Glass bead making has been with us for thousands of years. We still don't have any idea how the ancients produced some of their beautiful beads. But, if one of those ancients glass bead makers were to be transported to our time, they would marvel at what we are doing with glass beads today. Check out what's happening.
LeRoy began working in glass in 1971, stopping only recently in 2004. Many of those years involved making and selling glass Christmas ornaments nationwide, as well as creating abstract glass sculptures. You can see a sample of the sculptures on this site by clicking on the "Glass" button. In 1994 LeRoy started making beads by using hollow Pyrex tubes which are coated with colored glass and then blown to create beads.
Later he began working with soft glass and using the traditional methods of wrapping molten glass around a wire. The chemical makeup of the "hard" (Pyrex) glass makes it less susceptible to thermal shock, allowing him to employ techniques for working the medium not possible with softer glasses. His beads encompassed a wide variety of styles and techniques.
In addition to his lampworked beads, he also created urns, tiny glass vessels and animal figures that offer themselves for further embellishment or as stand-alone objets d'art. A man of many talents, LeRoy has been busy as an inventor as well and with his "Coiling Gizmo" which has revolutionized the creation of wire beads. This ingenious contraption speeds up the process of making coiled wire beads and ornaments. Among his other achievements is a video about making glass beads.