Friday, January 27, 2006

Shiny ball of mud: I gotta make one of these

I bumped into this concept on the web yesterday: kids in Japan, apparently, enjoy a craft where you make a mud ball, and through a careful process, you can get it to have a hard, smooth surface that you can polish to a high shine.

What I love about this idea is the fact that, well, everybody can find some mud. But this thing requires discipline and/or the kind of free time that only kids usually have. The instructions I found included the step:

Rub your hands against the ground, patting and rubbing the fine, powdery dirt onto the sphere. Continue this for two hours.

I believe there are lots of pages about this craft. These mud balls are called "Dorodango" in Japan. Here's an article about it. According to this article, the professor who currently promotes the craft got the idea from kids who'd already started doing it. Then he wrote up a formal process that could be passed around.

So, I'd like to make one of these. But I know that any craft that takes a couple of hours of work will probably not survive my lifestyle. My kids probably need to be a bit older for that. :)

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