About Anja Zander
Anja grew up in Germany. In 2012, she and her husband moved to Saint Leonard, Maryland. 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.
Much has changed since Anja started to be a full-time artist. While her early work concentrated mainly on functional home decor, she now creates a high variety of wood art, using many different styles, materials, and techniques to acknowledge the unique character of wood. Anja works with hardwood, softwood, driftwood, and veneer. She also combines wood with other materials like sea glass, fossils, ink, acrylics or metal leaf.
Most of Anja's art shows now more of her personal character. As a nature lover, many pieces are inspired by nature's beauty and represent highlights of her outdoor experiences. Going even deeper, Anja also understands art as a very important medium to engage with people about current socio-political and environmental topics. Thus, her statement art is what she considers her most important work.
A COMMITMENT TO THE ENVIRONMENT
At the beginning of her wood art career, Anja was amazed by the high variety of grain and vibrant color variations of wood. This also included exotic wood types. But, with the reduction of the rain forests, the long shipping distances of exotic wood and the human impact on the environment in general, she stopped early on to purchase exotic wood types and her focus shifted quickly to more sustainable woodworking method.
Most of Anja's work is now made of locally sourced domestic wood and driftwood.
She also upcycles much of her materials – this is how the idea of making jewelry came to life.
Anja also reduced the use of shellac and varnishes. Instead, she makes her own eco-friendly wood conditioner, which is a mixtures of mineral oil and local beeswax (Apex Bee Company).
*** Until the leftovers are used up, exotic wood scraps will be reclaimed in some of her smaller projects.
AWARDS & MEMBERSHIPS
2nd place in Catonsville
Upcycled Driftwood Lamp
Best Booth Presentation
Patuxent River Appreciation Days (PRAD), Solomons
2nd place in North Beach´s Sculpture Competition
Driftwood Sculpture "Chesie"
Annapolis Woodworker Guild
Artworks@7th, North Beach (2019-2021)
Calvert Artists´Guild (2019-2021)
Unique Boutique of Southern Maryland (2018-2019)
Northern Virginia Handcrafters Guild (2019)