Artist and jewelry designer Andrea Danner-Schultz enjoys taking walks through Deep Run Park with her Labrador retriever to inspire her paintings and to collect fern leaves, acorns and sticks she uses to create her jewelry. "My father was a wildlife biologist and a bird carver, so I was always being exposed to nature as a child," says Danner-Schultz. Often using the same color palette she discovers in the park — blues, greens and browns — she paints nature scenes with acrylics, watercolors, Prismacolor and pastels on petite canvases. "I used to paint wall murals, so this is a nice change," she says.
Danner-Schultz also pulls nature into her wearable art, creating silver moldings of natural objects by pressing leaves, bits of sticks or flowers into precious-metal clay (an environmentally friendly clay that turns into silver when it's fired) and placing them in her ceramic kiln. The flora burns to ashes, leaving an intricately designed, 99 percent fine silver mold. This is then used as a pendant on a sterling-sliver chain. For summer weddings, Danner-Schultz offers bouquets with Czech glass flowers and Swarovski crystals wrapped in fine silver. Her jewelry and paintings are available at Tinker's, Art6 Gallery, Daily Grind and Gallery5. For more information, visit artworkbyandrea.com or artisticcreations.etsy.com.