Video Tours > Tour 5. Our Neighbors > 10. Edik the Cabinetmaker
expand/collapse this text box Summary
For the past twenty years, a cabinetmaker who works with fine woods has created museum quality furniture in his communal apartment room.
expand/collapse this text box Translation of the Russian Transcript
Vadim: If you want you can, you can come in. Edik is inviting you. He can show you his room.

Ilya: Yes, except that, except that we've got our shoes on.

Edik: No, no, don't worry. Come in, come in. Please come in.

Vadim: Eduard is a cabinetmaker, everything you see he's made himself.

Ilya: Right here?

Edik: Yes, all this was done here.

Vadim: And he does it right here.

Edik: This is my own work. Here we have a drawer, and this here is completely different. Eight different kinds of wood, eight different kinds.

Ilya: Eight?

Edik: Eight different kinds of wood are put together here.

Ilya: You mean this right here?

Edik: Yes, yes, there are eight different kinds of wood here.

Ilya: And what kind of table is this exactly?

Edik: This, this, I made it, how can I explain, it's a decorative table, a decorative table. This I'll take off. I made all this furniture too. A long time ago. Twenty-five, thirty years ago. This is my father, he was a cabinetmaker too. He was a good man, a kind man.

Ilya: Did he live in Petersburg?

Edik: No, in Yerevan, in Armenia.

Ilya: Oh, I see.

Edik: So. He isn't living any more, he died long ago. So. I am Armenian.

Ilya: I see.

Edik: So. That's the Armenian alphabet, the famous Armenian alphabet, the most beautiful in the world, the most beautiful.

Ilya: How long have you been living here?

Edik: I came to Petersburg in 1973.

Ilya: In 1973. And here in this apartment?

Edik: I've been here twenty-five years.

Ilya: Twenty-five years.

Edik: Twenty-five or twenty-six. Yes.

Ilya: And did you make this too?

Edik: Yes, yes, this is all, all my work, my own, my special work. So. I even worked on the glass myself, I worked on the edges, I bought glass but I worked on it myself.

Ilya: How do you do it, here or in a workshop?

Edik: Here. That's what I decided. I made the legs here, everything right here, the legs, you see, they are a little like cones, but all this, there's no veneer here, it's all solid wood.

Ilya: All solid wood?

Edik: It's all solid wood. All natural. I spent twenty years collecting the wood.

Ilya: Where do you store it?

Edik: What, the wood? Here. I had three or four cubic meters of wood right here by these cabinets.

Ilya: Right here.

Edik: Yes, yes, right on these, on top of these cabinets

Slawomir: Very, very interesting.

Ilya: Very interesting, yes.

Edik: Thank you. If I helped something, that's good.

Vadim: Sonya, this is Ilya, this is Miroslav [Slawomir], and this is my colleague from Moscow, Sonya, she teaches at the university, the Humanities University, there in Moscow.

Sonya: Nice to meet you.

Ilya: RGGU?

Sonya: Yes.

Edik: Now I'll show you, now. Something you never see anywhere.

Slawomir: What's this?

Edik: Now I'll show you.

Slawomir: What is this, cognac?

Edik: No. That's, yes, that's different, but I have, let me give you this, I will give you this. I just...

Slawomir: Did you make this yourself?

Edik: Yes, already four years I am infusing it and sometimes I share it with friends. Every one of my infusions has its own set of glasses. It's a very good thing. Walnuts and then leaves. To try.

Vadim: Cheers.

Ilya: Cheers!

Edik: Cheers everybody! May you all be successful.

Slawomir: Thanks so much!

expand/collapse this text box Details in Photographs
Eduard and his tables
Filming in the room of Eduard from the clip "Edik the Cabinetmaker," where most of the space is taken up with tables made by the room's tenant; the photo shows the legs of one table. 2006.

Eduard the carpenter, table, books
Eduard (from the clip "Edik the Cabinetmaker," Tour 5), displays a table he made. 2006.

Eduard's books
In the room belonging to the cabinetmaker (who appears in the clip "Edik the Cabinetmaker") the bookshelf holds works by Homer, Goethe, Tolstoy, and Balzac and also the Maritime Encyclopedia. 2006.

Hallway, cats, people
Cats and cleaning implements in a cluttered hallway in the apartment which is home to Vadim and Lena from the clip "If All This Were Yours..." (Tour 4) and Eduard from the clip "Edik the Cabinetmaker" (Tour 5). 2006.

Entrance arch, Slawomir
Slawomir on the staircase of the building which is home to Vadim and Lena, shown in the clip "If All This Were Yours..." (Tour 4) and Eduard, shown in the clip "Edik the Cabinetmaker," (Tour 5). 2006.

expand/collapse this text box Basic Facts and Background
When: 2006

Where: A midsized apartment in the center of Petersburg.

Who: Eduard, a cabinetmaker and former sailor, Armenian by background; Vadim, a museum researcher, who has lived here with his wife since 1985; Ilya, an anthropologist; Sonya, the guest of Vadim and his wife Lena, teaches at a Moscow university; Slawomir, who is doing the filming.

What: Eduard worked as a carpenter on passenger ships that made international cruises. Five years before this was filmed, he stopped going to sea. He then decided to pursue his beloved craft at home, making tables on his own initiative and of his own design. All of his tables can be seen in the clip: they are in his room. He has advertised his work and potential purchasers do call, but apparently he values the tables too highly to lower the price. As a result, the tables are an expense for him. At the present time he works as a carpenter in a hotel and lives on the salary.

His striped long-sleeved tee shirt is a sailor's "tel'nyashka." It is so comfortable that many Russian men wear it without having any connection with the sea. Eduard's "tel'nyashka" remains from his days as a sailor.

It is quite common for people in Russia to brew, and pride themselves on, their own homemade liqueurs, using a variety of ingredients such as fruits, berries, herbs, honey, and nuts, in a base of vodka or grain alcohol. It is clear that Eduard brings as much artistry to making and serving his "infusion" of walnuts and herbs as he does to his cabinetry.