Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our makerspace. Ksenia recently started as our Thursday night site moderator, but you might have seen her around previously, lending a hand at various makerspace events. 

Ksenia, what’s your role at YuKonstruct?
I have, and have had, a few roles at Yukonstruct. Right now I’m the Thursday evening site moderator and occasional blog-post writer, but I’ve also co-taught Laser Cutter 101, organized workshops, promoted an event on air, and been involved in a number of different maker projects, like the Winterval lanterns.

How did you get involved with YuKonstruct?
A few months after I arrived in Yukon I realized that my apartment has very limited space to store projects and power tools. Also, I wanted to meet other makers in the area. I set out looking for a place with space, tools, and other makers with whom to collaborate, create, and learn. In a nutshell, this is Yukonstruct. So, I reached out and the following day found myself on a beautiful fall walk with the volunteer coordinator deep in a conversation that swung between mushroom harvesting and the various volunteer opportunities at Yukonstruct. I’ve been hooked ever since.

What do you like most about YuKonstruct?
Yukonstruct is special for many reasons – it is unique in the resources it offers members. If I had to name one thing that I like most about Yukonstruct, however, it would be the people and the energy that they bring to the space. Everyone, of all skill levels, is welcome. Each member is interested in different things – this makes for magic when a few start talking, get together, and create something incredible out of a collaboration. If you’re having a problem with a project, or see someone who is stuck with theirs, it is the most natural thing to put your heads together and hash it out. It’s a great place to be.

Why should people become YuKonstruct members?
Well, in addition to access to the space and the tools and the experts, membership gives you an extra push to get out the door and go make something. I’m a pretty busy person, and it is easy to leave no time in the week for making ‘fun’ projects. Having a membership reminds me that I need to make time in my schedule to do these fun, creative activities. It is great to walk in the door and see what others are making – it gives you so many ideas for your own projects. It makes you want to come back and keep making, learning, collaborating. It is a dedicated creation space.

What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m in love with the laser cutters. Before joining Yukonstruct, I had never worked with them. So far I’ve made signs, a nameplate for my niece, a wedding gift, and countless types of coasters and ornaments for Christmas gifts. It was really great to give something that I’d designed, cut with a laser, polished, and varnished.

I’m also learning to bead in the single-needle and double-needle styles and am looking into small-scale mushroom (shiitake and oyster) cultivation on logs and in boxes. The boxes would have to be insulated but also allow for air circulation, so it is a bit of an adventure figuring out how to approach it.