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How to make pet bowls without a kiln.? Answered

I want to make pet bowls from something like polymer clay. i know that polymer is not food safe. Any other suggestions on how to make pet bowls (food or water) without having to fire ceramics? Thanks for the help! :)



Best Answer 9 years ago

How big? If you were considering polymer clay, I'd guess not very (Guinea pig?). Depending on what you have, cut the bottom off a glass bottle and smooth the edge with silicon carbide sandpaper or diamond sharpening stone. Fold over the edge of a cut-down tin can. Mold some out of cement. There's an instructable for turning an old waffle iron into a kiln. Not regulated for temp but would work for a raku clay (clay with lots of sand or grog in it).

I'm wanting to make a ceramic pet bowl thought it would be a nice project I have plaster and cement how would u do that and would either be ok? Also needing a glaze or finish to make it pet safe

why not buy a clear bowl, that would be the dish part, then mold your sculpy clay to it to create your design?

if you use ceramic glaze on whatever you make it will be food safe. possibly wall plaster and a little water mixed really well could make the shape and then glaze it .

Thanks but I don't know how to glaze with out a kiln.

Hi, I taught at a ceramic/pottery shop for almost 13 years so here's what I can add to this. First, if you make the bowl (from thrown clay) outside of the ceramic/pottery class the business could be at risk and responsible for the other items in the kiln besides yours and here's why. If you don't know how to prep the clay first, or you do it incorrectly, it will blow up in the kiln, likely taking out other people's projects. This did happen to us so until we got to know the customer and their skills (or if they made it in our shop under our supervision) we would fire it separately or with just a few other items. That cost-loss was passed onto the customer so just be prepared... You will want to have a food-safe container, I'm sure. So, if you did use polymer clay (which I do love) that would not be considered food safe. Now, you could make the argument that dogs drink out of toilet bowls so who cares...??? but that would be your call. My suggestion and what I do now that the shop is closed is I buy glass or ceramic (food safe) bowls the size and shape I want. Then, to decorate it, I paint them with glass paints. Now those glass paints themselves arent technically food safe either, so limit where you paint - don't paint anywhere where food or water would contact it. In other words, paint the outside only..... There are several kinds of glass paint on the market (craft stores). These paints are great in that they can be blended, layered, etc. After painting them, you "fire" the paint onto the bowl or whatever by baking them in a low oven. This process will allow you to wash the bowl without the paint coming off. So, this is what I've been able to do since I no longer have easy access to a kiln anymore. Please be careful with anything else you try if you are worried about the food safety aspect. Umm, the wall plaster and water idea would be a great idea for general crafts but it would not hold up in a kiln for any kind of firing. (you would want to "hard fire" it when raw to harden it sufficiently and then soft fires for adding any color or glazes. The plaster would either blow or burn up in the kiln. I hope this helped....

Thanks for your input, Calicos.


9 years ago

How about making a pet bowl out of PET?
See instructable here

Good idea but won't work for me. I need them to be heavy.

Too bad, I liked the concept -- but it might still work if, after forming your bowl, you flipped it over and poured plaster inside. Might look a little funny though

if the only reason u don't want ceramics is not having a kiln or other equipment, just make it with clay or plaster mold and go to a ceramic workshop in ur local area and ask for help. They will be happy to help u (at least i know here, they are) it won't cost too much. imao nothing is as good as ceramic or glass (health, durability, aesthetic...)

Thanks. I thought of that. I just wanted to see if there was another way.