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Leigh Hicks: Feltist, Inkist, & Potterer

fired pot

Raku fired piece.


fired pot
Raku fired piece.

How does one find their path through their career?

The Designer’s Journey

In the last few years I’ve been fascinated with the paths designers take with work, and where they move with their skills. Are they choosing their hobbies, or are they driven by new interests? Perhaps something enchants their hands into making.

Design Pair

Though I am most familiar with Jon Hicks’ famous design, web, and icon/identity work, (all astounding and “level 50”-type stuff), it was Mrs. Hicks’ somewhat recent efforts in pottery that clicked another notch in my brain about the designer’s journey.

I’d recently learned via Leigh's posts on Instagram that she had trained as a graphics designer, which I assume means she spent part of her career in digital publishing or print design (or at least something on a computer). To me, it is a strange thing to have worked digitally for a long time, and then to turn and focus on physical crafts and design. To go from digital back to analog, well, it’s almost like reversing the career path, at least technologically. So when I discover a person who fits this pattern, I take notice (I should write more about this).

In the UK

I had never met either of them in person, only online through social sites like flickr. However, a few years ago they were both quite generous and kind to agree to meet up with us (Marlo, her friend Janna, and I, with Aidan in tow) in their town late on our journey after we’d spent time with family in Holland. We had lunch at a local neighborhood restaurant, and then took a stroll through the local church grounds and park at the center of town, the five of us chatting about eachother’s lives and experiences.

clay measure
Measuring the top.

Leigh is a freelance graphics designer, illustrator, feltmaker, and now, a potter. I am most familiar with her illustration battles with Jon during inktober, but her stoneware pottery is already quite impressive.

9 photos showing Leigh’s clayworkery.
9 posts from Leigh’s Instagram featuring her inking and creative claymaking.

It is pretty cool to see other designers pursuing crafts, hobbies, and business ventures that are apart from the digital design world and reach into the physical.


We enjoyed that brief day out with the Hicks Family in Witney, a day that seems so many years ago now. Thank you both for that. I was also impressed to see that two designers had found eachother. That seems like a rare thing indeed.

clay pots
“Sgraffito” black and white pots.

Check out the latest stoneware pottery on her site.

I’ll be writing more about The Designer’s Journey, I think.


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