Fireweed Community Woodshop 



29 November 2022 10:17 AM | Jessica Hirsch (Administrator)

Heidi Wagner (she, her) attended a technical college for carpentry after graduating high school and spent years on construction sites as a carpenter and, subsequently, as a project manager. Much of her work in life shifted between manual labor and education. She earned a BA in visual art and American studies, an MS in construction management, and a PhD in design. This combination of building knowledge, book knowledge, plus artistic inquiry informs her life and creative process. 

Katie Speckman (she/her) has had many different jobs; currently a guardian ad litem for the last 3 1/2 years who advocates for children's best interest and wellbeing while in the child protection system.  Before that she worked at the Bell Museum of Natural History for 12 years as their Youth and Family Programs Coordinator and then Youth and Family Programs Manager.  Before that, she worked as a naturalist at different nature centers..  Her love of nature however started when she was a little girl and visited the National Parks with her family.  In college she later worked at Haleakala National Park and North Cascades National Park.  Katie has always found solace in nature.

Katie learned how to carve spoons about 5 years ago in this very class taught by Jess Hirsch. Although carving was something she always wanted to learn, Katie was initially apprehensive. She was told by her family that she wouldn't be able to handle an axe or a hatchet because those tools were far too dangerous and that this was something for old men to do who have already been whittling all their lives. Definitely not a growth mindset! Katie took her first class, joined carving groups online, and watched a ton of YouTube videos. She's been loving making spoons ever since. Katie finds spoon carving to be great for mental health. She now is teaching at Firewood Community Workshop.  Accessibility, Diversity and Community are important to Katie. 

Wu Hanyen (she/her) is a woodworker, movement practitioner, and educator based in Providence. Her studio Work in Use produces high-end movement tools that are meant to be displayed in the home and celebrated for its craft and materiality. Wu has a background in graphic design from the University of Texas and an MFA in Furniture Design from Rhode Island School of Design. She is also an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Nicola (she/her) works on the People team at Fractured Atlas, where she builds policies and practices in mission alignment and that help create a great place to work. At Fractured Atlas she has also helped to operationalize the commitment to be and work towards being an Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppressive organization. She has an interest in generally making workplaces less terrible with a grounding in the hope that someday people‚Äôs needs will be met in a way not contingent on labor. With Fireweed she would hope to help strengthen the internal operations and build out policies and practices to match the vision to set up current and future success.

Originally from Minneapolis, she received a BFA in Art from the University of Minnesota and continues to stay creative through knitting, sewing clothes, and finding new crafts to learn. When not working or crafting, she can be found reading books, playing cozy games on her Nintendo Switch, finding new ways to explore the outdoors while living with chronic illness, and rediscovering the sights of the Twin Cities after time living on the East Coast. 

Erika Janik (she/her) is a writer, editor, and audio maker with more than 15 years experience working with and for mission-driven organizations. Currently, she is the managing editor of the Peabody award-winning environmental podcast Threshold, and is an executive producer and editor at APM Studios. She loves to dive down research rabbit holes, brainstorm, craft compelling stories, and connect people to information and tools. She previously founded the program "Wisconsin Life" at Wisconsin Public Radio, a multimedia storytelling program that shares the voices and experiences of people from across the state. Trained as a historian, she's been down many career paths but all united by a deep curiosity, a passion for learning, and an insatiable need to empower others with knowledge and experience. Erika has previously served on the boards of a variety of organizations including the Wisconsin Historical Society Museum, Recollection Wisconsin, Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission, New Hampshire Humanities, and FairShare CSA Coalition, the latter of which she served as board chair for ten years. Erika has never met a craft she won't try. She loves knowing how things work and trying something new. Her current craft obsessions are garment sewing, basketry, tapestry, and building bookcases. Though new to Minneapolis in 2022, she admired Fireweed and its inclusive and inspiring mission from afar and signed up for a class immediately after settling in. 

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