Lori has been creating unique one of a kind wood sculptures for over 20 years and resides in Big Bear Lake California, a vacation gets away located high in the mountains of Southern California.
As a child she grew up in the mountains of Colorado and began art classes at a young age and later studied art and design in college. She started carving wood only as a hobby while she pursued a career in Human Resources and raised two children. After an auto accident left her with a back injury she began to carve full time and her work has become increasingly popular and quite unique. She enjoys long hikes off trail where she finds unique pieces of wood for her creations.
Ms. Beaver’s work has been showcased in Huntington Beach, Riverside, San Diego and Big Bear California as well as Las Vegas, Nevada; Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is very active in the local community serving as a volunteer forest ranger and certified community emergency responder volunteer for the past 5 years.
Her latest creations are titled Flying California Fire Dragons. Each dragon is carved from wood harvested from the ashes of local forest fires and are brought to life like the Phoenix Bird of Native American Lore. They seem to effortlessly fly in the wind as she has created them with perfectly balanced wings that ride on the slightest breeze. Her other popular sculptures include Walking Staffs and Canes, Gourd Art, Native American items and miniature jointed Wooden Dolls made from old fashioned clothes pins. She even has an erotic line of carvings called “Gnawdy Wood,” Beautiful Nudes and Erotic abstract figures. Ms. Beaver is also a talented Mural artist and has done children’s rooms, garages and even boats.
Custom orders are her specialty and she is sure to impress with that special personalized item she creates for you.
Please tell us about your art.
All my carvings are one of a kind and I get my ideas directly from the pieces of wood themselves. I spend a lot of time hiking in the mountains and find some amazing pieces of wood. My yard is full of pieces yet to be started, I wait until the wood reveals its true spirit and then I simply help it to come out. I really enjoy making the dragons because they look like a Phoenix rising from the ashes when I collect the branches from the burn areas. Getting the wings to balance is the hardest part.
My favorite thing to do is custom orders, I really enjoy making something special for someone and put a lot of time into the work.
My “hero” is a carver named Nancy Tuttle, her carvings are incredible. She has reached a point where people will by her things just because she made it, Id like to reach that level of popularity someday.
When I was dealing with back issues from an auto accident my time carving was therapeutic and helped to pass the time until I eventually had surgery. It’s called creative healing and it’s a real thing. Some people are creative musicians or singers…mine is wood carving.
Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
I’m at a crossroads financially in regards to my art. You have to have a second means of income, I’ve found there are good months and bad months. An artist should never be in it for the money. True art is a natural expression of creativity and it cannot be forced or produced in a consistently reliable time frame, much like writing I imagine.
My best work is done when there are no financial worries. My worst work comes when I’m only doing it to make money.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have my work currently on display at the Artisans Gallery in the Village at Big Bear Lake.
I have a website I’m working on that displays my portfolio and contact information at Californiafiredragons.com.
Custom orders or questions can be sent to my email at Woodworksbybeaver@gmail.com.
People can support my work by helping me to expand into more locations. I’d really like to carry a few dragons or sculptures in some nice galleries. My work has evolved into fine art, I don’t have a lot of inventory but 1 or 2 nice pieces in the right gallery could bring in some custom orders.