Building a bright future

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Image of man in Carhartt overalls and a backwards cap holding a completed charcuterie board.

It took Callum Sinclair until the end of high school to discover his passion for carpentry, but since then, he hasn’t stopped zealously pursuing it. A foundation-level student in the College’s Carpenter program with dreams of one day owning his own business, Callum is already combining the skills he’s developing with his entrepreneurial spirit.

“I saw people online electrocuting these boards and I was curious about what they were doing,” he said. “I did some more research and realized they were making charcuterie boards. I decided to try it myself and have been pretty successful. I’m definitely enjoying it.”

Utilizing a neon light transformer, a mixture of water and baking soda to conduct the electricity, and a specialized technique all his own to burn patterns into the wood, Callum creates one-of-a-kind charcuterie boards.

“Using this technique I am able to create these pieces of art,” he said. “Now I’m starting to create new designs like trees and stuff like that. I try to make them all different. It’s super fun.”

To complete the boards, Callum uses epoxy resin which he tints with a pigment to fill in the grooves made by the burning process.

True to his entrepreneurial nature, Callum opened a shop on Etsy, an e-commerce site with a focus on handmade items. Within the first three weeks he sold ten boards. He hopes to grow his business by offering his work in regional stores and by expanding the range of items he creates.

“I would like to be able to create and sell cribbage boards and even tables and coffee tables,” he said.

In fact, he’s currently working on a coffee table made of concrete that he will also incorporate epoxy into.

“I’m so happy I went into the Carpenter program,” he said. “Everything I have learned has been amazing and has led to me doing these other projects. The knowledge and experience I have gained is invaluable, and will continue to pay off through my ability to start my own business.”

Once he completes the foundation Carpenter program, Callum hopes to find an apprenticeship, go on to earn his Red Seal, and keep building his business.