Sabina

Hi, my name is Sabina Shakhovskaya and I was born in Moscow

I'm the head of production at the Delai Veshch carpentry workshop and I work as a consultant psychologist.
Where Neighbours Say Hello
I live in Presnensky District in Moscow. I love this place, and my workshop is here too. I love the neighbourhood, the low buildings, and the architecture. There are buildings from the 1930s, the 1950s, Stalinist-era buildings, and there's also a nice park.
I've always dreamed of living in a Stalinist-era house. I love the cosy yards and the fact you can see Moscow-City from your window.

Walking to work and back is a pleasure in itself. I love walking along the Presnya River to the embankment and on to Khamovniki, where we have friendly workshops.

Despite being almost in the city centre, Presnya is still quiet. It's a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Tverskaya Street.
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Circulating Energy
I have two careers that I love equally: psychologist and mahogany carpenter. At the moment I'm working as head of production at the Delai Veshch workshop and teaching a carpentry course. I also make furniture with my team.
Walking to work and back is a pleasure in itself
For me these two careers form a kind of balance; I do something tangible and practical in the workshop, and then take the tranquility it gives me into the therapy room. As a psychologist, I have to interact with people and their emotions a lot. I can share the tranquility I've achieved with them. That way, when I go back to the workshop I can fill that empty space again—it's a circulation of energy.
Different worlds and oil
I graduated with a degree in human resources, so I spent a long time working in HR in the oil and gas industry. I worked on extremely interesting projects in Saudi Arabia, Norway, Sakhalin, and western Siberia.
But it was disappointing to never see the results of my work. Of course, it's great that people were able to start working and extracting oil somewhere. You'd call them and hear the sounds of a drill rig in the background, which was fantastic—like something from another world. But personally, I need to see the fruits of my work.
Mastery and Classic Carpentry
One day I quit my job and left for Asia. While travelling, I spent my time looking for something to ignite a spark inside me. When I got back home, I enrolled in a workshop by Fyodor Bondarev. He teaches classic carpentry, the kind that uses a wooden plane and a chisel. Most carpenters today can't do that, because they're so used to working with electrical equipment.

Fyodor teaches his students to work with hand tools, beautiful veneers, and exotic wood. His workshop captivated me with its atmosphere, smells, and sounds. It all helps you to get a feel for the materials: how much this one weighs, how that one smells, how another one is rough but becomes smooth after I plane it, how lovely the shavings are.
My work is a very meditative process
Higher School and Plunge-Cut Saws
I wanted to learn how to work with electrical equipment and make stylish and beautiful furniture quickly out of plywood.

I joined Delai Veshch as an intern. Four years ago was the first time I held a sanding machine in my hands. Then they let me use the drilling machine, and then—oh my God—the plunge-cut saw! That's how I started assembling my first simple pieces for the workshop. People who come to learn from me now start out with the same basics. In our workshop, you can learn carpentry as an intern for current projects or take a month-long course and make something of your own. A lot of these people start out handling tools for the first time, and only a month later they have a finished piece. Now that's seeing the results of your work!

While I was studying with Fyodor Bondarev, I enrolled in the Higher School of Psychology. I was extremely happy about it. During our second year we studied in Kitay-Gorod, an area I love. It was so exciting to go to classes there every day and learn something new.
The Importance of Self-Knowledge
My work is a very meditative process. You need to be results-oriented in both psychology and carpentry. But their magic is more about the process. If I'm standing by the machine in a bad position and put pressure on my muscles in the wrong way, or if I can feel that my plane is dull, the results won't be good. The same applies to therapy. If I don't go to my own therapy or to my research supervisor, if I lose that connection with myself, I won't be able to do anything for other people.

Both professions teach me to be mindful about my surroundings and my mental state, about what I like or dislike in a given moment. This continuous mindfulness is reflected in my work, which always turns out well if I'm feeling well.

I make no distinction between my work and my life. I do what I love, and I enjoy realising my potential in it. I can see myself growing as a person and a professional. To me, work is a powerful tool of self-growth, an infinite source of energy. It means constantly moving forward.
Moscow is a city of opportunities
Kitay-Gorod and Renovated Neskuchny Garden
When I was pursuing my first degree (back in late 2000s) there weren't many parks in the city centre. That's why I always wanted to move to Saint Petersburg. I went there regularly, thinking, "People here must be so happy to have so many places to walk."

What saved me back then was my beloved Kitay-Gorod. It's probably my place of power. I like the old churches, narrow alleys, cosy lanes, and winding streets. I like that you can walk around and boom—suddenly you're in a park. It's an amazing place with a life of its own.

There are a lot of nice renovated parks in Moscow these days. For example, I've fallen in love with Museon. And Neskuchny Garden has become even prettier.

Nature is very important to me. I'll even go further afield to find it, to Bitsevsky Park for a walk or to Losiny Ostrov for a horse ride. Ideally, I'd love to go out of town every week.
Moscow and Opportunities
Moscow is a city of opportunities. It's my home, the place where I was born. Here I've been able to grow as a person and as a professional. I help my team, I develop my workshop, and I continue to preserve an age-old craft.
Moscow is a city of opportunities
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