How to Build Impossible Things: Lessons in Life and Carpentry


Available for Pre-order. Due May 2023.
How to Build Impossible Things: Lessons in Life and Carpentry Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: Cornerstone
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Pages: 256 Language: English ISBN: 9781529151633 Category:

Wildly irreverent and beautifully warm, this is a story about practice, competence and failure, told through tales in a world most of us never see. ‘Life is worth regular examination. I have found a great deal of meaning in learning to make things. Each of us has tidbits of understanding that others might appreciate were we to share them. As a carpenter building high-end homes for New York City’s richest, I work on multi-million-dollar projects every day. People come to me when they want the impossible. Most are ill-conceived; many are inadvisable, some are downright dangerous. But when I’m able to craft something glorious, it’s magic. Yet in every project, without fail, things go wrong. Glamour, luxury and refinement are products of a flawed, human process, of missed deadlines, overrun budgets, heated tantrums and scrapped blueprints. Throughout my career I have observed, erred, learned, finessed, apologised, and resisted the urge to say I told you so. I offer these tales from the trade in the hope that others might find them amusing, instructive and inspirational. There are many good reasons to work. Here are a few of them.’

Weight0.5 kg


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Author Biography

Mark Ellison is regarded by many as the best carpenter in New York. Over the past forty years, he has designed and constructed some of its most elaborate and expensive homes, built a staircase that famed architect Santiago Calatrava called 'a masterpiece', and been profiled in the New Yorker. But, as a native of the old steel town Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, his route into the building trade was unexpected. Now, at the age of sixty, he has written his first book.