Dorodango

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Introduction: 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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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    33 Discussions

    I have been doing Dorodango for several years, but in this case I do not believe that the polish is achieved only by polishing a cloth.

    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/

    5 replies

    It can be done with sand. I live in Florida and sand is the only thing around! I dug into the ground to find an orange deposit of sand and I used that to make my core. It wasn't as easy but it can be done. The main concern is having dirt with some kind of clay in it

    Six years. The longevity of the many typos in this may have set an internet record.

    Thanks for the instructions, nonetheless.

    1 reply

    Great instructable very well made i will look forward to making theese

    They are so beautiful. Great posting.

    I would recommend reading http://www.dorodango.com
    It gives great information on where it comes from and why the drying is important.

    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?

    1 reply

    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.

    2 replies

    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."

    Thanks for your explanation, but I still don't believe it. I should test it to convince myself