Ostrich Eggshell Bowls

“African Flair”
Decorating Ostrich Eggshell Bowls

As a part of contemporary history, bowls represent more than a simple way of serving food and beverages.

They provide us with a snap-shot of the way a culture expressed themselves – with creativity ranging in depth from simple forming and imprinting to elaborately gilded works of art.

Now it’s your turn to express yourself, let your imagination run free!


  • Although there are a great many techniques that you can use when creating a decorative ostrich eggshell bowl, PMC will remain central to the piece, and your personal decorative preferences will add depth and meaning to your bowl.
  • I have highlighted some of these techniques below, for your reference.


PMC Clay – in its various forms

  • Do your own thing! Bear in mind that at the forefront of your thinking behind the design of any these PMC pieces will need to be the attachment to the bowl – which you will need to affix using small nuts and bolts; tigertail; wiring; or cotton cords.


The cutting and finishing of the Eggshell

  • All the hard work is in cutting and finishing of the eggshell. Smoothing of the edges of the eggshell is done with a 400grit waterpaper.
  • Sanding under water keeps the dust down.
  • Although an Ostrich egg can support the weight of a man weighing 200lb, when the eggshell is cut or broken it is somewhat brittle and needs to be worked with care.


Decorative options

  • Listed below are various ways to decorate and embellish your bowl.
  • Please feel free to experiment with other alternatives.


Lining the bowl

  • Options for lining the bowl include: coloured pencil (evenly colouring in and sanding to soften the effect); metal leaf (copper and gold); stamping; and etching (using the point of a steel burnisher or use an etching tool to create designs).
  • Rubber stamping is another possibility, as is painting or staining the surface.



  • Use various shaped files to work notches into the edge of the eggshell for a decorative effect; taking care not to put too much pressure onto the eggshell, as it can crack – please refer to the note under “cutting and finishing the eggshell” above.


Drilling holes

  • Holes need to be drilled for the attachment of embellishments – such as the PMC pieces that you have created, as well as additional elements such as beads and the like.
  • A small rotary tool is ideal although one can use a small hand drill and bit.

Beading and wiring

  • This is totally up to you, and your imagination is the limit! I tend to favour using tigertail as an affix material – as it is rather soft and easy to work with.
  • Beads, feathers, porcupine quills, twigs, seed pods, cotton cords, and of course Precious Metal Clay embellishments are my favourites.


Eggshell Stand

  • To showcase your eggshell, you can create a ‘foot’ for the base.
  • Making a foot with PMC will mean a unique and one off piece.
  • I roll the PMC over a film canister, I find it the ideal size.
  • I also use wood, beads, pods and assorted found objects for stands.
  • See spoon instructions on how to make the stand with PMC.



Please note:
Ostrich eggshells and Porcupine quills will not take heavy use.
They cannot be placed into the dishwasher and must not be washed with heavy household cleaners.
It is best just to wipe the items with a soft cloth.
You can wipe a small amount of Renaissance wax on the surface of the eggshell to protect