I am learning more than I wanted to (almost) about polymer clay. I thought you just rolled it out and baked it, which may be why, after my first attempt, my beads were pretty but not very strong. The clay needs to be “conditioned” first, which means rolling it through a flattening machine a bunch of times. I got one of those, and that part was pretty easy. It’s a lot easier than wedging “real” clay for the potter’s wheel. In the photo, it looks strangely like bacon, and it IS pretty thin. You can stick it back together, though, to make it thicker.
Then you need a dedicated oven to bake the stuff in. I got one of those, too. Actually, neither was expensive, especially with a Jo-Ann’s coupon! This was Sculpy day in the studio, and the beads came out well, if a little bizarre looking with the squashed faces on some. They seem a lot stronger. More work than I thought, but the results are promising.