Thursday, August 29, 2013

Step 2-- in recycling Apple/Verizon Boxes or Making Altered Books

Now begins the arduous process of multiple layers of gesso and sanding to prepare the surfaces for collaging with our delicate Khandroling papers. Lower right are a pair of children's books from the local transfer station ie., dump which will used for an altered book.  At least one of these pieces I would like to experiment using encaustic techniques.

Historic Photo of Papermaking In Tibet- Keeping the Connection Alive

I was very excited to see this floating mould on Wikipedia that shows a floating mould so similar to ours, I was really amazed. I wonder what they did with those long scrolls of paper.

Here is our floating mould for comparison:

The center dowel is actually to keep the mould from caving in with the weight of water when pulling the sheet from the pool (or river as in Tibet) after adding pulp. We came up with using a kiddie plastic pool to float the mould in. Traditionally, a river or pond would have sufficed.  The pulp above is a mixture of cooked and beaten Kozo, Ping Tang, and Linen beaten in our "Critter" the Hollander Beater. The Linen pulp contained many sacred substances.

The mould was constructed by Sheryl using ordinary curtain material attached with brass tacks that could be remounted to reposition the curtain material when sagging or stretched.

Here is the scroll we gave to Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. Sheryl for her recent show used these moulds to construct the marvelous hanging triptyque where she used the scroll paper for making monoprints at Zea Mays where she is a member of their printing

The dark blotches here in this work are splashes of beaten Iris randomly floated in the mould used to add texture and coloration to the paper.

The Beginning - Recycling Apple Product Boxes & Other Boxes

{world traveler adapter kit, keyboard, I phone, flip video, Verizen phone, magsafe Power adapter, IPad Smart case}

There's nothing like an IPhone box for sleek 'gravitas." The flip video box by design seems to invite travel shrine. Stay tuned for the transformation.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Example of a Terma (Treasure) written by Yeshe Tsogyal

The photo of a Terma (Treasure) fragment on paper above is a part of an Exhibition on Buddhist Relics in Denver, CO 


Yeshe Tsogyal (757–817), was the consort of the great Indian tantricteacher Padmasambhava, the founder-figure of the Nyingma tradition ofTibetan BuddhismNyingma tradition considers her equal in realization to Padmasambhava himself. The meditational practices related to her, stress her enlightened aspect, and are similar in form to tantric deity practices in general. She is variously equated with VajravārāhīTārā or Sarasvatī.
Both the Nyingma and Karma Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhismrecognize Yeshe Tsogyal as a female Buddha. The translators of Lady of the Lotus-Born, the namthar or spiritual biography that Yeshe Tsogyal left as a terma observe:
To read more visit the Rigpa Wikipedia site. 

For some time, I have been fascinated by the ancient origins of the paper on which these Terma are written--often described as a yellow scroll with dakini script. See the interesting website on Dakini Scripts prepared by Georg Fischer.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Coming Soon Our First Khandroling Paper Cooperative Group Show---

pulp painting by Naomi Zeitz on abaca 

Khandroling Paper Cooperative show at Ursa Major:  September 14-29, 2013
Ursa Major Gallery


Paper connects people, be it cards and letters, old books and photographs, historic and sacred texts, drawings, poetry and calligraphy. Khandroling Paper Cooperatives invites artists who have made paper with us to show your work. The theme, Interconnections make it your own, it could be your connection to nature, to someone of significance in 
your life, and create a piece from paper/handmade paper, plants, prints, poetry....

Works by Sheryl Jaffe, Brenda Lilly, Naomi Zeitz, Kathryn O'Connor. Tatianna Shannon, Max Shannon, Jacqueline Gens and guest artist Milan Rai from Nepal, among others.

Milan Rai and Kathryn O'Connor (rt) meeting with gallery owner, Lauri Marder (left) ouside Ursa Major Gallery in Shelburne Falls.

Milan and Kathryn on the famous Bridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls

So many amazing flowers...

Visiting the Khandroling Farm Coop on East Buckland Rd in Buckland, MA and hanging with farm manager, Nary Mitchell- Left to rt: Nary Mitchell, Sheryl Jaffe, Milan Rai and Kathryn O'Connor. Nary was installing the beginnings of a branch arch by digging deep holes when we arrived. There are the bee hives in the background.

Sean Quinn tinkering with the tractor blades.

Sheryl and Kathryn back at the gallery discussing the upcoming show opening September 14

That's Brenda Lilly--origami artist. I don't know how to make a still photo out of my accidental movie mode. Brenda stopped by the farm to meet Milan and we all had a picnic lunch.

Milan and Kathryn on their way to NYC. Milan will be back on September 9 to begin his amazing butterfly installations.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Another Calligraphy by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

"Trashi Tondu" - a calligraphy by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu performed in classical Uchen writing style signifying "Fortune to obtain all desires"

Friday, August 16, 2013

Calligraphic Meditation: The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh

"The lotus cannot be there without the mud. Likewise, happiness cannot be there without suffering. Looking deeply into our suffering, we gain an understanding of it, which enables happiness to have a chance to blossom. Thus, the lotus does not have to reject the mud, and the beauty of the lotus actually gives value to the mud."

calligraphy by Thich Naht Hanh

Calligraphic Meditation: The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh,” the exhibit will feature examples of his art that “[distill] ancient Buddhist teachings into simple phrases that resonate with our modern times, capturing and expressing [Hanh’s] lifetime of meditative insight, peace, and compassion.” To read more, visit the Shambhala Sun.
Blue Cliff Monastery and ABC Homeinvite you to the U.S. premiere of Calligraphic Meditation: The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh September 7 – December 31, 2013at ABC Home, 888 Broadway, New York

Paper Poem by an 8th Grader After Attending a Papermaking Workshop

[Tashi Mannox, calligraphy see credit below]


More than the sum of its parts
Undefined, unconstrained, uneffectable
We, like strands of fiber,
Converge, connect, and combine
Put on to paper like stars
Into the sky, it's empty
Unfulfilling, uninteresting, unconditional
Defined by its parts,
Yet, unobtrusively undefined
Denoting pain and dull
Creatively unhindered
A cautionary tale of recklessness
It is the brightest day
The darkest night
The patterns in chaos
That we try to define

by Jonah

[This poem was handed to Sheryl by an eighth grade boy named Jonah following one of her workshops-one should always sign one's poems with your full name. He captures the depth of the experience which is something primordial]

Calligraphy Primordial Purity, Golden World by the great calligrapher Tashi Mannox reprinted from his blog

"The splendor of the universe, our world, from where we are born and return, can be experienced by us from a sacred viewpoint....." To read more, click on the link above.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Updates & News

Khandroling Paper Cooperative is pleased to announce that Nepalese artist, Milan Rai, received his visa to travel to the US at the invitation of KPC. Milan has traveled the globe installing his paper butterflies as a transformative and interactive event. In the photo below, they are installed  on a tree stump in Nepal where deforestation continues to devastate the bioregion. His work first came to our notice through one of our founding members Kathryn O'Connor who recently returned from Nepal and is sponsoring his visit.

He will be part of our first group show at the Ursa Major Gallery in Shelburne Falls opening September 14. Other events around Milan's visit TBA. Khandroling Paper Cooperative is deeply committed to fostering art in relation to sustainable practices throughout the Himalayan region and knowledge of traditional art forms such as calligraphy, paper cutting, and painting.

Milan Rai Artist Statement:
I am Milan Rai, a self-taught visual artist born in 1985, Nepal. Since my early childhood, Art has been my only passion. Therefore, the education curriculum in my high school did not interest me at all. As a result I got expelled and along began my dream of attending an Art school. While other students saw their opportunities shining everywhere, I however felt the lack of that opportunity in my life. Since my talent was hidden I guess this was where the seed of passion got buried in the field of a young man's life. This was where my journey as an artist started. I released my first solo exhibition at PARK gallery on 2007. Later, I began collaborations with poets, dancers, choreographers, actors, and musicians. In this period of my life I shifted towards spontaneous practice often involving the perceiver in the process of creativity and the exploration of the environment. In this transitional phase, I became more aware of a sensual engagement with the audience. I am devoted towards my performance and willing to go beyond contemporary artifacts.
My foremost practice today is to expand the parameters of postmodern culture and simplify the complex by transforming the audience from being viewers to being a part of the art. I became more obsessed to enter into a unique system of everyday life and public spaces to intensify the process of interplay between art and people. I have been very blessed with many opportunities that connected me with my obsession.
Visit his Facebook Page of An artist converting a city to butterfly


KPC will host several international projects in honor of Tsegyalgar East's 30th Anniversary and the Inauguration of the Mandala Hall July 11-13, 2014 with Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. 

These include a traditional Festscrift honoring Chögyal Namkhai Norbu's Teaching in North America containing original poems, photographs and art work; A three-day Master Papermaking Workshop with our resident faculty Sheryl Jaffe for international Dzogchen Community members who are interested in learning how to start a sustainable small business making paper using recycled materials; and a Time Capsule project to write messages to future practitioners on a ten foot X four foot handmade scroll made with sacred substances and recycled sacred texts (treated for longevity) by KPC members.

For further information, updates and slide shows of all recent events visit

A really cool computer bag made from paper

I was totally taken with Sheryl's handmade computer bag made with paper she dyed with Kakishibu (bitter persimmon). She uses a black elastic to hold it closed. Inside is lined with a black paper sandwiching small plastic bubble wrap between the lining and the main covering. This paper has been treated with a special Japanese method that converts paper to cloth.  For a decorative accent, Sheryl used her sewing machine to randomly stitch the top flap.  All I know is I want to make one for my IPad, for my practice books, for my poetry stash and whatever. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Slide Show of Alchemy with Fibers August 10 Workshop

[Monique and Sheryl looking at sample papers made by Sheryl over the years]

It was a gorgeous day at Khandroling Farm as we convened to make paper in Sheryl Jaffe's Alchemy with Fibers Workshop. A marvel, considering that the day before there was a deluge when Nary Mitchell and I packed up his truck to transport equipment from  Conway to the farm in Buckland. Seven people showed up not counting Sheryl and me. Many Thanks to Nary for help especially for having the foresight to secure our E-Z up tent to withstand a few gusty winds.

Sheryl is an extraordinary teacher whose passion for papermaking provides a unique entre to the magic of papermaking. Her knowledge of papermaking is extensive and erudite.  She's made clothes from paper, musical instruments, and created many inventive uses as well as fine art prints. Last week she brought in a simple but elegant computer bag that she made with paper  processed to turn into crinkled cloth that she then dyed with Japanese persimmon juice. (Picture coming). We are always grateful when she shares her knowledge with us. So stay tuned for more workshops.

Speaking of "Alchemy" I came across this poem by Diane diPrima that reminded of the magic of making paper-
Extract the juice which is itself a Light.
Pulp,   manna,   gentle
                    Theriasin, ergot
like mold on flame, these red leaves
                    from mesquite by the side
of dry creekbed.         Extract
For more read on: Paracelsus: by Diane di Prima : The Poetry Foundation

Here's the slide show.......

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

More Tibetan Paper and Arts

I found this photo of an historic document on the very interesting site of
the Digitized Tibetan Archives Material  at Bonn University.

I am curious to know what this document is, how old, where and when it was made in Tibet.

This archive also has a wonderful collection of hundreds of seals that have been digitized which I look forward to study.

Description from their database: Inside square rectangular rim with text line on bottom. Top rectangular rim: Ornamental decoration with flaming jewel-symbol in center and six round circles around this, the four courner one's having the dBu can letter ksha inside. Right and left middle: nor bu gnyis (dga') 'khyi

Friday, August 2, 2013

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu making a Calligraphy of his Longsal Symbol

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu making a Calligraphy of his Longsal symbol, Tsegyalgar East June 2013.