Hikaru Dorodango – Coloured Soil Spheres Sculpted by Bruce Gardner


We’ve not showcased many short videos here on the blog as of late, so I thought it would be a nice change to highlight this one that I found earlier in the week by photographers Jenna Close and Jon Held. The subject they picked is slightly unusual, but I found the process quite remarkable and the finished objects also intriguing from a design and craft perspective.

Bruce Gardner lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico and specialises in the Japanese art of Hikaru Dorodango. They are balls crafted from soil, moulded by hand into perfect spheres, dried, and then polished to create a sheen. This is a traditional pastime among many children in Japan, and through many years of perseverance Bruce has been able to refine the process himself and has added his own techniques to create one of kind spheres from local soils found near his own home.

The process looks remarkably simple, but the results that Bruce has been able achieve is quite incredible, and this has been conveyed beautifully through moving imagery as well as stills by Jenna and Jon. For me it sums up the Japanese and their ability to achieve refinement in even the humblest of materials. It’s all about the process and in some ways building that relationship with nature itself, some cracks or bumps may appear as a result but that’s the element of “beauty in imperfection”. Anyway, I recommend watching this piece below and exploring the subject yourself, these simple spheres are a great source of creativity and experimentation.