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Artist Focus: Rebecca Werner

Ребекка Уэрнер (Rebecca Werner)Rebecca Werner, also known as Fira Marina, lives in Shreveport, LA (USA) and makes amazing lampwork beads. Visit her website at http://www.firamarina.com/ and her Flickr gallery at http://flickr.com/photos/firamarina/ to make sure I'm not kidding :)

I have Rebecca in my Flickr contacts list, and I do really like to look at photos of her beads, and I always wait for new ones :) They sparkle, they shine, they are bright... I totally adore them! Rebecca agreed to answer my questions.

How and when did you start making lampwork beads?
I always liked making small beads and sculptures with clay. I was looking around on the internet one day and saw this fabulous thing called lampwork beads, I had to try it. I've been hooked ever since. I started making lampwork beads in the spring of 2005 but in December of 2005 I had to take a year off to work out of state. I couldn't wait to get back home to my torch. I never knew how much I would missed it.

Do you remember how your first lampwork bead looked like?
Yes, I used an opalino pink color! Something all new lampworkers shouldn't start out with! Besides being a little bit discolored, it was also crooked.

Ламповые бусины, Ребекка Уэрнер. Lampwork beads by Rebecca WernerHave you taken any lampwork classes?
No, I didn't even know what (lampwork) was until 2005. Plus there weren't any classes available where I live. I did a lot of online research....I mean A LOT of research. I bought a start up kit that came with the hot head torch. After I knew it was something I really wanted to do I bought an oxygen concentrator, a mini cc torch, and a kiln to anneal the beads in.

Is lampworking your hobby or a full-time job?
It started out as part-time but this spring (2007) I decided to pursue it full-time. I was in the same line of work for 17 years and through the years it became very unfulfilling. I really wanted to do something I loved. This is my passion!

Ламповые бусины, Ребекка Уэрнер. Lampwork beads by Rebecca WernerWho is your favorite lampwork artist?
I love the humorous beads of Cathy Lybarger, also known as Aardvark. Her beads are so unique and always put a smile on my face. Her write ups and descriptions of her beads on eBay are priceless. I read them just to get a good laugh. You can view her beads at http://aardvarkartglass.net/. I also love the characters of Debi Cogwell, also known as Palm Tree Queen. She makes the best holiday beads I've ever seen. Her characters are truly her own. She's terrific. Her website is http://www.palmtreequeen.com/.

What is your favorite lampwork book/design book?
I don't really read lampwork books. I don't think I would have the patience. I'd rather just try something and see how it turns out.

Ламповые бусины, Ребекка Уэрнер. Lampwork beads by Rebecca WernerWhat type of glass do you prefer to work with?
I work mainly with soft glass. I think I use about every kind there is. ASK, Moretti, Vetrofond, CIM, Laushca, and Double Helix. I think my favorite would be ASK but it varies by mood.

Where do you usually buy glass for your beads?
I use a few actually. It always depends on who has the majority of what I need. My favorites at this time are www.lbsupplys.net, www.morettiandmore.net, and www.frantzartglass.combut I do use others on occasion.

What's you favorite glassworking link(s)?
Same as previous question :)

Ламповые бусины, Ребекка Уэрнер. Lampwork beads by Rebecca WernerWhat inspires you as an artist?
Color, style, fashion, and design. I've always loved fashion, mainly because I'm so drawn to the way it's always changing for the season, or the year, or even the decade for that matter. Color has always played a huge role in my life. It's something you can always change to fit any mood. I'm also inspired by other eras, especially the early 1900's.

Do you have a strong aversion to any colors? Colors that are hard for you to design with? A strong preference?
Believe it or not I like working with all colors. There may be a few shades I don't use as much, but I like anything from vibrant orange to a soft pink or an earthy brown color. My favorite is always purple. I think I could spend an entire week making beads in a variety of purple tones. I think that would bore a lot of people though so I won't :)

Ламповые бусины, Ребекка Уэрнер. Lampwork beads by Rebecca WernerHow many hours a day do you usually spend making beads?
I usually make beads about 3 or 4 days a week. Actual bead making time aside from breaks and lunch would probably be about 5 hours a day. I take 2 days a week to take photos and get my listings ready for either eBay or my Etsy shop.

Do you teach or write articles about lampworking?
No, not as of now.

What are your other hobbies?
I like to paint and read. I also like to research places to travel to one day...or maybe move to. I also love learning about antiques and historical architecture. I think I have too many to mention right now. :)

Ламповые бусины, Ребекка Уэрнер. Lampwork beads by Rebecca Werner
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