Michael Hicks – ro’ark leather: I try to keep my designs on the simpler side by making them with fewer individual pieces, by creating patterns that use one piece of leather to make front, back, sides and top. This results in less usable material from a given side of leather but results in less stress joints and a clean overall look. Everything I make is hand-stitched using “saddle stitch” technique with my preference of using a threat that contrasts the leather and reserving the use of rivets for high stress locations only. Growing up I was fortunate enough to be exposed to general carpentry, metal and woodworking, along with ceramics and sewing with a general sense of being able to make and build most things myself. I went to college for Electrical Engineering after which I worked for the family construction business for a few years, and then onto working at an engineering firm for a few years. Leather working came about as a need for a hands-on creative outlet that had been missing since going to work in an office – and quickly became a passion.