From ashes to artwork

ashes to artwork
From ashes to artwork / Kody Fisher -- FOX21 News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — As a lot of us know, fire can wreak havoc with wildlife.

In the case of the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires, it can destroy homes and many years of happy memories.

Now, one artist is trying to flip the script from those disasters and turn ashes into beauty.

Dakota Sandras runs the Restoration Project.

She takes materials left over from natural disasters and turns it into artwork that she sells.

However, Sandras doesn’t pocket that money. Instead, it goes back to people who are in need.

This is the third year Sandras is creating artwork through the Restoration Project.

She only does it in her spare time, but that’s been enough for her to donate roughly $4,000 to people in need.

Sandras hates seeing the pain natural disasters bring to families.

“I had this idea of what if it wasn’t the end of the story,” said Sandras.

She paired with a family who lost their home in Black Forest to get materials to create artwork.

“I wasn’t an artist before. If anything I think inspiration just came from the fact that I’m sort of a Pinterest fiend,” said Sandras. “This was a mixing bowl from a house in Black Forest and I’m gonna plant basil in it so that it can go back in a kitchen again.”

Seeing creations come together to have more value than they did before is what she likes most of the creative process.

She never takes for granted the role the fire plays.

“These colors would have never been brought out of the medal if it hadn’t gone through the fire,” said Sandras. “There is real and tangible hope that can come from seeing physical representation of beauty from ashes.”

In the end of it all, everything comes back to giving back to those in need.

Sandras has donated to a family impacted by the Black Forest fire and to a woman who needed help paying important medical bills.

She lets her faith guide her when she picks to whom she will donate.

“To me it’s kinda a holy spirit thing, so if I feel like if God tells me this is somebody that I should give to, or if I feel at peace about it,” said Sandras.

She works all summer to create pieces to sell and she said she’s likely to make another large donation at the end of this summer. Sandras added that much of her inspiration comes from Pinterest and they’re mostly unique pieces.

She only sells them at personal events around once a month or on her website.

One of those events will be a garden party thrown by Eve’s Revolution on Saturday, July 16.

Sandras will be there with all of her latest creations, which she describes as rustic chic.

 

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