Stallholder Profile for SP Handcrafted Books
Your name: Stephanie Pollard
Your business name and facebook/website name and link: Stephanie Pollard Handcrafted Books. / Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/SPHandcraftedBooks
FB: Stephanie Pollard Handcrafted Books
The suburb/town you live in now: Riordanvale Rd
What is it that you make and what skills do you use?: There are many different and assorted styles of journals made in my workshop using a variety of covers materials - From classy classics to crocodile & saddle leathers!! I make beautifully handcrafted journals, some using an ancient binding method called Coptic Binding, which main feature is, they lie flat for ease of writing fully on every page & other leather journals are bound with along-stitch method. All the journals being bound with imported wax linen threads from the USA. In most of the journals I have found beautiful papers for the internal pages that are 120gsm and specialise for the dry medium applications i.e. lead & ink writings & drawings, charcoals & chalks, glue stick for photos or scrapbooking and most other unimaginable uses as long as for this 120gsm it's form is dry based. I have thicker papers for those wishing to commission a journal specifically for oil paints artistry or those mediums needing the thicker non-warping papers.
What inspired you to start your business?: I myself have used bought journals before making my own, to write daily thoughts and for writing in particular my own personal quotes (which recently I have collected my most special quotes written and my favourite photos taken over the last few years on our travels, resulting in my latest unique Handbound Edition called: Inner & Outer Journeys - A "Guided" Tour / Will be available for sale at the Christmas Handmade Expo
How long have you been creating?: Creating??? Forever!! I have been an artist in one form or another most of my life - a singer for 25yrs, journal writer since 15yrs old (on & off), quilter (10yrs), bookbinder (7yrs), hobby photographer (30yrs) and other interests beckoning me to try!! Too many interests & not enough time for them all......
Is it a full time/part time hobby or business?: I would looooove to be able to support my business as an ongoing concern. I have been working very hard full time over the last 5yrs with my full attentions to bookbinding, trying to inspire people to back away from their screens and write things down / draw etc in journals to leave a legacy of their character for future generations in a tangible form that won't be deleted or disappear with present technological "advances". A whole moment of our history could be totally wiped from view with present trends of communication & archiving!! So I encourage saving these precious family memories in the "old ways" by preserving them in long-lasting & beautiful journals!!
PS. I have been working towards a very "novel" way of selling my journals, soon to be released, in the new year!!! "Creativity begins when we surrender to our dreams" by Stephanie Pollard
Where do you sell your creations?: I've sold at some markets as we have travelled over the last 4yrs, some shops & visitor centres across the country, privately as people come across what I do and through my online Etsy Shop(SP Handcrafted Books) and FaceBook (Stephanie Pollard Handcrafted Books). I particularly like selling my journals myself to get people excited about paper revivals and explain the handmade processes & skills needed to make these journals.
What makes you so special or different?: I have a sense of adventure as a character, which is reflected in my willingness to find new & different ways of creating interesting covers to house the pages of my creations!! Leathers, Wood, Boxboard covered with Nepalese Handmade Papers just to name a few of the materials used. A book is a collection of similar thoughts that are bound together. If I can excite people to once again use journals for storing their thoughts, images or photos (as has always been a popular means in the past), then I feel that I have been able to keep alive a passing and almost extinct tradition. Throughout all times, there has been people who feel the need to preserve some part of themselves or family group for posterity.... I am one of those people as I am sure there are others. I provide the means to that preservation in beautifully handcrafted journals.
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?: I had a friend who lost her partner a few years ago and gave her a beautiful journal with slip case and told her to write it ALL in her journal. Get everything out there in the open, hold back nothing to move through this emotional time of grief. She found it very helpful to do this exercise and ended up purchasing another journal for her son to do the same! I personally have found writing to be a way of getting rid of ineffective mind chatter by writing it down and seeing it for what it really is, and not the exaggerated looped mental version forever growing in our fertile minds!! Once I see it for what it is, through writing, the problems are self-solving. When you help someone on that level, there's no greater reward than to see them smiling once again!! Writing is therapeutic and not used for this purpose by people any more or as often as it maybe should be. You don't have to be a scholar to write your own unique story!!! Just write!
What is your favourite product to make?: My Crocodile & Saddle Journal Collections have struck a chord with me and would probably be the most exciting product I make at the moment. This could change in the discovery of another material however!!
Do you teach classes or workshops? If a group of people approached me with interest in what I do, that could possibly be a way I go. I'm open to possibilities always!!