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University graduate throws away career to pursue passion for carpentry

Posted Thursday 6th July 2017

The two most important moments in your life are the day you are born and the day you work out why. Hamish Clarke figured it out when building a desk and bed for himself in Canada. While he had already completed a university degree and worked in construction management for several years, the simple act of creating with his hands inspired Hamish to throw it all away and pursue his passion for carpentry. 

Fast forward to now, and Hamish is a qualified carpenter. He also runs his own small business, Clarke Carpentry Co., which specialises in home-made furniture and beach bats. Hamish said his business was a great creative outlet.

“Clarke Carpentry Co.  was inspired by all the off cuts at work; small pieces of timber that usually end up in the bin. I started collecting these pieces and repurposing them. My style uses herringbone and parquetry patterns, which are popular among my friends and family.  So now I have a website up, alongside social media, and I’m selling them fairly regularly.”

As a young man, Hamish was not encouraged to pursue a vocational pathway, and had little experience with hands-on learning throughout school. While he is grateful for the opportunity to pursue his passion at this stage in his life, he said it was important for young people to know university is not for everyone.

“I think schools should encourage all types of young people to consider multiple career paths, not just as ‘alternatives’ to tertiary education. I’m an example that shows you don’t have to take one career path just because you’re told to do it at an early age.”

Moving forward, Hamish plans to work towards completing a Certificate IV in Building and Construction, and eventually getting his builder license.  He is enjoying the learning curve, and using every day as an opportunity to hone his craft.

For more information about Hamish’s creative work, visit

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