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Creating a brooch

Dear Orchid members - I feel almost guilty asking for your help
because I know so little about what I am asking. The work I
produce is fabricated and often enameled. - I have cast only one
piece once in a class - but I have agreed to create a brooch
for a life-long friend who wants it for a gift for a very
special occasion in January - if I didn’t help her she couldn’t
afford to get it done. She wants a brooch about 1 1/2 by 2
inches - the figure of a bear (California bear) on all 4’s -
designed using a large (about 12mm) faux pearl - She wants it to
be gold plated rather than actually cast in gold. I am doing
the renderings now.

My questions are these:

  1. Once I get the renderings approved and the wax carved (I will
    commision the wax to be carved) where and how do I get a rubber
    mold made. I know there are wax carvers and casters, but are
    there also mold makers? That is, people who specialize in
    making the rubber molds?

  2. Do they also do the wax injections so that I have the two or
    three copies of the wax that I will need? If they don’t do
    that, where can I get this done?

  3. Should the piece be case in sterling? pewter? brass?

  4. When I send it to be plated (I believe I want 18k) - do I
    ask for a particular depth of thickness of plating?

  5. Do you know where I can find nice half-drilled faux pearls
    in large mm sizes? I thought it might be difficult to find if I
    only want to order 2-3. Might I have to drill the pearl myself?

  6. What glues do you use to glue the pearl to the post?

  7. Can you recommend mold makers, casters, providers of pearls
    in San Diego, Southern California, or California? I was hoping
    to keep the work close to home so I can share the progress with
    her (I’m hoping to get through this and still have this friend)

  8. Finally, can all this be done before mid-January? I would
    appreciate any help you can offer.

Sheridan Reed in San Diego where it has been unusually cold.

Aloha Sheridan, Was looking thru my molds and come across a
California flag type (actually 2, one is a small charm), Bear on
all fours in relief (3D), flat back. It measures 33.66 mm (1.325
in.) x 19.35 mm (.7620 in.). If that would help, I can send them
to you for $2.00 ea. plus $3.00 priority mail. Let me know, if
that is better for you. I could try to scan it for you, if you
would like to see it.

Best Regards,
Christian Grunewald
Precision Modelmaking