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