Step into My Improved Studio - Where the Creations Happen

Posted by Lisa Ramos on

Designer Lisa Ramos in her Clayton, California Studio | Picture is from Lisa Ramos Blog - Step into My Improved Studio - Where the Creations Happen

In the MONOLISA Studio with California Artist Lisa Ramos

One of my favorite places to be is in my home studio in Clayton, California. I love the space, because everything feels peaceful and the natural light is so comforting. It is just me, the machines, tools and all the materials - it's where I create handmade bags and sculpted jewelry pieces. Since launching MONOLISA in 2017, my studio has changed significantly and I continue making improvements. The creative process is a journey, along with my modifying my studio. In my first article Step into My Studio - Where the Creations Happen Part 1 I gave readers a glimpse into creative space, my studio. This summer I did some big changes I am excited to share - I could not have made without all of the MONOLISA customers, thank you!  So, lets take a look... 

"I fell in love with the creative process because of the unlimited possibilities."
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Sneak Peek Video of the MONOLISA Studio.

Why Change My Studio?

A couple years back my friend, Concetta came to my new home for the first time. She said, oh my gosh your place is so clean. Does anyone live here? We both laughed at her statement. Anyone who really knows me understands my tidiness and it dates back to my childhood. Some call me a neat freak, which I gladly accept and greatly honor. For me, my living and working space requires organization and efficiency. Having a clean and organized space helps me focus - I distract easily. My new upgraded studio is broken down into work stations to allow efficiency when changing tasks. The stations include a computer area, assembly area, jewelers bench with quick access to my tools, large cutting area, industrial sewing machines, a long rolling cabinet and hammering area.

Desk Area | | Picture is from Lisa Ramos Blog - Step into My Improved Studio - Where the Creations Happen

Desk Area

Desk Area 

My desk area is where I do all the MONOLISA digital work - website tasks, social media, photo and video editing. I also use this space for answering emails, bookkeeping, ordering raw materials, researching and my continuing education.  

MONOLISA Studio in Clayton, California - Designer Lisa Ramos | Picture is from Lisa Ramos Blog - Step into My Improved Studio - Where the Creations Happen

Jewelers Bench and Assembly Table.

Assembly Table

This year I added an assembly area to my studio. This clean area is where I put together ideas and design pieces. I often create designs with gemstones, crystals and metals. The table is also used for sitting down and carefully edge painting leather pieces. The new adjustable LED lamp with magnification is a great addition to my studio - I can see everything now. 

Assembly Area Table | Picture is from Lisa Ramos Blog - Step into My Improved Studio - Where the Creations Happen

Assembly Table with Adjustable Lamp and Aylio Seat Cushion.

Alleviating body stress and developing more comfortable creative spaces in my studio is a work in progress. I added a few more Aylio orthopedic foam coccyx cushions on my chairs to alleviate lower back pain and arthritis in my hips. 

Jewelers Bench Area | Picture is from Lisa Ramos Blog - Step into My Improved Studio - Where the Creations Happen
Jewelers Bench with My New Dust Collector. 

Jewelers Bench Area

As I have stated in previous blog posts, it is all about the equipment - it really is for me. I have been working at a desk for over 30 years. After changing careers in my forties, becoming a designer came with pre-existing body wear and tear - arthritic hips, lower back pain, blurry eyes and neck pain. Working around my body aches is an ongoing daily challenge for me.  At the jewelers bench I am doing a multitude of tasks - sawing, drilling, shaping, sanding, hammering and carefully setting stones. I love sitting at my bench and creating, but my body often pays the price for it. 

GRS Microscope and GRS® Slide & Lock Original Bench Tool-Holding System |  | | Picture is from Lisa Ramos Blog - Step into My Improved Studio - Where the Creations Happen

Microscope and Slide & Lock Original Bench Tool-Holding System.

This year I had to figure out ways to minimize my body aches and pain. I setup a GRS® slide and lock original bench tool-holding system. It has been a great addition to my studio. The system is ideal for my work environment, allowing me to easily raise or lower my benchwork - resulting in positioning my work at the appropriate height. The system has attachable accessories options, ultimately giving me more ergonomic choices - a sawing plate, bench pin, fishmouth chamber and standard block shelf to name a few. The sawing plate allows me to easily saw metal pieces with my righthand at the appropriate eye and hand position - alleviating awkward positions and being more naturally relaxed. My neck already feels better! 

Foredom® MADCH-6 Fishmouth dust collection accessory with a protective shield  | Picture is from Lisa Ramos Blog - Step into My Improved Studio - Where the Creations Happen

Foredom® MADCH-6 Fishmouth Dust Collection Accessory.

I hate dust and there is a ton of it when creating jewelry pieces. Being a jeweler is a dirty job, literally. To reduce the dust in my studio and protect my lungs I setup a Foredom® Dust Collector. The machine collects dust effectively during my messy tasks of polishing, sanding, and grinding metal. It pre-filters ninety nine percent of debris. It sits nicely on the floor next to my bench and doesn't take up too much room. The dust collecting system does an awesome job keeping the dust away and my studio cleaner.

MONOLISA Studio in Clayton, California | Picture is from Lisa Ramos Blog - Step into My Improved Studio - Where the Creations HappenIndustrial Sewing Machines and Cutting Area - Plus New Cushioned Floor Pads.

Industrial Sewing Machines & Large Cutting Area  

The leather work station is a busy place for me. This year, I organized tools in clear shelves so I could easily see everything. The large work station is used for cutting leather and materials on a gridded cutting mat. This year I added extra floor mats to help alleviate my hip and back pain. Standing on padded mats really helps prevent aches and pains. They aren't the most attractive, but I have to create a comfortable workspace. The sewing machines are next to windows, which draws in the natural light allowing me to see what I am doing. I use the industrial sewing machines to sew all of the leather handbags. 

Inside the MONOLISA Studio in Clayton, California | Picture is from Lisa Ramos Blog - Step into My Improved Studio - Where the Creations Happen
Seville Rolling Cart and Cabinets

Rolling Cabinet Area and Work Station

One major change this year, I removed my video taping area. I replaced that area with another beautiful Seville Rolling Cabinet. What a game changer. Lots of hidden storage and clean lines. I store my new Metallic Elephant KSF4 Foil Machine on the long top counter along with some of my favorite tools. The featured tools include Makers Cabinet and Barry King mallets. Makers Cabinet is a must see collection designed in London. I use their Iris tool that draws circles effortlessly and the Stria brass folding ruler.
The featured tools include Makers Cabinet and Barry King pieces | Picture is from Lisa Ramos Blog - Step into My Improved Studio - Where the Creations Happen
The featured tools - Makers Cabinet and Barry King Mallets.

Perfection is one word to describe the beautifully crafted Barry King mallets. I use the 24 oz, 48 oz and 64 oz mallets. The quality and strength of these mallets are ideal for many of those striking leather and jewelry tasks. Let the tool do the work as they say - a few strikes go a long way with these ultra strong mallets. Alongside the rolling cart I added another smaller rolling cart for my Durston planishing press - hammer tool, ring stretcher and rivet press. Having carts and shelves on wheels gives me lots of location options - a requirement for studio production time. 

Soldering Station | Picture is from Lisa Ramos Blog - Step into My Improved Studio - Where the Creations Happen

Soldering Station with Ventilation


Improved Soldering Station

Before I get back to the studio, I wanted to show you my work in progress soldering station - a separate area from my studio with good ventilation. I have made some recent changes to the soldering station that include a rolling cart with new equipment, GRS® slide and lock system with accessories, a rolling chair and replaced my Flex Shaft with a micromotor making my hands more comfortable while creating jewelry pieces. I had new cabinets and a durable counter space installed - perfect location for the pickle pots and loud tumbler. The soldering area is now more work efficient and ergonomically friendly. Well, that is all for now. I better get back to the studio....until next time. 


"I fell in love with the creative process because of the unlimited possibilities."
__________________________________

Handbag & Jewelry Designer Lisa Ramos from California | A picture from Blog Article Solitude Meets Art - My Artistic Journey
This blog post is written by California Handbag Designer, Lisa Ramos  
Other Articles about My Art Journey
 
Evolution of Design - Part 1
Evolution of Design - Part 2

 All blog articles


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