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Friday, April 20, 2007

Minimalism and Mud





"...for dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return..."

Can you believe it? These globes that look as though they are made of porcelain or marble actually consist of mud. Molded mud. They're called hikaru dorodango, or shiny mud balls, and the art of making them has been practised in Japan for centuries. They're featured in the new issue of Craftzine which focuses on Japanese crafts.

Each ball is made through a process of shaping the mud into a spherical shape with the use of water, allowing it to dry, and then rubbing the surface to make it shine (they're actually measured according to a shiny scale). I love the simplistic beauty of each ball, which retains the characteristics of the dirt from which it was made. Earth and Water. Art and Spirituality. Minimalism and Mud.

^Pics taken from dorodango.com.
Also see:
Article.
Instructions.

And before you begin to see an activity like this as pointless, a Japanese professor by the name of Fumio Kayo has used dorodango to launch investigations into the psychology of children's play. Some things only appear to be pointless.

-Amanda

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