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Dorodango: The Japanese Art of Making Mud Balls

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By Bruce Gardner

The Japanese hikaru dorodango, or shiny mud ball, is created by rolling earth by hand into a perfect sphere and polishing it until it gleams. Not only are the results truly impressive, but this calm and meditative practice, a traditional Japanese playground activity for children, has been rediscovered as a peaceful pastime for people of all ages.

Known for inducing flow, the ultimate state of happiness, this simple art is perfect for those who enjoy practicing mindfulness, spending time in nature, and working with their hands. It's also a lovely way to preserve soil that is special to you, whether it reminds you of home or a place you've traveled. As your collection of dorodango grows, you'll find that earth from different locations each have their own unique properties and finishes.

With beautiful photography and straightforward instructions, this handy guide will teach you everything you need to know to make your own mud balls at home with easily sourced materials.

In addition to dirt and a copy of the book, you will need the following materials to make your own dorodango:

  • Shovel
  • Bucket
  • Sandbags for storing soil
  • Screens (a regular window screen will work)
  • Paint Straining Nets
  • Mixing Tub
  • Flat knife
  • Containers (shoe boxes, etc.)
  • Plastic bags
  • Clips or clothespins
  • Dust Masks
  • Mason Jar lid
  • A smooth piece of wood
  • Scale
  • Mortar and Pestle

A wonderful gift book for fans of pottery and ceramic arts.

Laurence King Publishing, 2019, hardcover, 5.5 x 7.5 in, 128 pages.