Dorodango (Japanese: “mud dumpling”)

Hikaru Dorodango are shiny balls of mud, molded by hand, dried, and polished to an artifact of utter simplicity and perfection. The art form has its origins in ancient Japan, where making the simple Dorodango was considered a traditional form of play for children. Dorodango was almost forgotten until Japanese psychology Professor Fumio Kayo re-introduced it to schools and kindergardens a few years ago, not only making it popular again throughout Japan but also sparking international interest.

American artist Bruce Gardner began experimenting with Dorodango after reading an essay in Tate Magazine, titled “Shiny Balls of Mud: William Gibson looks at the Japanese pursuit of perfection”. Gibson described a Dorodango as an „artifact of such utter simplicity and perfection that it seems it must be either the first object or the last…”. Inspired by these words, Gardner felt the urge to make Dorodango himself. Over the years, he experimented with different soils and refined his technique. Today he is a true master of the mindful craft, and yet he is still fascinated by the wondrous process of transforming simple earth into objects of extraordinary beauty. Watch Bruce Gardner in the video below and get inspired to try Dorodango for yourself – a beautiful art form to connect with nature.

Bruce Gardner, Dorodango

I would also like to recommend Gardner’s book which provides detailed information about his making process.

Bruce Gardner, Dorodango

Image Sources:

© Buck The Cubicle
© Elsa Mora

Ingrid Ruegemer

Fields of Expertise: Art, Craft, Design