Monday, September 4, 2006

Dorodango Danger!

Well, my unplanned but exciting exploration into the world of dorodango is done for this weekend. I had such a good time playing in the dirt and mud and learning the process. By my third attempt, the shaping got much easier and I fell into an easy rhythm that was really quite meditative in nature.

There were only two bad sides to this. One is that I got almost no knitting done over the past two days! But I will get some done today and am still hopeful about getting the rug done. The second bad thing is that none of my dorodango made it through the whole process without cracking...argh!

Above is a pic of my third attempt, the best one. Here it is looking lovely before any cracking had started. At this point I thought it was finished and would possibly just need to cure a bit over the next couple days. I set it aside on a soft "bed" of cloth to do just that. But when I looked at it late last night before going to bed, I noticed this...

I'm not positive what caused this but from what I can gather it is most likely one of two things. The first reason could be that I didn't allow enough time between some of the steps to assure that enough moisture was drawn out. If you finish the process with too much moisture inside, it will still eventually dissipate but the inner core will shrink, leaving a gap between it and the outer layer which can lead to something like the pic below (not mine, thankfully, but an extreme picutre of what can go wrong!).

The second reason why the cracks might have formed is from polishing the outside too much. I know this is what happened with my first one since it cracked while I was polishing it! It might even be what happened with the second one. But I made a special effort to do a very minimal amount of polishing on number three. So if I had to guess, I'd say the reason it cracked was from too much moisture trapped inside. Since these were my first attemps, I was eager to move along to each next step and probably rushed the process a bit. But I will definitely try these again as they were big fun. I actually found myself thinking about where I could get some different kinds of soil that would produce different color dorodango. Hey, if any of you have interesting soil near you (very pale, very dark, red, etc...) and want to send a little my way, let me know!

As for the knitting, I don't have too much to show you, but I will anyway, just to prove that there has been some progress! Here is one of the two sides of the bear head, in progress. It doesn't look like much now, but we'll see what happens when all the appropriate parts are sewn together!

I guess it for this update. I shall now head off to do some cleaning which will leave me free to concentrate on the knitting. Hopefully more progress pictures later in the day (fingers crossed!)

LISTENING TO: TRAILER BRIDE - "Whine De Lune" I'm not much into any kind of country music, but along with Tarnation, this alterna-country band are an exception. They create some of the most atmospheric, spooky, back-woods music you'll hear. Melissa Swingle leads the band with her lilting southern voice singing songs of love, loss and she plays the saw! How cool is that?


Sean said...

Argh, so close! Sorry to see that a crack snuck into your cool creation. It's still hard to believe that dirt can turn into something so shiny and attractive.

Hope you had a nice Labor Day weekend!

Paul said...

They really are fescinating! And I just gotta say, even with the cracking, you have some pretty impressive balls there....

(Now stop, you knew SOMEONE was gonna say it!)

Ken said...

Yes Paul, I knew someone was gonnna go there...just didn't know who or when. Now the suspense is over!

Mel said...

Oh, I dunno. Even the cracked ones have a neat look to them.

For wonderfully dark country music, I recommend Gillian Welch. Not particularly alternative except that her music makes her seem like someone who was born about two generations too late.

Ruth said...

They look great, sorry about the cracking. I'm looking foward to seeing some more.

Sean said...

So, here we are at Saturday again. Will you be playing in the mud today?