Our leather workshop & photography studio

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Industrial design workshop, home office Minustudio.co

 ...no magic happens here. This is where all the work happens: a one room workshop in a run down house, at the edges of a small town in the rainiest corner of England (without being one bit dramatic here). 

For those who don't know me well, I'm Carmina, a Romanian leather artisan, photographer & dogs hoarder that runs a leather goods store from her home in Cumbria.

self portrait in the studio with the dogs

Pictured: Carmina, Ava (brown) & Masha (B&W)

It's been a year since my husband Ben and I bought this run down house in a little town on the N/W coast of England & once again, moved to some place we knew little to nothing about.

If you've been following us on Instagram for a while, you'll know we live in an ex-council house that we are working on renovating, whilst I'm working full time for my leathercraft business and try to branch out as a travel & lifestyle photographer. 

To say it's been an intense year it would be a horrible understatement, but through the dust and rubble of 12 laborious months we can glimpse a bit of hope: we've got some walls without cracks in them and floors you can walk on without steel-toe boots!

I'm being a bit dramatic, but after a year of having to work among piles of plasterboard, paint tins, copper pipes and around half million different types of drill bits, having a room with clean, straight walls & floors seems like an undeserved luxury. 

self portrait in the studio

 We've completed the major works in the workshop a few weeks ago, and my productivity levels have been soaring since. 

As mentioned above, I am branching out as a photographer, and having a clean, ridiculously photogenic (being subjective here) space makes my life tenfold easier when it comes to product photography. 
Here are a few photos from my favourite corners of the studio:
leathercraft workshop
The vintage ladder used to reach to the tallest shelves doubles up as
hanger for  belts and bags 
leather workshop details
            Repurposed scaffolding board for shelving & antique 1st aid kit box to store the glues and leather edge polish compounds 
Leather goods on the workshop table
A closer look to the 1st aid kit box, because it's one of my favourite pieces 
dark livingroom aesthetic
An antique church pew we've restored this summer + a metal army trunk make our sitting area. Since the photo was taken, Ben has added castors to the trunk to move it easily + I'll make leather seat cushions for the pew 
Leather tote bag

This stool was rescued from a pub dating back to the 17th century in Calder Bridge. The owners couldn't comment on the age of it, but it was covered in grime and cracked leather so it must have been ancient

leathercraft studio

dog in the workshop

One of the dogs is more clingy than the others, but which one...?
work bench
The work bench, where the main leather work happens. Hand built by Ben
The tree stump comes from a friend's forest in Scotland and we use it to hammer things like rivets and studs or punch holes 
2nd work bench
leather press
Items made are stored above the work bench until it's time to pack them 
desk organiser
Our stationery unit is an antique pupil desk; we cut its legs off and suspended on a wall. The partitions are taken from an an antique bureau we've dismantled & upcycled 
self portraits

For a brief period we had a sofa here, but the space was too crowded so this is now the place I use to take product photos, since these windows are my preferred source of light

Back to the desk, this is where finishing touches take place; mostly sewing

& edge polishing, or design work & photography. 

on the workshop table



a little preview to what's coming in 2023 - a wider range of handmade goods, both by myself and outsourced, product photography & styling for other brands


self portrait in the leather workshop

Thank you for taking the time to read this! 

There's still a lot left undiscovered, so make sure you follow me on Instagram to keep an eye on the workshop progress. Meanwhile, I must go back to work. It's full Christmas shopping season so I'm swamped & the dogs need walking too. 
Until next time!


P.S. Let me know what your favourite corner of the studio is! 

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