Jamie's Blog

Monday, August 06, 2007

Japanese DoroDango mud balls

Would you believe that the picture above is nothing more than a hand shaped and polished ball of mud? DoroDango, which translates roughly as mud dumpling, is a traditional art form in Japan. The balls are made literally out of mud that is hand dried and polished in a laborious process. It seems that nearly any type of dirt is acceptable for making DoroDangos. All that is needed is dirt, water, and a lot of time. The balls are air dried, so there is no firing or baking involved.
Up until recently, the art form was mostly confined to Japan and was slowly dying out. A professor at the Kyoto University of Education, Professor Fumio Kayo, used it in a study on the play habits of children. In the process of his study, he documented the simple process of Dorodango, and published his instructions. Now the entire art form is seeing a renaissance of interest both in Japan and the US. Seeing the result, I can understand why.

If you are interested, you can read all about it at Interesting Thing of the Day: Hikaru Dorodango - Mud balls as art
You can also read directions on how to make your own here: www.dorodango.com

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  • Nice what patience and skill are able to generate. It appears nearly like an alchemical art.

    By Anonymous Alexander, at August 06, 2007 12:25 PM  

  • The instructions seem so simple, but the result so amazing that I am seriously considering trying it out myself. Of course, it's probably not as simple as it looks.

    By Blogger Jamie Barrows, at August 06, 2007 12:51 PM  

  • I wish you to find very good mud - and don't become too dirty ;-)
    (New Mexico seems to be a particular good place for nice soil - as shown in the dorodango.com gallery).
    For me it seems really difficult to make such nice bowls!
    I'm looking forward to read about your experiences and to see a photo of your first "masterpiece" in the blog.

    By Anonymous Alexander, at August 06, 2007 1:09 PM  

  • That of course, assumes I actually end up doing it.
    At the moment, I'm not sure when I would find the time. 3 to 4 hours straight seems to be a typical amount of time needed.
    If I do end up doing it, I'll post the results. I'm not sure how well Florida's sandy soil will work.

    By Blogger Jamie Barrows, at August 06, 2007 1:14 PM  

  • Probably here you'll find some helpful informations about soils in Florida:

    By Anonymous Alexander, at August 06, 2007 1:26 PM  

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