Alex Carrick was first appointed on to the teaching staff at Edinburgh College of Art in 1914 and became Head of sculpture in 1928. He had no formal training as a teacher but seems to have been one of those naturals who could inspire his students and enthuse them with his own passion for sculpture. As teacher and head of sculpture he had a lasting influence on Scottish sculpture, particularly in his encouragement of the craft of carving and he fostered a new generation of talented Scottish artists including Phylis Bone, Mary S. Boyd, Murray McCheyne, Elisabeth Dempster, Hew Lorimer, Scott Sutherland and Tom Whalen. Carrick not only instructed but also tirelessly and unselfishly sought out opportunities for his students. There are examples in his business papers of him recommending students to prospective clients instead of himself. A good example of this was the way in which he sought opportunities for his students to display works and make contributions at Glasgow's Empire Exhibition of 1938.
Above - Scott Sutherland's Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge.
The headmaster of Wick Academy brought his young son, Scott Sutherland, to Edinburgh to discuss his son's ambition to become a sculptor. Carrick reassured the worried father and Scotty was soon back in the capital and enrolled at the college, embarking in a career which produced many notable works including the famous Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge.
Right - Alex Carrick taking a break at the Edinburgh College of Art. As a teacher Carrick was well known for taking a hammer to his student's armatures, just to check if they were strong enough for the job!