Instructables
Picture of Dorodango
Dorodango is a form of "mud art" that is very popular across japan. It is often done in preschool and as a hobby for several japanese people. All Dorodango really is, is making a ball of mud. However as you will see its so much cooler than that.
 
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Step 1: Materials

This is a very simple project. All you will need is as follows.

Dirt/ soil (not sand)
Water
Dry sand/dry dirt (yes i contradicted my self you may use sand for one part.)
a plastic bag
time
patience 
a cloth

Step 2: Make the ball

Picture of Make the ball
dango3.jpg
okay so first what you need to do is find a place where there is wet dirt/ soil, or make it with dry then add water. once you get this grab a handful and start shaping it into a ball. As you do this try as hard as possible to squeeze out all of the water. So neo you should have like a ball of mud like the one in the photo below.

Step 3: Add dry sand

Picture of add dry sand
dango8.jpg
now you really need to focus on making a round ball instead of anything shiny yet. after shaping the ball for a few minutes take some dry sand and sprinkle a small pile of it on the ball then wipe it off. this will leave sand stuck to the ball cover the ball with dry sand and you make sure it keeps its round shape.

Step 4: Continue until smooth

now just keep puuting heaps of dry soil on the ball and removing them for 30-40 minutesuntil your ball begins to get a smooth surface. Once you think you are done keep going for another minute then blow on the ball to get off any not attached soil.

Step 5: Let the ball dry

Picture of Let the ball dry
Next you need to carefully put your bag sealed in a plastic shopping bag. make sure to rest it on a soft surface. This will suck out any water left in your ball. Let this sit for atleast a couple of hours or overnight.

Step 6: Keep rubbing

Picture of keep rubbing
once you remove the ball from the bag keep rubbing on more dry sand for 2-3 minutes on the dry surface. Next you want do rub your hand in some dry sand getting it dusty the rub that dust all over the ball for 20-30 minutes. After that you may begin polishing it witha cloth or a sock or something until it starts to shine! At the end it kind of looks like a shot put.
Skip4 years ago
I've been meaning to make an instructable about this topic for a while. Never got around to it but. It's great to see it finally come to the site though. Also I know it's nice to show glorious photos of dorodango's by professionals, It'd be nice to see some of your own finished work: http://www.dorodango.net/
sugarhi911 (author)  Skip4 years ago
this was my 3rd dorodango attempt and byfar the best so far
my dango.jpg
Wow how did you get it so shiny?
how did you get it so shiney i tryed to polish mine the outter shell flaked off any tips
Skip sugarhi9114 years ago
That is one sexy dorodango. It almost looks like it's mostly translucent with copper goodness =)
Great instructable very well made i will look forward to making theese
qhenderson1 year ago
They are so beautiful. Great posting.
PhoenixGG2 years ago
I would recommend reading http://www.dorodango.com
It gives great information on where it comes from and why the drying is important.
jtobako4 years ago
Is this a burnished clay or something else? And where does the color come from-is it added or dependent on which soil is used?
usually, can't speak for them, but usually it is the color of the soil
Flagella3 years ago
How do I keep it from cracking? Every time I start to pour dirt on it, it starts to crack. What do I do?
Flagella3 years ago
Why do you use sand? In other instructions it says to use dry dirt, why sand. Do you switch from sand to dirt?
rimar20004 years ago
Step 5 says: "Next you need to carefully put your bag sealed in a plastic shopping bag. make sure to rest it on a soft surface. This will suck out any water left in your ball. Let this sit for atleast a couple of hours or overnight." I don't believe that ball will dry in only two hours or a night. And even less if it is stuck inside a plastic bag! Anyway, the matter seems interesting, thanks for post it.
Ora rimar20004 years ago
I believe you seal it in a plastic bag to bring the moisture from the center of the ball out to the surface, so you can put more dry sand on it to absorb the moisture. Here's the method of making Dorodango from wikipedia: "More recently the process has been refined into the art of the hikaru ("shining") dorodango (光る泥だんご), which has a glossy or patterned surface. The core of the ball is made of basic mud, and further dusted with finer-grained soil before the water is drawn out through various methods- even sealing the ball inside a plastic bag and letting the water evaporate and then condense. Once the ball is fully tempered and hardened, it is polished by hand and displayed."
rimar2000 Ora4 years ago
Thanks for your explanation, but I still don't believe it. I should test it to convince myself
It looks like you add finer clay particles to the outer surface with the patting of 'dust', then burnish the dry clay after. The plastic bag will allow the moisture to even out so that it doesn't wick out while trying to polish.
It works... they did it on Mythbusters with ostrich and lion crap.
You need better instructions on this i can google it and get better instructions.
If you can get better instructions on google, then stop talking about it and go use their directions. I think hers are much better than what I have found on google.
Here is the best site for it http://www.kyokyo-u.ac.jp/youkyou/4/english4.htm and it has videos to show you how to do it too.
strange_f4 years ago

AH HAHAHAHAHAHA. I love that. Mythbusters is awesome but this is UBER-WIN!!
reedz strange_f4 years ago
I have literally never heard of gloss units before.
wait heaps of soil or sand?
now just keep puuting heaps of dry soil on the ball and removing it by swiping with your hand very gently, do this for about 30-40 minutes until your ball begins to get a smooth surface. Once you think you are done, keep going for another minute, then blow on the ball to get off any loose soil.
when i first add dirt to the ball it cracks how can i stop that
SpadeLad4 years ago
Could you please have a look through and revise some of the typos in this? Some are understandable but others are hard to figure out what you meant
sugarhi911 (author)  SpadeLad4 years ago
yes sorry about that ive changed a few let me know if you find more.
Are they now solid will they crush easy? Is there anyway to put a lacquer on them and the instructions in part 4 and 6 are a bit confusing. Other wise neat!