Why People Spend Hours Shaping Perfect Balls of Mud into Shiny Balls

Shaunacy Ferro

Hikaru Dorodango

, or Shiny Dumpling (famously called “shiny balls of mud” by writer William Gibson), is the Japanese art of forming spherical balls of mud, drying them, and shining them until they look like marbles. Bruce Gardner, an Albuquerque-based Hikaru Dorodango obsessive, explains the seemingly odd practice as being quite relaxing. “It’s so easy to get sucked into a flow state,” he says in this video interview with the California-based studio P2 Photography

The first time, it took him 30 tries over the course of a month to complete one perfect mud ball. He now experiments with different soils and is constantly refining his technique. The end result is surprisingly beautiful, especially when you consider that it’s just a fistful of mud.  

[h/t Kottke]

All images via Vimeo