Carrick was born into an artisan family. His father and uncle ran the family forge and the Carricks had been blacksmiths for generations. His mother, Elizabeth Leith, was a talented dressmaker from Orkney. The Leiths were a family of tailors and perhaps it was during his childhood visits to his mother's family in the Orkneys, the islands of stones and whalebones, that he first developed his deep affinity for stone and its place in the cultural landscape.

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