FK chats to stationery hound Sally about her papery inspired label Library Monitor!
Tell us a bit about Library Monitor and what products we can expect to discover?
Library Monitor is a stationary label that celebrates the aesthetic of paper from past eras and appropriates them into new forms. Our collection is made up of a range of journals, invitations and mobiles. The journals are our flagship design and are an assembly of lucky finds from all over the world. These are cobbled between covers made from wallpaper, magazines and original collaging. The products are handmade and each is unique.
What inspired you to start your own label?
I was inspired to start Library Monitor after traveling in 2005. I came home with a collection of vintage paraphernalia that I was compelled to buy but had no idea what to do with. It seemed such a shame to glue them into a travel journal or store them in boxes so, after some musing, I decided to bind them all together into a book. The result inspired me to create a formula and start a little production line of handcrafted journals and the label grew from there. We took quite a while to conjure up the perfect name for the label. We were known as Sally Jarmaine Journals for a while but Library Monitor is the perfect fit for us. We are now stocked in stores throughout NSW and Victoria and we occasionally pop up at markets like The Finders Keepers.
What do you love about working with paper & journals? and what keeps you creatively motivated?
I like the idea of stimulating interaction and creating a connection between the individual and the product. The act of binding a meticulously written recipe from a yellowed notebook into a new form makes me smile. I love the notion of old things, things that have already lived a full life, being threaded into a new context.
Creative motivation can stem from anything; beautiful illustrations in old books, the fibrous feel of vintage matte paper, new places, old places, different life experiences. Interaction with people who love the products is also motivating. Just the other day we had an email from someone who received a journal as a gift and wanted us to know how much they loved it.
What is your workspace like? and what is your creative process?
The workspace is a room in our home. We live in a house set in the midst of a forest of trees and the studio has a beautiful view that makes it easy to spend time there. This is a contrast to life inside the studio. In addition to our dog, Caddy, the room is full of boxes, drawers, reams of paper, rolls of wallpaper and a million little paper dots from the binding machine that never seem to disappear. We’ve succumbed to them and now consider them festive. The creative process consists of different stages, from preparation, compilation and binding. I create the journals with my husband and our little daughter Kit, who has been crowned Chief Mess Maker.
Where do you source the preloved paper for your range? and are their challenges in doing so?
I am a stationary hound and the challenge is to keep the obsession under control. There is so much possibility in so many things I had to learn to refine my practice in order to be able to fit into the studio. There are many frequent U-turns on road trips to comb through stores and a ridiculous amount of excitement over things such as an old beekeeper’s receipt book. I am also indebted to some fantastic friends who keep their eye out for fabulous things for me wherever they go.
What new plans do you have for Library Monitor for the rest of the year?
The remainder of the year will see us filling store orders and creating some new art for covers and invitations. We have just created a new series featuring paper collaging and are excited to be incorporating them into the collection.