There is something uniquely Japanese about taking a handful of mud and patiently refining it until it takes on the gemlike quality of a fine ceramic.
Dorodango, or shiny mud balls, have been preoccupying Japanese youth for about a decade, after nearly becoming a lost art.
These marbley marvels take more perseverance than talent to make. Bruce Gardener details the steps, which can be summed up as:
1. Mix fine dirt with water to make a doughy ball.
2. Squeeze and shake the ball to remove moisture and air pockets.
3. Add a layer of fine, dry dirt and gently shape the ball into a spherical shape.
4. Remove excess moisture by placing the dorodango in a plastic bag for a few hours.
5. With very fine, dry dust shape the outer capsule of the ball until perfectly smooth.
6. Polish with soft cloth.
Fumio Kayo has even more detailed instructions including a short video clip on his very busy website.
Photo – Bruce Gardener