Do you dorodango education resource
From soil to work of art
Dorodango or ‘Mud Dumpling’ is a Japanese process favoured by schoolchildren which involves the creation of spheres of mud which are then highly polished. It is a simple yet repetitive process that can be undertaken by participants young and old, utilising the soil beneath your feet.
Remnants of past industry can be found in the soil beneath our feet. From agriculture to mining, textiles to iron works; the soil of the Clyde and Avon Valley has played a strong part in the history of the area. Similarly, mysterious neolithic stone balls have been found in Carnwath and Biggar in Clyde and Avon Valley, which suggest our ancestors connection to the earth.
Transform local soil samples into intriguing polished objects by following the steps and watching the How To film below, or by downloading the PDF under 'Related Resources'.
Step 1. Make the mud
Step 1. Make the mudTake a walk and gather dirt from a specific area you’re interested in, and make a note of the place so you can record it later. Choose dirt with no stones or twigs (you can use a sieve to filter unwanted material out of the dirt). Split the dirt into two sets - one for the wet process and another to use for the dust process in Step 5. A little tip - compost doesn’t work!
Step 2. Create the core
Step 2. Create the coreGrab a handful of mud and begin to shape it into a sphere with both hands, applying light pressure to allow moisture to come out on your hands.
Step 3. Add a layer
Step 3. Add a layerHolding the ball in one hand, grab handfuls of dirt with the other and sprinkle it over the ball.
Step 4. Take the moisture out
Step 4. Take the moisture outPut the ball into a plastic bag. You’ll only need to do this for 20 minutes or so. Lay the ball on something soft to prevent a flat edge from forming. Water will condense on the inside of the bag and the surface of the ball will become wet again.
Step 5. Dust your dorodango
Step 5. Dust your dorodangoYou need super fine dirt for this final layer in order to polish your dorodango. This could be done through sifting dirt through a fine mesh or using ash as your final layer. The dirt should be fine enough that if you pat your hand on to it, it creates a fine layer of dust.
Step 6. Polishing
Step 6. PolishingRemove the ball from the bag and let it dry for 20 minutes. Polish with a soft cloth - carefully at first to see if it’s completely dry.
Keep up to date with further projects and share your ideas online using #MakeYourWay
Make Your Way is an arts, heritage and active travel campaign, focusing on the communities of Carluke, Glassford, Lanark, Larkhall and Stonehouse, in 2016 – 17. It was delivered by icecream architecture and SYSTRA, with support from Smarter Choices, Smarter Places grant and is part of the Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership scheme.