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Creating Buddhas

"Creating Buddhas: The Making and Meaning of Fabric Thangkas" is the story of a western woman who became a fabric thangka maker. Now, with great love and devotion, she is bringing the gift of fabric thangka to our culture.


Fabric thangka is a silk embroidered and appliquéd art form in Tibetan Buddhism and is also known as Applique Thangka, Brocade Thangka, and Silk Thangka. Fabric thangka is so rare that in some places it is only seen once a year, and then for only for a few hours.


Trained in Dharamsala, India for nine years, Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo is one of the few female makers in world and one of the only fabric thangka makers in the west. This film also explores Leslie’s life-changing journey of discovering fabric thangka, her apprenticeship in Dharmasala, India, the step-by-step by process of producing a fabric thangka, and the history and spiritual importance in Tibetan Buddhism. Through this film, we see her produce a thangka of the female Buddha Tara. In a sense, Leslie is like Tara. She became a master of a male tradition and we see fabric thangka through feminine eyes.


"Creating Buddhas" is a one-hour not-for-profit film.

Lisa Davis, PhD

"'Creating Buddhas" was a moving account of one woman's journey toward enlightenment. The story moves seamlessly from inspiring scenes of the East to the meditative stitching of a thangka.

Badger Herald

"Every once in a great while, you stumble upon something that makes your heart smile. Very rarely is that reason because of a documentary. “Creating Buddhas: The Making and Meaning of Fabric Thangkas” is an unexpected film that will leave you with a sense of peace and happiness....This film is definitely worth a look. It is a cultural experience that will open your mind to other parts of the world, and other lifestyle choices within our own country. Take a moment, sit down, and enjoy something different.

FiberArts Magazine

"...a memorable DVD... Her delight in the whole process is infectious as her precise gestures and words clarify both technique and inspiration!

Past Screenings


Rolla Public Library, Rolla, MO


National Women's Music Festival, Middleton, WI


Fresno Art Museum, Fresno, CA



Century 10 Downtown, Ventura, CA



Blackhawk Technical College - Central Campus, Janesville, WI

Blackhawk Technical College - Monroe Campus, Monroe WI

Blackhawk Technical College - Beloit Campus, Beloit, WI

AnLac Mission/Ventura Buddhist Center, Ventura, CA

Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine, CA



Dharmsala Film Festival, Dharmsala, India

Ojai Valley Museum, "Fiber Art Masterpieces" exhibition, Ojai, CA



Amherst Cinema, Amherst, MA



University Museum, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

Lincoln Library, Lincoln, VT



Manlius Library, Manlius, NY

Tibetan Bridge, New York, NY

Mabel Tainter Theatre, Menomonie, WI

Studio 116 Quakertown, PA

Association for the Study of Women and Mythology Bangor, PA

Womanspace, Rockford, IL

Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild, Atlanta, GA

North Shore Quilt Guild, Milwaukee, WI

Shambhala Meditation Group of St. Petersburg, FL



Vajra Dakini Nunnery Bristol, VT

The 38th Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison, WI

World Music Festival, UW-Madison, Madison, WI

Tibetan Buddhist Community of Lexington, Lexington, KY

Ocean County Library, Tom's River, NJ

Philadelphia Meditation Center, Haverton, PA

Center for Health & Healing, Tom's River, NJ

Cornell Cinema, Ithaca, NY

Namgyal Monastery, Ithaca, NY

Wisdom's Goldenrod Center for Philosophic Studies, Hector, NY

LaConner Museum of Quilts and Textiles, LaConner, WA

The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, Staten Island, NY

Yoga Nine, Smithville Studio Smithville, NJ

Kula-Kamala-Yoga, Lakehurst, NJ

Madison Public Library Sequoya Branch, Madison, WI

First United Methodist Church, Madison, WI

Association for the Study of Women and Mythology, Madison, WI

Wisconsin Women's Conference, Madison, WI

UC-Irvine, CA

Design Gallery, Madison, WI

Tribal Visions Studio, Madison, WI

Madison Sewing Guild, Madison, WI

Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA

Ti Vit Báo Gallery, Westminster, CA

UC-Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

Tibetan Meditation Center, Escondido, CA

Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA



Centro Mindfulness Project, Milan, Italy

Centro Mindfulness Project, Milan, Italy

Madison Weavers Guild, Madison, WI

James Reeb Unitarian Church, Madison, WI

Madison Public Library, Alicia Ashman Branch, Madison, WI

Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, Madison, WI

Mimosa, Madison, WI

Shambhala Center of Madison, Madison, WI

Premiere on Sept 27th, 2008

Deer Park Buddhist Center, Oregon, WI

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