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About Anja Zander of ZanaWoodArtZ

At the beginning, Anja was amazed by the grain and color variations of exotic wood types like purpleheart, leopardwood or padauk. But, with the reduction of the rain forests all over the world, the long shipping distances of exotic wood types, and the general environmental impact of human activity on earth, her focus shifted to more sustainable woodworking methods. Most of her work is now only made of domestic wood and driftwood (until her stock is used up, you can still find exotic wood pieces in some of her smaller projects). Anja also reduced the use of shellac and varnishes. Instead, she makes her own eco-friendly finishes, which are mixtures of mineral oil and local bees wax (Apex Bee Company https://www.apexbeecompany.com/).

Shops & Galleries

Artworks@7th, North Beach, MD

Thursday to Sunday 11 am to 5 pm


Past and Presents Gift Shop, St. Leonard, MD

Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum

Monday to Sunday 10 am to 5 pm


Arts Barn, Gaithersburg, MD

Monday to Friday 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday 1.30 pm to 5.30 pm



9/2019: 2nd place in Catonsville, upcycled driftwoodlamp

10/2018: Best Booth Presentation at Patuxent River Appreciation Days (PRAD) 

5/2017: 2nd place in North Beach´s Sculpture Competition, Driftwood Sculpture "Chesie" 


Annapolis Woodworker Guild (https://www.annapoliswoodworkers.org/)

Artworks@7th, North Beach (https://www.artworksat7th.com/)

Calvert Artists´Guild (https://calvertartistsguild.org/) 

Northern Virginia Handcrafters Guild (2019) (http://www.nvhg.org/)   

Unique Boutique of Southern Maryland (sabbatical 2020)  


Anja comes from a little town in Germany close to the Dutch border. With her parents being social workers, she grew up in an unusual family structure with many foster siblings besides her biological brother and sister. Keeping all these kids busy, little art and crafts projects as well as being outdoors were part of Anja´s daily life. There was one thing in particular she loved to do when she and her family went on vacation to the Netherlands: Collecting driftwood from the North Sea Coast and transform it into artworks. 

In 2012, Anja moved with her husband Michael Gonsior to Saint Leonard in Maryland, because her husband was offered a job at the Chesapeake Biological Lab Center for Environmental Science in Solomons. Here she finally got the chance to work with wood. Started as a hobby-woodworker besides her regular work as an archaeologist (her focus lies on South American/ Andean Archaeology), she realized that woodworking is more than a passion and in July 2017 she opened her woodworking/art business ZanaWoodArtZ. Her work includes functional objects and home decor as well as non-functional art made of lumber and driftwood. Some of her pieces also include other materials like sea glass, ink or metal leaf.​