Suggestions on making small (synthetic?) Go stones?
I'm looking into making myself a Go set. It's a very old Asian board game. There are a couple instructables on making a board itself, which is pretty straightforward. My problem is in the manufacture of the stones.
Basically the stones are flattened out marbles in either black or white. The idea is a bi-convex round stone, usually between 5 and 9.2mm thick, around the size of an average thumbnail. Traditionally these are made out of agate, slate or something similar. My goal is to produce stones that are hard and rather heavy, to mimic the actual stone feel as much as possible.
I'm going to need 361 stones for a set, and I want to make several sets (maybe half a dozen).
My current best bet is to press clay stones with a mold, fire them without a glaze to avoid non-uniform surface due to contact points, then spray an acrylic coat for color and texture.
I was hoping someone might have other suggestions. I was considering an epoxy/resin option that I could press in a mold, then dry into a hardened, dense synthetic stone. But I know very little about epoxies and my options in this.
I've considered glass and machined metal, but I lack the facilities and skills. Stone is beautiful but I don't know where to start with detail grinding and mass production at the same time. Wood would be great, but I would have to find/make the world's smallest lathe and I think the man hours needed would be impractical due to the quantities.
I'm limited in tools, resources and knowledge on the subjects at hand. I like the idea of making a mold with which I could press several stones at once. Cheap is good and the ability to do this without a kiln would be great. The clay seems my best option but my kiln access is limited, so firing upwards of a thousand stones would be difficult.
So if you have experience with a synthetic that I could pour and harden, I would greatly appreciate it.