Whenever I buy shell beads, like abalone, at an arts and craft store, they are affixed to something like clay, or something like it, so a hole can be drilled for bead stringing. I am trying to find out what the shell is affixed to and if it is possible to make this kind of bead.
As shell is quite fragile, some shell beads and focals will be laminated with an acrylic or resin backing for stability and long-wearing durability.
The acrylic or resin backing can then be drilled independently from the shell for a more uniform drill hole thus reducing the risk of damaging the shell.
ICE Resin® is a 2-part jeweler's grade epoxy that dries crystal clear and can be drilled with a rotary tool. The package includes Part A Resin (4oz), Part B Hardener (4oz), stir sticks, measuring cups and instructions. Dries in approximately 6-12 hours at a 72 degree temperature.