This week, my friend Jocelyn and I attempted a new (to us) craft called dorodango.
... turns into this:
(This is a photo from Craft:03. Full article here.)
That's right -- dirt turns into perfect, shiny spheres. With just your hands! Whoda thunk it?
For full directions, read that Craft article. Here's my pared down version of the process:
Take wet dirt (AKA "mud") and form it into a ball. Shake and roll it back and forth between your hands for 30 minutes or so until most of the water squeezes out. Think to yourself, "Why am I doing this again?" When Jocelyn says, "Cause it's fun," press on.
Once most of the water is out (more dirt helps), put the sphere in a plastic bag until water comes out, then add more dirt to it and put it back in the bag. More water will come out again, so you add more dirt to it and put it back in the bag. (The time spent in the bag starts at 30 minutes. Towards the end, you're leaving it overnight.) Repeat.
How long do you repeat? Oh, until you die. (That's my fear, at least.)
Then you polish it. Voila! Shiny mud sphere!
(If you want to make one yourself, you really should read the article from Craft. Additional detailed directions can also be found here and here.)
Here is mine at this point:
Here it is with a beer, for scale (also for passing the time while making a shiny mud ball):
And here it is in my hand. Just for the heck of it:
It has gone through the bag-n-dirt process about 10 times already and water is still sweating out of it, so I know I'm not yet close to dying. I mean polishing it.
Despite my sarcasm infused report, I will admit that the dorodango feels kind of neat -- it's got a satisfying dense and heavy feel. However, I'm now ready to be done. (I started on Monday. It's Wednesday.)
If it actually turns out looking like the photo above from Craft magazine, I'll show you. If you never see a photo of it again here, you'll know the project failed.
Off to go add dirt to my, um... dirt ball. Yeah.
PS -- To answer the question, "What does it do?" Oh, nothing. It just sits there. It's decorative. I'm nuts.