Wednesday, December 30, 2015

An Essential Addition to our Studio

Thanks to my brother Will, we now have that most essential studio item in the form of a cone shaped stainless steel strainer to drain pulp which he purchased from Carriage House Papers

No more rusted and clogged colanders stuffed with stiff screening! 

No more sore backs!

The best X’Mass present ever!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

An Excellent Day for Journeys

According to the Tibetan Calendar for this Wood Sheep Year, December 21 was a good or excellent day for journeys. Indeed, it proved to be the case as this was the day KPC assembled the necessary braun, truck and strategy to pick up our Kelton etching press from one basement and deliver to our own studio at 18 Schoolhouse Road. Everything went well according to plan and we sincerely thank everyone.

Moving the heavy press was a challenge as you can see from the photos of Nary Mitchell, Jim Smith and Steve Espe. 

[Removing the press from the truck]

[Jim Smith’s “sled” to get it down the stairway]

[The easy part rolling it into the studio on a “dolly”]

[In it’s new home at Tsegyalgar East]

Thanks to the generosity of the owner, we were able to purchase this fine press for a minimal amount. We look forward to experimenting with the process of embossing our papers as well as creating book covers, cards, and personal projects. 

While the guys were hard at work, here is what I did--beating cooked and cleaned Kozo and making blue azure pulp in the “critter" for mantra calligraphies for friends. 

[Pulp made from sateen high cotton count sheets with empowered prayer flags and recycled sacred texts]

[Kozo for beating to add to caligraphy recipe. These fibers strengthen the paper. I love the rubber beater that I found in our basement tool room 
which works perfectly]


DECEMBER 26, 2:00-5:00 PM


Monday, December 21, 2015

Greetings on this Auspicious Winter Solstice from all of us at Khandroling Paper Cooperative

The Coming of Light*

Even this late it happens: the coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows,
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine
and tomorrow’s dust flares into breath.*

Dear Friends (known and unknown) and Family, 

Best Wishes for the Holiday and warm wishes for your good health and well-being.  Everyday, I am grateful for the many gestures of kindness and support you all give me.  I offer each one of you my deepest aspiration for your happiness in this time of the rising light and coming New Year

Much Love Jacqueline

Photo Credit: Dharamsala candle by  Rosemary Rawcliff

*Poem by Mark Strand Reprinted from the Academy of American Poets website

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Visiting the First Annual Northampton Book Arts Fair

I was inspired to stop by the first annual NORTHAMPTON BOOK ARTS FAIR at Smith College on Friday, December 4, 2015.  It’’s hard to believe that I graduated from there 37 years ago as one of the early Ada Comstock Scholars. The event was held at the swank campus center not far from from the old one where I studied for hours.

Sheryl Jaffe’s (one of our founding members and main teacher) booth blew me away, as they say, with some of her new works with her handmade papers. I especially loved the wax coated translucent boxes she made from her recent wood cuts executed at Zea Mays Printmaking Cooperative. Walter displayed a number of his beautifully bound leather books made with Sheryl’s unique fiber papers (below book he made for CHNNR). 

One aspect of the fair I really enjoyed was seeing so many poetry books made into unique artists books or small editions. This rekindled my interest in making some books of my own work and perhaps others too using our stock of interesting handmade papers here at the Khandroling Cooperative. Western Massachusetts is a hub in the world of book arts which we are looking forward to integrate into as the cooperative evolves in expertise. 

[Sheryl presenting the book to Chogyal Namkhai Norbu after a teaching, Summer 2014]

Monday, November 23, 2015

New Program Schedule 2015/2016 and NEWS

Greetings Paper Lovers

We are happy to schedule some new programs for 2015/2016 in our studio at Tsegyalgar East, 18 Schoolhouse Road, Conway MA 01341.  Stay tuned for more details as they emerge.

  • Open Studios NOW every Saturday or by appointment (except 1st Saturday of every month). Check side bar for topic schedule (by donation)
  • February 27th, 2016 with Sheryl Jaffe---all day from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM 
  • March 19, 2016 Writing the Tara Mantra with Dara Juels
  • April 2, 2016  Drawing Tibetan motifs with Yangjor
TBA - Tibetan Calligraphy Practice according to Tashi Mannox proportions
TBA  - Summer Paper Fest with Sheryl and Company. This year we are expanding our annual summer workshop on Khandroling to 3-4 days. 
TBA - Workshops in origami paper making and origami 
TBA - Special topics in bookmaking, printmaking and advanced papermaking techniques


On Saturday, November 21 we had a productive members meeting including a presentation on The Paper Lotus fundraising project, which you will be hearing about soon. On every Saturday, (Except the first Saturday of  each month) there will be an Open Studio where participants can work on a variety of projects of interest to them including making pulp in the Critter, cooking and beating fibers, making books, creating collage and soon printmaking for embossing or printmaking techniques. Check on the sidebar of this blog for special topics. 

Visit Sheryl and Walter Jaffe’s  booth at the Northampton Book and Book Arts first Annual Fair:

Friday, December 4th, 2015 6-9:00 PM
Saturday, December 5th, 2015 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

Smith College Campus Center
100 lm Street (Route 9)


We made it into the 2015 Yahoo Paper Group annual Swatch. Pictures forthcoming. This is our third participation in this wonderful international swatch collection from papermakers all over the world. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

New and Current Members Meeting on November 21, 2015 11:00 AM Followed by an Open House

[Tibetan Prayer Flags on Khandroling, October 2015 by Sean Quinn]

Khandroling Paper Cooperative will hold a new and current member’s meeting on November 21, 2015 at 11:00 AM  followed by an open house (1:00 PM) in our new space at Tsegyalgar East, 18 Schoolhouse Road, Conway, MA. Please RSVP to

If you are interested in any aspect of papermaking or art that uses paper, please consider joining as a member-- At present we operate entirely on donations. The only obligation is to participate with enthusiasm in ways that suit your particular interests and talents.  Your artistic support is most welcome.

Visit our Open House/Studio to learn more about what we do on November 21, 2015 at 1:00 PM following our member’s meeting.

Among the skills and workshops we facilitate are:
  • History of Papermaking around the world
  • Asian and Western style papermaking with a variety of custom moulds up to 4 x 7 feet
  • Custom made pulp from rags and plant fibers
  • Silk Screen
  • Non-toxic printmaking with our NEW etching press
  • Origami
  • Papercutting
  • Gilding
  • Calligraphy for Mantra
  • Handmade Books
  • Homemade inks and colorants for dying
  • Collage
Agenda for our Meeting:

-2015/2016 Programming
-Lotus Flower Fundraising Project
-Town of Conway events
-Member guidelines

A few things on our wish list:

--A small energy efficient fridge to store pulp  
--Rotary cutters & blades  to prepare cotton rags 
--Washed*100% cotton rag sorted by color and cut into postage size pieces (if you have the time)  
--4 Large plywood boards (approximately 28" x  25.5 “ for wet pressing newly formed paper

*washed in water only to remove detergent/soap/fabric softeners

Many Thanks and hope to see some of you soon

Jacqueline Gens and KPC Members (Sheryl, Madeline, Brenda, Tatiana, Kathy and Margarita)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

What’s Next?

Khandroling Paper Cooperative is happy to report that we have located an etching press at an affordable price to add to our studio. Such a piece of equipment will allow us to create a number of works with our handmade paper using the following printmaking methods:

Chine Colle (my favorite)

Sheryl Jaffe, a member of KPC has produced a number of fine prints with her own handmade paper. Visit her website here 

This press will be allow us to make cards, post-cards and, scrolls and banners for a number of projects. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Khandroling Paper Cooperative Finds a Home

[Local teachers making paper prayer flags at Tsegyalgar East for their classroom]

We are pleased to announce that Khandroling Paper Cooperative is now located in the basement of Tsegyalgar East at 18 Schoolhouse Road, Conway, MA -- our original home. To read about our mission and see past events visit our website Khandroling Paper Cooperative

The current Open Studio Days thru November are Mondays or by appointment, Local teachers and artists are welcome to use our facility to learn about the papermaking process as well as make paper for special projects by donations. We especially invite Dzogchen Community members from around the world interested in learning how to make paper to take back to their Gars and Lings. To visit or book a session, contact Jacqueline at
or 413-522-1125. 

Special Events/Workshops from “KPC” are forthcoming. Interested individuals can read about our unique mission of recycling sacred texts into vibrant papers for sacred calligraphy, collage, journal covers and artist papers on our website/blog. 

Since 2012, Khandroling Paper Cooperative has conducted annual workshops on our retreat land in Buckland, Khandroling, hosted an international artist from Nepal, and offered many open demos and workshops to the public. In 2013 we had our first member’s gallery show in Shelburne Falls at the Ursa Major Gallery.  

Our hollander beater, fondly nick-named “The Critter” by international papermakers is a sophisticated piece of equipment that allows us to create a variety of pulps from cotton rags and fibers. Here Sheryl and Brenda, both Art Teachers in the Northampton school system are making pulp from plant fibers.

Now what do we do with all the paper we make....... Well, check back and we will show you.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Diamond Sutra

A Buddhist holy text, the Diamond SÅ«tra is considered to be the oldest surviving dated printed book in the world.

Found in a walled up cave in China along with other printed materials, the book is made up of Chinese characters printed on a scroll of grey printed paper, wrapped along a wooden pole.

The book was copied by a man called Wong Jei, in May 868 AD, on the instruction of his parents, which is noted at the end of the text.

Source: 1. Image: 1.
Estimated age: 1,145 years old.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Summer 2015 NEWS from Khandroling Paper Cooperative

[Photo by Tara Mandala, reprinted from Facebook]

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and Lama Tsultrim Allione July 2015 at Tara Mandala. Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche is preparing Medicine Buddha cards for participants with his Tibetan calligraphy of a seed syllable. Khandroling Paper Cooperative has made special calligraphy for both of them:

Read on here & here

We consider a major mission of the Khandroling Paper Cooperative is to recycle sacred texts and prepare calligraphy papers for dharma Teachers and artists.  

Will We Ever Find a Home?

This summer we are in temporary resting mode as we figure out the logistics of a permanent papermaking studio near Khandroling. We are awaiting a couple of options to manifest. There will be a members meeting in August to sort through our priorities. 

In the meantime, there are lots of low tech activities to keep us busy and to which we invite interested people to participate. We operated purely by donation. 

I noticed that my neighbors long hand cut grass here in beautiful Shelburne Falls looked perfect for cooking up.

[Grass clipping drying before cooking in soda ash]

Grass makes a gorgeous inclusion to papers made with other fibers. Also Khandroling retreat center in Buckland, MA has a proliferation of Mullein on a whole mountain side where last year’s clear cut took place. 

Another low tech project I plan on tackling this summer is making more handmade ink. My friend Diane sent me a link that her sister sent to her about making natural different colored inks. The results look interesting as one color eventually morphs to another. 

Last year we made Black Walnut ink by cooking the hulls to loosen them. What a messy process. Later we were informed that we could have simply soaked the hulls in water and then slid them easily from their outer layer. 

You can read about our initial venture and watch the slide show here. 

Then there is also the endless preparation of rag for the Critter. Here is a recent  stash of old paper and cloth prayer flags on a friend’s porch. I will wash, then cut them into small postage size pieces along with loads of other cotton colored rag (mostly high cotton count sheets I pick up at the local Salvation Army or linen table cloths).

[2015 Photo by Jacqueline Gens]

Last season for the Hadley Asparagus Festival 

where Sheryl and Brenda did  a great interactive demo making asparagus paper in collaboration with our Tsegyalgar booth, we had small samples of seed paper which were scarfed up immediately. I’d like to make more to use up old pulp.

Then finally, we need to consider or 2016 submission to the International Swatch collection. We missed a couple of years, but we’re back

So stay tuned for our works-in-progress during this year of transition.  Contact us if you would like to participate or connect with our open studios or any of the projects above.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Coming Soon Summer 2015 Events

 Greetings Paper Lovers .....

Khandroling Paper Cooperative will hold it's first open studio of the season  on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 in Shelburne Falls, MA.  We have been requested to demonstrate making blender pulp for a school project. For location or to set up other tutorial demos contact Jacqueline at 413-522-1125. All our demos are by donation.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Annual Losar Poem for Year of the Wood Sheep

Hey!  This Wood Sheep year
Let's clean up our messes
With the help of Vajra flock
No more making big bad wolves
Out of everyone
No more crying bha bha
       Over this or that
Let's break out of the mould
In honor of the Noble Ones
Shine resplendent with our little lamps
a beacon of collective wisdom --
Unsurpassable in our shared confidence
That compassion is our banner
This year of heart
Over mind.

Poem by Jacqueline Gens
For my Vajra Sisters and Brothers

Graphic by Mariano Gil (courtesy of The Mirror)