The Merry Inksters Present: PAPERFest, Papercraft Workshops by Local Masters

Ed Rettig and Yuji Hiratsuka

Letterpress, bookbinding, and papermaking workshops are just a few of the many paper arts that will be taught Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9 at Benton County Fairgrounds. The workshops are part of the Merry Inksters’ PAPERFest 2013.

Workshops will include calligraphy, intaglio, lino block, origami, papermaking, paper sculpture, stamping/card making, and more. The cost of the two-day fest is $65, or $35 for a single day; early birds have a better chance of getting their first pick of workshops.

Susan Stogsdill, owner of Cyrano’s bookbinding and restoration and one of the founding Merry Inksters, is organizing the event and teaching bookbinding. She said PAPERFest is a celebration of paper arts.

“The goal really is to keep some of the old arts alive.”

Classes step outside the norm for art classes offered around town, giving people an opportunity to tap into their inner artists. The workshops are designed for grade-schoolers to grandmothers.

Debby Sundbaum Sommers

“It’s fun to watch people create something when they don’t think they can,” said Stogsdill. “They’re so wondrous about what they’ve done.”

65 people came last year—the Merry Inksters hope to see between 100 and 200 this year. Some changes have been made to draw more people. The price is lower and there’s a wider range of workshops.

“This year it’s a lot more get in and get messy,” Stogsdill said.

Papercraft and food vendors will also be on site, and the Saturday farmers’ market will provide lunch options. The registration does not include material costs, which range from free to $15.

For more information or to register, head to

by Lana Jones