Step 1: Create the mud
In a clean container, add dirt to water. Start by adding a small
amount of dirt, mix, and slowly add more dirt until the mud
reaches an even consistency, like cookie dough.
Step 2: Create the core
Grab a handful of mud and begin to shape it into a sphere with
both hands, squeezing out as much water as you can. Eliminate
irregularities from the mass by gently shaking it. The vibration
removes voids, increases surface moisture, and facilitates
compaction. As you shape/shake the mud, clayey particles will
migrate to the surface, forming a slip layer that will make it easier
to smooth the mass into a sphere. Proceed to step 3 when the
ball becomes tacky to the touch.
Step 3: Create the capsule
Holding the ball in one hand, grab handfuls of dirt with the other
and sprinkle the dirt over the ball. With your thumb, gently sweep
the excess off, rotating the ball as you do so. Use the outer
curvature of your thumb, near the base, to do this. The newly
added dirt will absorb the surface moisture very quickly. Work the
ball to a point where it retains its shape but isn’t so dry that cracks
begin to form.
Step 4: Build the shell
Run your hand through screened dirt and pat the fine particles
that stick to your hand into the surface of the dorodango.
Repeat until the surface feels oily or until particles fail to stick
to the surface.
Step 5: Polish and dry
Polish with a soft cloth—carefully at first if any moisture is present,
or the cloth will mar the surface. Polish or buff more vigorously
once the ball is dry. A glass bowl can be used to compress the
surface and bring about a higher shine.