Saturday, May 4, 2013

Khandroling Paper Cooperative Makes Calligraphy Paper for Chögyal Namkhai Norbu`

[Chögyal Namkhai Norbu at the Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy in Moscow]

In preparation for Chögyal Namkhai Norbu`s arrival at Tsegyalgar East, Khandroling Paper Cooperative, prepared its first batch of fine calligraphy papers for his use while here in June.

On Saturday, April 27, 2013, Naomi Zeitz and Jacqueline Gens headed out to Sheryl Jaffe's paper studio for a paper making date.  Sheryl is a new member of our community and the main instructor for the papermaking cooperative.

Before our arrival, Sheryl had cooked up a batch of Kozo and started up the critter to which we added some Khandroling pulp and some already cooked and beaten Mitsumata pulp from Carriage House papers, which is known for its fine ink absorption quality good for traditional calligraphy throughout Asia.

Here's Naomi holding up our hand beaten Kozo ready to add to one of our vats under Sheryl's marvelous outdoor paper making pavilion.  We usually work with several vats of  differnet pulps combining both hand beaten fibers and pulp made in our portable  hollander beater. That day we had cooked and beaten Iris, Kozo, linen or flax beaten in our critter adding the mitzumata. We made a number of different sizes from standard to sheets a couple of feet long for Rinpoche to use.
After a few hours of turning out dozens of papers with our various moulds and deckles and different fibers,  Sheryl suggested that we make a few large sheets in her Nepalese-style mould. Here is the water bath constructed out of 2 x 4s and plastic to float the mould before adding pulp.

She then added pulp made in the critter to the mould

This method is very low tech and a variation that is used throughout Asia. Sheryl learned it attending a demo held at one of the Dard Hunter Conferences.

The next simple step is to agitate the pulp and make sure it is distributed evenly. Her she is paying special attention to the edges and corners to make sure there is enough pulp.

Once we evened out the pulp before lifting the mould, Sheryl then place some wooden dowels in the center so that the sides would remain stable instead of buckling under the weight of the heavy wet pulp.

There's no photo of the two of us lifting the heavy water logged mould from the bath but here we've balanced the mould so that it can drain

thoroughly before we dry it upright in the sun. To help facilitate the draining, she used her wet shop vac to pull the water from the screen holding the pulp in the mould. The screen is nothing fancy but curtain material tacked onto the wooden mould.

Stay tuned for the finished papers from this session. Normally we would add recycled Mirrors to our pulp as part of our mission to recycle sacred texts. In this instance, with everything in storage, we trust that Rinpoche himself will empower the paper should he use it.

For the latest info and schedule of events, visit Khandroling Paper Cooperative

To read about the amazing world of Tibetan fonts and calligraphy visit Tashi Mannox's fine website.

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