[Information lifted from Wikipedia’s Dorodango article]
I stumbled across a nifty little art form found in Japan – dorodango (roughly translated as “mud dumpling”). They’re spheres about the size of a billiard ball, perhaps a bit larger or smaller, made entirely of mud. However, they’re polished and dried using a variety of techniques, resulting in these beautiful … orbs. That’s all they are, “naturally” polished (meaning no introducing stuff like glaze or anything besides abrasive polishing and sand particles) orbs which can vary in their colour, depending on the mud used. Here’s some copypasta from Wikipedia:
“Making the basic dorodango is a traditional pastime for school children, somewhat like English conkers.
More recently the process has been refined into the art of the hikaru (“shining”) dorodango (??????), 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.”1
Yes, all of those, as well as the ones you’ll find if you do a Google image search, are composed entirely of water, dirt, patience and polishing. Pretty badass, at least I think so.
Who knows? Maybe one of these days I’ll try it out. Seems like a good thing for meditation, or as is commonly found in Japanese culture, sitting and chatting with someone else making one. I’ve always had a thing for shiny orbs. They’re just … cool looking.