I feel like I should just write out my revelation in case any other polymer clay-fanatic stumbles across this.
So, as a lot of you know, I use a varnish to glaze all my projects called Varathane (polyurethane, water-based, etc. etc.) It totally beats the 'clay glazes' they sell out there, because it was meant for wood and sometimes furniture and stuff. It's very resilient and protects paint very well.
However... I've finally come to realize that Ice Resin is what it'll have to be now. (Jewelers grade.) Varathane Varnish can stain. It may accumulate dust if you're not careful (you can clean it off, but that's still annoying), and it can lose its shine over time if exposed to a lot of friction. It's the greatest glaze I know, but it still has its imperfections.
But now I see it: Ice Resin is...perfect. It's that which protects the figurines that go into my snowglobe, designed to defy water for all eternity. It's what you just *won't* scratch naturally. Because it's literally like a layer of insanely hard, crystal clear plastic you're putting on your clay. It can make a little strand of clay hair, or maybe a dangling scarf, suddenly unbreakable. SO. It'll be more expensive, but I'm happy to tell you that from now on, I will be glazing all of my projects with Ice Resin. Some reviews about it have been negative I noticed, but that's because 1) Mixing it correctly is very easy to miss and 2) Some people don't like the container's design. For me personally, though, it works like no other. It's smoother than my varnish will ever be, only takes one coat to be thicker and more protective than my varnish will ever be, and will not ever cause dirt/dust to "stick" to it. Just like any natural plastic. The way keychains should be!
Just a ramble I wanted to share as I work on my latest snowglobe piece (with Ice Resin)
I figured that if this project gets such great stuff for coating, heck, why not just apply it to all my charms? Here's to higher quality commissions for everyone!