Swap Book is Here

Khandroling Paper Cooperative is part of an international papermakers Swatch  Swap  book with samples of paper accompanied with their descriptions. Both Sheryl Jaffee and Jacqueline Gens submitted 70 samples of their paper to include in the handmade books sponsored this year by the Canadian Paperdreamers of Quebec.  Each book was handmade and handsewn with all the paper samples. These Swatch Swaps grew out of a very active Yahoo papermaking discussion group that is the go to  place for information about handmade paper.

Here are samples of Sheryl's two submissions:


Sheryl also experimented with using old prayer flags as part of our ethos of recycling sacred text. Sheryl has participated in these swaps for years. These books are a great resource which we studied from Sheryl's library of past Swatch books for inspiration and ideas.

Finally, here is my humble submission under Khandroling Paper Cooperative -- a real plain Jane, as they say,  made with hand-beaten Kozo and recycled Mirrors while on retreat at Khandroling this past August. One day I cooked the fibers, then rinsed with pond water and finally hand beat. I liked air drying the paper which I later pressed in an antique book press. We had not received our Mark Lander hollander beater yet and I did not have access to a blender. However, Kozo proved a marvelous fiber to work with.

Dakini Script

I've heard of this kind of script used to communicate  special "Terma" (Treasures) to Tertons (Treasure Holders). I found this sample on Facebook: 

Terma revelation by Terton Migyur Dorje, written in dakini script (yellow letters outlined in orange on blue background). "Those who see this script will not experience the three lower realms and will be liberated from the fear of falling into the lower realms; will be purified of the five poisons and freed from the results of one's karma; will be freed from the fear of remaining in samsara."--terma revelation of Terton Migyur Dorje. --from the following online source

 I was intrigued by the way the letters are interconnected and appear to dance across the page. I  once met a woman who had a connection with the late Dudjom Rinpoche (1904-1987). One day he showed her many small pieces of thin yellow paper with "Dakini Script" which appeared as incomprehensible scribbles. The Terton is able to decipher this writing and unfold whole Teachings that were embedded from an earlier era or from another realm.

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu founder of the International Dzogchen Community is a Terton and our retreat land, Khandroling, the location of many of his Terma related to the Vajra Dance.

Here's an interesting article about another teacher of mine, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's early terma which describes the yellow scrolls recovered by CTR.

As this particular page is the most frequented page on this blog, I enclose a link to the very interesting site to Dakini Scripts,

Friday, December 21, 2012

Trace Foundation on Tibetan Calligraphy

In September 2012 The Trace Foundation featured a Tibetan Calligraphy event in NYC to a full house.

For fifteen hundred years the Tibetan plateau has been home to a unique calligraphic culture, due both to a large population of monks who were expected to copy sacred texts and to technological development slowed by decades of geographic and political isolation. That’s why, as we become a part of a networked, plugged-in world—and as we spend more and more hours in front of computer screens—Trace Foundation was so excited to see a full and lively house for an event we held celebrating the heritage and techniques of this unique traditional art. We were particularly pleased to see so many parents bring their children to deepen understanding of their heritage.

On Saturday, September 29, 2012, Mipham Namgyal Rinpoche, a highly regarded artist, designer, calligrapher, and tulku (a reincarnated Tibetan lama) traveled to us from the Wamlung Dongak Chökorling Monastery in Kyegudo, Qinghai, to give a lecture and demonstration on his art form. Even before guests arrived, the Library came to life as he unrolled his work and as we hung up the work of special guests calligrapher Phuntsok Dhumkhang and library director Pema Bhum.

 To read more, visit:

Please check back for the dates of our ongoing Tibetan calligraphy class in Conway< MA at the yellow schoolhouse. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What's New at Khandroling Paper Cooperative: Open Studios of Late

Lately, our open studios have been graced by many visitors and enthusiastic artists stopping by to make art and learn more about the handmade paper process. Kathy O'Connor (photo background) from New York City saw our pile of scraps destined for the Critter and suggested  we reserve these lovely and luminesent paper scraps for making collages. She used a wooden  picture frame ($1.00 from Michael's) which she collaged and finished with a picture of Mandarava or Goma Devi.

Kathy also helped us finish one of our orders for Japanese style  wallets which we learned to make from Sheryl in our last workshop. These are extremely labor intensive with many steps such as making the paper from start to finish, dying pigments for pulp painting or stenciling,  cutting the wallet out from our paper using a template,  gluing, pressing, drying, scoring the final folds, and coatin with methyl cellulose.  We listened over and over on her Mac Book Pro to  Gurbani Kirtan singer,  Hari Bhajan Kaur.

Margarita  (photo foreground) from Ontario, at Tsegyalgar East for a retreat with her friend Yulia also from Ontario,  revealed her extraordinary talent for precision in making us a variety of book and folder templates. She also had numerous ideas for product development.

Here she is measuring out a template for a folder to hold practice texts--something we all coveted when finished.  We look forward to working with Margarita on developing some excellent products
to go into our Etsy store we are working on.

It's so great to work together with so many different people who bring their unique skills to the studio. Making art is fun but making together is even more fun especially in the context of our community.

On a volunteer note:

*Thank you Harold for your donation of overhead lighting and installing them. It's made a huge difference.

*Thanks Nary for routing our dehumidifier hose into a nearby drain pipe so we don't have to empty the five gallon bucket every other day.

*Thanks again to Nary  for fixing the heating blower in our studio.

** A used refridgerator with freezer
**Fantasy wish list:  An etching or letter press for embossing papers
**Apple product boxes
**sacred substances (contact us what this means)

Stay tuned for our upcoming winter and spring workshop schedules that we are working on now. In the works-- a Beginning Tibetan Calligraphy class and more to come.....

In January Naomi and I will be taking a course at Dieu Donne Papermill in NYC to increase our knowledge of watermarks, pigment preparation and pulp painting.

And yes--one more thing --- the 2012 swatch book is completed. Khandroling Paper Coopertive will be one of 70 international papermakers presented in the hand-made book, a tradition that allows papermakers to share their work annually and, better yet, their recipes which is very educational. Our entry called "Plein Aire" is a hand beaten kozo paper made while on retreat at Khandroling.

Everyone have a great holiday!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Papermaking in Tibet


Monday, November 12, 2012

Tuesday Open Studio November 13

Greetings Everyone

This morning I opened our Carriage House order with lots of fibers, color additives and 2 new moulds and deckles to add to our collection. Some of our booty above. Tomorrow, I'll be in the paper studio 1:00 PM-5:00 PM after spending the morning on Khandroling photographing the new road and the space around the vajra hall

Not sure what I will do tomorrow afternoon in the studio but join me if you have some free time.
I was thinking of a long beating time for Abaca to experiment with some colors for pulp painting and making some stencils for watermarking. There's lots of linen to cut up for the critter and some Kozo that needs hand beating.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sheryl Jaffe's work will be in the Zea Mays Print Fair North Show

Sheryl Jaffe's work will be shown at the Zea Mays Printmaking Cooperative show Print Fair North in Florence, MA the weekend of November 10-11.

Print Fair North @ zea mays printmaking

New Location: 320 Riverside Drive, Florence, MA 01062

November 10–11, 2012

10am–5pm @ Zea Mays Printmaking

Hundreds of original fine art prints by studio artists for sale at studio (not gallery) prices. Printmaking demonstrations throughout the day. Raffle for prints and workshops.

Sheryl is one of our main advisors and instructors at the Khandroling Paper Cooperative. During our October Harvest workshop Sheryl showed us examples of prints she made at the Zea Mays studio using her handmade paper. We look forward to experiment with  printmaking using our own papers.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Some Examples of Encaustic Paintings Made from Khandroling Papers

This past weekend I attended an Encaustic Painting workshop by Julia Jensen at the River Gallery School in Brattelboro, Vermont. I was hoping to explore this medium as a means to use with our decorative Khandroling papers. I wasn't disappointed.

The piece below was a simple thin piece of Kozo paper with an experiment of using sea weed stenciling. The letters failed to emerge but I liked the dots. I then added India ink with a small calligraphy brush. I love to add gold leaf for richness--a bit of an affectation. Sorry for the poor photo
quality from my IPad but the Kozo was simply mounted on board with pva glue. Every fiber can be seen. I was astonished at the strength of the paper to hold the india ink and the ability of the layered wax to convey the actual brush strokes with great clarity. I can't wait to experiment further.

Here is another sample of unadorned paper simply mounted on board with two layers of wax applied with buffing by hand in between. The paper already had a somewhat figurative look to it with a combination of inlaid semi beaten fibers and pulp painting with seaweed.

I can't wait to show everyone some of these methods at our open studios on either Tuesday or Saturdays!

Jacqueline Gens

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tibetan Art Lecture and Two-day Workshop with Penba Wangdu

The Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations and the Shang Shung Institute for Tibetan Studies are happy to announce a weekend dedicated to exploring and experiencing Tibetan art under the guidance of one of Tibet’s leading artists.

Friday 11/9/2012
Lecture on Tibetan art and art history by Penba Wangdu
Webster 220, 6 PM
Free and open to the public

Penba Wangdu was born in Shigatse, Tibet, in 1969. He studied fine art at Tibet University, taught at the Lhasa Normal School and began teaching at the Art Department of Tibet University in 1994. In 2000, he studied at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, where he specialized in mural painting. From 2002 to 2005 he studied for his MA in Tibetan Fine Arts at the School of Arts, Tibet University. An artist of international renown, he lives in Lhasa.

Two-day Workshop on Tibetan thangka painting
An experienced art teacher at Tibet University, and a recognized and well-sought master in the art of Thangka painting, Penba Wangdu will introduce participants, on the first day, to the basics of drawing and proportions in thangka painting. On Sunday, in the second part of the workshop, participants will learn more about coloring and composition.
You can see examples of Penba Wangdu here

Workshop Times:
11/10 10 AM-12 AM and 2 PM- 5 PM
11/11 10 AM-12 AM
Location of workshop: Webster 220

The workshop is free for Five College students and staff. For the general public a minimum donation of $ 20 per session is recommended. All profit will go to the Shang Shung Institute for Tibetan Studies. For more information and registration for the workshop, please contact

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Open Studio Times at Tsegyalgar East

Khandroling Paper Cooperative is happy to announce Open Studio times. Come learn the art of hand papermaking in our yellow schoolhouse studio located in the basement of Tsegyalgar East. Payment is currently by donation with a portion going towards the Dzogchen Community projects or Shang Shung and to cover materials used.

Tuesdays from 1:00 PM-5:00 PM or by appointment during any weekday (1-4 PM)
All day Saturday 10:00 AM-5:00 PM except during scheduled workshops or Dzogchen Community special events.

Open studio will make available the following activities: cooking fibers outdoors, beating fibers, use of the hollander beater (our "critter") or blenders for preparing pulp, making personal moulds and deckles, creating handmade books, calligrpahy and encaustic collages from our handmade paper and sharing information. No previous experience necessary.

A list of things to bring:

Fibers: Any dried fibers you want to cook and beat as an experiment--corn husks, cattails, ginko leaf,  or you can buy kozo here to make Japanese style papers.

Cotton rags, linen or blue jeans cut into small postage size pieces here or at home

Recycled sacred texts

If you would like to work at other times or one on one, please contact Jacqueline Gens at 413-522-1125 or

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Traditonal Papermaking in Tibet

Visit this link to view a great video on traditional papermaking in Tibet at the Dege Printing House as part of the Rubin Museum's exhibit "Iluminated the Art of Sacred Books."

black ground manuscript page circa 11th-12th century with silver and gold inks

November 18, 2012 Workshop Origami and Simple Gifts with Sheryl Jaffe and Brenda Lilly


Origami and Simple Gifts with Sheryl Jaffe and Brenda Lilly 

Join us for a fun day making holiday gifts with paper

WHEN: Sunday, November 18 2012*
10:00 AM-5:00 PM

* If you would like to make your own paper prior to the workshop, contact Jacqueline for open studio times. 

Shang Shung Library
Khandroling Paper Cooperative
18 Schoolhouse Road
Conway, MA 01341

COST: $75/$50** includes all materials
**Low income option

TO REGISTER: Contact Jacqueline Gens or 413-522-1125
LIMITED to 12 participants

Origmai: My name is Brenda Lilly, a resident of Conway for 18 years, and an origami artist for over 22 years. Throughout my artistic ventures I have combined handmade papers into my art, either by folding the papers or using them as a backdrop for my pieces. This workshop will focus on boxes, and simple birds, and or fish. One box in particular is the Brochure Box, yes it uses brochures from museums or events. The more colorful they are with less words the better. If you do come across some collect 8 of them for one box. I will be bringing some along too. I can also accommodate special interests if people want to learn something specific fold, such as the popular peace crane. E-mail request at least a few days ahead of time to:

Simple Gifts:  Handmade paper wallets, star books and simple books/cards.  Fold, print and stamp colors and messages into paper.  Personal items you'll want to keep close for years to come, bring joy to yourself and others, holiday ideas become beautiful sturdy paper items that feel like leather. Join us for a day of fun with fiber. Sheryl Jaffe

Sheryl (left) and Brenda at the October Harvest Weekend.

Slide Show from Our October Harvest Weekend

We had a great weekend for our first workshop. Here's  a slide show. We will be announcing open studio times shortly.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

First Pulp

Yesterday we finally got  Mark Lander's "critter" up and running thanks to Bret Bourman and Nary Mitchel. I loved hearing its  rumbles and thumbing.

In the wings a batch of cooked Iris and linen rags waiting for the beater.

Bret Bourman, the secretary of Shang Shung Institute figured it out.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Critter is Here

Great News!

Our portable Hollander Beater aka the "Critter" has arrived from New Zealand.  The is a wonderful addition to our hand papermaking process as it will allow us to move beyond kitchen blenders to a more versatile means of making pulp.  With some help we will be assembling the small motor to get it up and running to make our first batch of cotton rag pulp within a couple of weeks and ready for our upcoming workshop in October 13 & 14.

We are currently collecting old Blue Jeans(100% cotton)  to make indigo colored paper and any 100% cotton rags, old underwear & T shirts, bed sheets, table cloths preferably in white but color OK too but keep separate. If you would like to contribute let me know and I can pick up your cotton rags. All contributors will receive a batch of our paper. You can also mail to me Jacqueline Gens, PO Box 171 Conway, MA 01341

These will need to be cut into 1 " postage stamp pieces to go into the Critter ( can be done with a rotary cutter as well as scissors). If you can't do this yourself, that's OK we can process the rags here. Also, it is important to fully wash the rag in hot water ONLY to remove any detergent.  Each batch needs about 1 1/4 pounds of rag to convert to enough pulp to keep us busy making paper all week long.

If you are interested in the process of hand made paper please join us for our work shop with Sheryl Jaffe October 13 & 14 or just stop by and visit us at the yellow schoolhouse in Conway to check it out. To learn more,  visit our blog at

Thank you Nary & Bret for all your help in assembling the Critter.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Harvest Papermaking Weekend Workshop DATES: October 13 & 14, 2012

Khandroling Papermaking Cooperative
Harvest Papermaking Workshop
October 13 & 14, 2012
With Sheryl Jaffe

WHERE: Tsegyalgar East Schoolhouse (Basement Studio) & Khandroling

18 Schoolhouse Road, Conway, MA 01341

HOURS: 9:00-5:00 PM each day

COST: $75*/$125 including materials * sliding scale for low-income



1st Day Saturday, October 13 we will cover Fiber preparation and the marvels and history of paper. We will make some tools, cook, rinse, beat, blend and cut fibers in preparation for making paper on Sunday.

2nd Day Sunday, October 14 Making paper from a global perspective: su-geta, molds and deckles, floating molds of different sizes and shapes.

 We will explore kozo (mulberry), linen (flax), iris, ginko leaf, and corn, other fibers are welcome.

*Bring an apron and shoes that can get wet
*Bring a good pair of scissors, pen and paper for notes
*Bring something flat--a board or cookie sheet for transporting your wet sheets of paper home

 Local fibers make beautiful, unique, exotic papers for writing, drawing, printing, origami, cards, wallets, books, etc.

 INSTRUCTOR: Sheryl Jaffe MA, Art Education, 1992, University of Massachusetts, BS in Multicultural Art Education from the University Without Walls'1986. I began making paper about 20 years ago in order to create paper sculptures, this was a direct reaction to making sculptures in concrete. I needed to "lighten up". I was a potter in my early art career and I still think like a 3 dimensional person. Paper from plants to me is a sacred, tangible substance you can hold, see light pass through, create and receive messages with. When I am making paper I am so happy, watching the fibers come together, swirl around in the water and form such strong substances. I now live in Ludlow and I teach in Northampton where I work with inventive, creative high school students and teachers. I continue to be fascinated by form, light, nature and people. My art creativity finds expression in making handmade paper and using it to form sculptures, photographs, installations and books. My regular creativity finds expression in my teaching, gardening, cooking and learning. I have been exhibiting my sculptures, installations, prints and photographs for the past 25 years.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Walkabout on Khandroling

Our first "walkabout" on Khandroling with Sheryl Jaffe and Madeline Leiber looking to identify common weeds and plants to make paper with.