Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Alchemy with Fibers Papermaking Workshop with Sheryl Jaffe

Please join us for the next Khandroling Paper Cooperative Workshop with Sheryl Jaffe and Company on Saturday, August 10, 2013 on Lower Khnadroing from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM.

ALCHEMY WITH FIBER: Make Beautiful Paper With Local Fibers One day workshop, learn how to make pulp with iris, daylily, grass clippings and QUeen Anne's Lace. Everyone will take home beautiful papers for calligraphy, cards, drawing and painting. Donations of fibers, flowers or $ accepted ($10-50 suggested) Large size scrolls, Japanese style su-geta with kozo. Prepare to get wet. Call 413-585-9861 for more info.

WHEN: Saturday, August 10, 2013
TIMES: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM
WHERE: Lower Khandroling Farm, 190 East Buckland Rd. Buckland MA
COST: By Donation 

The Khandroling Farm Coop will be in full bloom--Come by to participate in the workshop or observe, have some fun and visit with friends. Join us for a pot-luch lunch around 1:00 PM. Bring the kids and let's make paper!

Sheryl Jaffe  received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts and has taught papermaking throughout the Northeast for many years. Besides teaching workshops, Sheryl is an art educator instructing at the Secondary level.Her work has been exhibited at shows and galleries throughout New England. Sheryl is the primary instructor for 
workshops and classes.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art to Exhibit Longest Tibetan Calligraphy Scroll

On Saturday, August 3, and Sunday, August 4, 2013, The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art will  exhibit  the world’s longest calligraphy Scroll created by Jamyang Dorjee Chakrishar.

The Museum is located at 338 Lighthouse Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10306. The Museum's hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM. Admission is $6 Adults, $4 Students and Seniors.

Here's  a video about the scroll which is traveling the world

Message in a Bottle: Finding Glen Eddy's Pigments

Glen Eddy (1941-2006) was a prominent Western Thanka painter in the Tibetan tradition. He lived at Tsegyalgar  East from 1994-2000 when he retired to Tashigar Sur where he had built a house and studio.

For many years, he taught Thanka painting through the The Shang Shung Institute in the US at Tsegyalgar in what he referred to as THE GOLDEN VAJRA GUILD.

One day while cleaning the papermaking studio in the basement of the yellow schoolhouse last winter, I found a box of Glen's stone pigments from which he made his own paints. It reminded me of the days when we had many classes in Tibetan art at the yellow schoolhouse.

Currently, KPC is researching the availability of visiting instructors for developing some Tibetan art courses and Tibetan calligraphy. So stay tuned.......

[Photo of Glen by Ellen Pearlman, 2005 Tashigar Sur]

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Filmmaker Soledad Suarez's Paper Mache Installation

Soledad was one of the early papermakers who joined our efforts in papermaking experiments down in the basement of Tsegyalgar East last year. She was especially adept at pulling perfect pieces of paper with great elegance and mixing vivid pigments that reflected her Argentine heritage.We featured her as the model in our first KPC banner designed by Dan Zugunis

While a student at a local college, one day Soledad asked if she could make paper mache for a class film project in the KPC studio.

Sole, as we call her, is a fantastic tango dancer and a great beauty. She is joined by other dancers in our community. Enjoy this fun "paper" video

Now, for that Tango, here's a short experimental film by Soledad Suarez

Khandroling Paper Cooperative Receives Donation of Japanese Paper Batik

Yesterday, our friend and neighbor Marie Stella of Beaver Lodge near our retreat land in Buckland, MA called Khandroling donated many items to the paper cooperative. Among the items was a treasure trove of exquisite Japanese paper batiks. Many of them are handcrafted into folders which will be perfect containers for sets of our own paper. Then there are unique pieces (on the rack above) that I am sure we will design some amazing book blocks with (or I should say Margherita will design).  Included in this donation were also many squares that can be used in collage. Thanks Marie!!!!!

A Tour Through Tibet's Writing Arts

[photo of Tibetan calligrapher and artist Phuntsok Tsering from Trace Foundation website]

Recently, the Trace Foundation hosted an all day workshop on Tibetan calligraphy, sand painting , and handmade papermaking. Here is an article reviewing the day, which unfortunately I was not able to attend.
He smiles as he unfurls his work: huge white banners (two and a half feet across and nearly five feet in length); gorgeous collages layered with German newspaper clippings and Tibetan calligraphy; and a small red-white-and-gray triptych that reads “past, present, future” in Tibetan.
“That one means ‘lungta’ (རླུང་རྟ་),” he says, pointing to one of his banners. “Literally it means ‘wind horse’ and is a type of Tibetan prayer flag. When the flag waves in the wind, the horse rides out, spreading good luck.”
To read more, visit:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday Open Studio: Big Scrolls

As the weather was cooler than usual, today was a great day for making pulp. Sheryl stopped by after her Yantra Yoga class to offer her expertise. We were joined by Naomi, Kathryn from NYC and Karen. The plastic swimming pool turned out to be a perfect fit for the large silk screen donated to us by artist Dorthey Osterman. The smaller Nepalese screen belongs to Sheryl Jaffe, which she handmade using mesh curtains for the screen. A group effort, everything went smoothly from starting with making our pulp from old linen table cloths mixed with a Thai kozo and ping tang mixture, ending with draining the pulp on the mould of the excess water. Don't ask me how the laughter got recorded with the photos and sometimes sounds but we always have lots of fun making paper, for sure. The large scroll shown here was made for artist and Ursa Major Gallery owner, Lauri Marder in appreciation for all her support.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sustainability in the Pioneer Valley

Among our shared interests at Khandroling Paper Cooperative are the many faces of sustainability in Western Massachusetts where we are located.

One of the missions of  the handmade paper movement is to move away from wood based paper pulps towards fibers that can be cultivated or pulp made from recycled papers or recycled cotton "rags." Although handmade paper is primarily the provence of artists here in the US, nevertheless it is important to understand the enormous cost to the planet in the use of wood based pulps. Such practices are especially important for many countries where deforestation is an ecological disaster. Making handmade paper sustains the livelihood of whole villages in places like India and Nepal. We here at Khandroling Paper Cooperative believe that it can sustain us too. Our coop members offer their services for free and all courses are by donation. Some products are also by donation.

[Photo above: Kathleen recycling an old linen table cloth for the Hollander beater to make pulp]

Stone Soup Cafe
Beyond our focus on papermaking, there are many exciting initiatives happening in the valley.  One such initiative I love as a low-income senior is Bernie Glassman Roshi's inspired soup kitchen in Greenfeld called Stone Soup Cafe which provides a weekend nourishing meal. Every Saturday, they serve a kick-ass (excuse the expression) dynamic lunch (mostly vegan/gluten free) that is exquisitely prepared and presented. The entire venue is uplifted with tablecloths, wrapped cutlery, flowers, and candles. There is also live music with local musicians.  Bernie Glassman and his Peacekeeper's have established an environment that cultivates egalitarian principles and provides far more than just a meal. They also nourish through offering wellness services such as free acupunture, a family-friendly place to socialize, and an internship program to train unemployed individuals in food service.

Sitting at our table, we were graced with some interesting women who sat with us-- one a Basque/Apache young mother with a law degree from Harvard and her two kids; A South African elderly lady dressed elegantly in red and with long silver braids who spoke of her social activism for decades, and another woman--one of the main cooks for the day, who is a women's studies major at Mt. Holyoke College. At the next table were two young mothers passing out free samples of their medicinal herbal infusions for free made at their medicine farm.  I signed up to receive notice when they harvest a variety of herbs such nettles, red clover and oats. Their mission: "To bring medicine to the people."

Time Banking
Another innovative program I have discovered here in the Pioneer Valley is Time Banking, an international movement that takes simple bartering/trading to a sophisticated level creating supportive community service that functions on a non-cash basis where the only currency is Time. I am very excited about Khandroling Paper Cooperative joining the local Pioneer Valley Time Bank where we can offer local artists an opportunity to intern with us on special projects. Their Mission statement is meaningful and not unlike Stone Soup Cafe.

Valley Time Trade's mission is to: Connect people and unmet needs with untapped resources; Provide economic relief through access to alternative resources; Encourage increased community interaction, wherein people help themselves and others; Foster mutual respect for all individuals in a community and bridge gaps between existing barriers; and Promote equality, recognizing that all services are necessary to society and equally valuable.

As we explore more, I'll be reporting on other sustainable activities in the Pioneer Valley. If you have any organizations you would recommend, write me.

Jacqueline Gens

Tibetan Calligraphy by Thrangu Rinpoche Khor Yug (The Environment)

 The calligraphy by Thrangu Rinpoche is located on a page of the EcoBuddhism website with a text by Thomas Berry, in his introduction to his book, The Dream of Earth.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

One Stroke: On the Culture of Calligraphy by Jacqueline Gens

[Calligraphy by Chogyam Trungpa from Vajra Gallery]

I was first introduced to calligraphy practice through the late Tibetan master, Chogyam Trungpa (1939-1987), my first Buddhist teacher,  while studying and working at the Naropa University that he founded (then Institute ). Naropa, the first Buddhist inspired accredited college in the West favors a strong base in a variety of contemplative arts.  For me both calligraphy and poetics became a powerful practice about presence.   His introduction of calligraphy as “one Stroke” was based on the zen practice derived from traditional calligraphy in Japan. 

The following is excerpted from Wikipedia:

 Japanese calligraphy was influenced by, and influenced, Zen thought. For any particular piece of paper, the calligrapher has but one chance to create with the brush. The brush strokes cannot be corrected and even a lack of confidence will show up in the work. The calligrapher must concentrate and be fluid in execution. The brush writes a statement about the calligrapher at a moment in time (see Hitsuzendo, the Zen way of the brush). Through Zen, Japanese calligraphy absorbed a distinct Japanese aesthetic often symbolised by the ensō or circle of enlightenment.
Zen calligraphy is practiced by Buddhist monks and most shodō practitioners. To write Zen calligraphy with mastery, one must clear one's mind and let the letters flow out of themselves, not practice and make a tremendous effort.
This state of mind was called the mu-shin, or "no mindstate," by the Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitaro. It is based on the principles of Zen Buddhism, which stresses a connection to the spiritual rather than the physical.[9]
Before Japanese tea ceremonies (which are connected to Zen Buddhism), one is to look at a work of shodō to clear one's mind. This is considered an essential step in the preparation for a tea ceremony.[9]

See Gary Snyder’s poem "Mountains & Rivers Without  End" for a poetic rendering of "One Stroke." This small verse is how he ends his monumental long poem!

The space goes on
But the wet black brush
tip drawn to a point

lifts away 

I recently came across the following passage from the Sakyong Mipham's newest publication, The Shambhala Principle, which was sent to me by my old friend Catherine Clark. The Sakyong, as he is known, is the eldest son of Chogyam Trungpa. These are the opening words of his chapter on Culture.

The first time my father taught me the art of calligraphy I was moved by the power of simply holding a brush in my hand and dipping it into ink, creating a symbol on a white sheet of paper. As I held the brush, my father held my hand. I felt his breath on my neck. As he guided my hand down the sheet of paper, I could feel the surge of power and nervous energy. When I completed my stroke, he looked at me and said, "Good." It was a curious moment of confirmation, for he was not simply saying that what I had done was good, he was also saying that my action allowed goodness to arise.
When I asked my father why I needed to learn calligraphy, he said. "Enlightened culture." In this simple act of teaching me calligraphy, he was passing along an ancient lineage of artistic expression, initiating me into his culture of goodness. He wanted to bring sophistication to a young boy and through this artistic ritual, he was contributing to my cultural self-identity. He felt that painting, poetry, music and dance are ways we can come into contact with that goodness. Even Aristotle talks about art being the truest expression of nature. Therefore art is considered to be one of the highest hallmarks of civilized culture. It communicates basic goodness through symbol, which gives others the power to realize it instantaneously.  [from The Shambhala Principle: Discovering Humanity's Hidden Treasure by Sakyong Mipham, Harmony Books, NY, 2013, pp 149-150]
The following video shows a number of Tibetan Buddhist masters doing calligraphy including Chogyam Trungpaa, his son, the Sakyong Mipham and Tai Situ Rinpoche. I don't know if many people know this who haven't met the late Chogyam Trungpa in person but his left side was paralyzed from an early accident. This is rarely stated. But I love the graceful way he adapts his movements which says so much about his presence. If you like this video you can access the remaining four videos in this series on You Tube.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Slide Show of Shery Jaffe's Sharing Light Show at Ursa Major Gallery

Last night Ursa Major Gallery operated by Lauri Marder hosted an opening for Khandroling Paper Cooperative's main instructor, Sheryl Jaffe's show, "Sharing Light." Lauri as usual laid a gorgeous spread for the opening which was well attended. Outside Sheryl set up a demonstration tent for passers by to make paper. For a few hours a lively group of adults and kids tried their hand at papermaking. For fibers Sheryl had earlier cooked up grass clippings, beat an old 400 count red cotton sheet in her critter, and brought some kozo to hand beat. The results were fantastic as you can see in the slide show.

If you live locally, please join us again next Saturday, for yet another outdoor papermaking demonstration at Ursa Gallery during Art Walk in Shelburne Falls. Sheryl's a great teacher and artist and fun to make paper with for the first time. Papermaking is a forgiving art and one always gets wonderful results. Stop by the Ursa Major gallery and see the show. [photos by Jacqueline Gens]

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

News from Khandroling Paper Cooperative for the 4th July and following week

Join us for Sheryl Jaffe's opening and papermaking session at Ursa Major Gallery in Shelburne Falls, MA located near the pot holes this Sunday, July 7, 2013  3:00-6:00 PM

As part of her show Sharing Light, Sheryl will be hosting a paper-making session outside the gallery from 3-6, dare I say "Rain or Shine"? Come see this lilting, floating installation, talk to the artist, and have some refreshments.

If you can't make it to the reception, please come by during weekends from now until August 4th, from 1-5pm.
For further information, call 413 824 0502, or 413 585 9861
The Ursa Major Gallery is located near Shelburne Falls Massachusetts' famous glacial potholes, on Deerfield Ave.

Some of us will be making paper on site for our groupd show scheduled in September at Ursa Major. Come join us if you can. 


I'm finally set up to make paper on my porch and garden here on Main Street in "downtown" Conway. We have some large 6 foot and 7 foot moulds ready to make scrolls or large sheets. Earlier today I "fired" the critter for the first time since February to beat some linen donated to the cooperative by Margaret. All is well as you can see. We have loads of interesting fibers to cook and beat outside (ginko, Kozo, and iris)  as well as lots of half-beaten stuff like abaca and bamboo. It's more fun to work with a variety of pulps. Contact me ( to let me know when you would like to come by and make paper--Beginners welcome.  Here you can see we're off to a good start as the linen pieces are circulate.

Today I beat this batch of linen for about an hour.  Already pretty fluffy. Tomorrow I'll continue to beat reserving the finest pulp for adding pigments to use for stenciling and pulp painting.

Here's a list of our sacred substances to add to some of the pulp to continue making special calligraphy papers, my area of interest. Margherita hand draws all our packaging, including this list.