I want to make round beads (plain colors and translucent or clear) for bracelets. Since they will be worn a lot they need to be extra durable. I would like them to have a shiny finish like many glass beads. In addition to beads, I would like to make pendants of various shapes and sizes. I found some bezels on www.polymerexpress. com
but I wanted a little smaller sizes than what they have. I thought about making them myself but I'm not exactly sure how I would go about that. I want to make sure I get the best results possible as this is going to be my new "business" so that I can afford to be home with my kids. Anyway, the beads and pendants that I am making will have flower petals added to them from weddings and funerals and such. As far as the colored pieces go, I would like for the petals to be somewhat visible but they don't have to be highly noticeable unless you look close. As far as the clear beads, I'd like the petals to really show through these. I'm wondering if clay is the best option for clear or if I might have better luck with resin. Ok, so here are my questions.
1. Which clay is best for durability of beads? I've done some research and I think Kato Polyclay. Would you agree or suggest something else?
2. For a glassy finish, Varathane?
3. Suggestions for places to buy bezels or ways to make my own? I'm thinking dime size would be the biggest I would want. Circles, squares, ovals, hearts, and maybe rectangles.
4. Which clear clay is the best option for beads with flower petals in them if I want the petals to show through?
5. Would resin be a better option for pendants w/ the flower petals showing through?
6. Are there bead molds available that have an imprint of a rose on them?
Thank you so much for all of your help. I really appreciate it! I know I will need to practice all of these techniques before I can consider myself a professional but I really appreciate you helping me figure out the best ways to invest my time and $ before I start! Thanks!