The bottom line is if that it's perfectly safe to cover the handles of utensils. . . it's probably
also safe to put thoroughly-baked polymer clay in one's mouth BUT
we just don't do that to be uber-uber safe.
(Polymer clay on silverware, etc., can also be put through the dish-washer... it's waterproof.)
As for getting a high gloss shine on polymer clay, you can use a liquid gloss sealer as long as it is an acrylic
sealer (or use an epoxy resin, etc.), or you can sand the baked clay then buff it with an electric buffer of some kind (hand
-buffing will only get you up to a "sheen" on the clay.)
(Any sealer --though less so for Varathane or Future, e.g.-- could get a bit scratched from using strong
detergents in a dishwasher perhaps, or from banging against other items though, but they could be buffed out if that ever happened.)
You can read much more about covering cutlery handles with polymer clay, etc., on this page of my site if you're interested:http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/covering.htm
(...under the Metal
category, click on the Various Metal Objects
And these pages have to do with the liquid finishes
that are okay on polymer clay, and with sanding and buffing
And this page too if you'd like to electric-buff with a rotary tool
like a Dremel:http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/tools_Dremels_worksurfaces.htm
(....click on Buffing
, under Dremels, Etc.
P.S. If you also want to make your own whole handles to embed various tools into (for use with polymer clay or not), check out that last link I gave above for "tools," but click on the Handles
category instead of on Buffing.