Meet Anja Zander: Woodworker



I grew up in a very creative family and we spent much time together doing many different art and craft projects. There was one thing in particular we used to do when we went on vacation to the Netherlands: Collecting driftwood from the North Sea Coast and transform it into artworks. Ever since, driftwood has a special meaning to me.

In 2012, my husband and I moved from Germany to Saint Leonard, Maryland. Here I finally got the chance to work with wood. Inspired by the beauty of a pine and cedar striped canoe my husband built for us, I transferred the technique of using different wood types in one piece to other objects. While starting with cedar and pine, I soon began to use other soft- and hardwoods. I enjoy working with domestic woods like walnut, cherry, sycamore and maple. I also use exotic wood types such as padauk, purpleheart, or leopardwood to receive a higher variety of color and grain pattern for my pieces. The combination of some of these woods and the appearance of each wood itself (age, grain, color) make all my objects to one of a kind.

Most of my pieces have a functional character and my work includes items like serving boards, trays, wine and whiskey racks, candleholders, key holders, coat racks, side tables and jewelry. As a nature enthusiast, I also make birdhouses, bird feeders, insect hotels and flower boxes. Finally yet importantly, I stick to my family’s tradition and I use driftwood that I have collected locally on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay. My driftwood art includes birds, sculptures, clocks, shelves and my personal favorite – lamps.

Besides attending art and craft shows, you can also find some of my work at The Wheel in North Beach and the Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum in St. Leonard. I am also a member of the Calvert Artists´Guild, the Annapolis Woodworker Guild and the Northern Virginia Handcrafters Guild.

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