ok, I'm not always getting new post notifications, so forgive me for answering some of these questions so late -
lauriekailee - you use the same recipes for making clay from melts as you do from chocolate.
skirt - paramount crystals are the preferred method of thinning melts for dipping, as they are usually the same fat that is used in lieu of cocoa butter to make the melts - palm oil.
pastryqueen9 - there are several reasons why people use melts instead of chocolate. One is lack of proper training in tempering chocolate, another is expense. The third is convenience - some people do not want to go through all the extra work of using and tempering real chocolate. Melts are also much more shelf stable than real chocolate.
Real chocolate is temperature sensitive, and the littlest blast of air that's too warm or cold will cause the fat crystals (cocoa butter) to bloom - get that white, powdery substance on it. It's alright if it's just plain chocolate, because you can remelt it and temper it again. But nobody is going to buy a filled chocolate that has a white growth on it.
We used Guittard chocolates exclusively at school. I use both them and Ghirardelli. Both products are made in the USA, and are still owned by Americans.