Forging the Future at MeANS

Tad Hagner, agricultural assistant, poses in the Makerspace Barn, which has served as the epicenter of the blacksmithing elective.

Thanks to the generous donation by Richard (Dick) Tessier MeANS has welcomed the new addition of our very own forge. Along with the grants and money saved up since 2017 we built our multi purpose barn, home to some of our students’ new favorite place, THE FORGE! 

For this article we interviewed the instructor, Tad Hagner, and two dedicated students of the blacksmith shop, Rose Jadmec, Logan Runnells and Isreal Carpenter.

Tad explained their hope for the future of the forge, and what the students are working on currently in their blacksmithing class. They told us that the students started by helping set up the blacksmith shop and then began working on forging “J” hooks. 

Rose stated in her interview that she enjoys making the hooks despite their simplicity. They are practical and useful at her house. Practicality is exactly what we’re going for with the forge. At our school, we hope to learn practical skills that we’ll use in our future. As Isreal said in his interview, “I hope to continue blacksmithing in the future when I move to Alaska.” 

The only peeve our students seem to have is lack of time. Our student interviewees all seemed to have the same commentary when asked, “What could be done better?” That, alongside lack of resources, such as tongs, Logan said. However, thanks to the brilliant idea from Sascha Evans, students hope to start a store to sell the things they make, using the profits to buy more things for the forge. 

The students favorite thing about the forge according to our interviewees was the pride of making something with their own two hands. As Rose said, “You get very attached to the piece of metal you’re forging. When you melt it, it’s sad, but when you successfully shape into what you’re trying to make, it’s a really happy feeling.” We hope all our students get to find this happiness, working in the blacksmithing shop and bring their creative visions to life. 

In famous words, Joe Dirt and Isreal Carpenter, “Life’s a garden, so dig it.”

Student Contributors:
Chloe Strout and Sascha Evans