Once you take up the art of Hikaru Dorodango, it doesn’t take long before you come across examples of the mirror-finish Dorodango. Perhaps the best example of this is shown by Benito and Kalin Steen in their Nito Project demonstration video.
The only issue with the Steen brother’s productions is that, understandably, they give the viewer just enough information to get started and do pretty well. They make it look easy. In truth, doing it is easy—perfecting it is a different matter.
So, my goal in this post is to help fill in the gaps of the process so that your attempt might be a little better than it would be if you had only watched the video. As for perfection: I’ll post again when I reach it. Till then, let’s have fun with the mirror-finish Dorodango!
Before you start, you need to purchase graphite lubrication powder which you can pick up from your local hardware store.
Make your Dorodango ball and finish it to perfection (or as good as you can do. Every imperfection will be very visible once the graphite finish is applied.) let it dry to the point that you would begin to polish it.
Remember: Whatever imperfections are on the surface of your ball will be highlighted by the graphite.
Squeeze some graphite lube powder into the palm of your hand, place the ball in your palm on top of the little mound of graphite, and rotate the ball with your other hand until you can use both hands to spread the graphite evenly.
Here’s where the problem starts: You can create new imperfections by moving too fast through this stage and by adding more graphite too soon. The graphite cakes on top of itself and, when you rub too hard with your hand or whatever tool you are using to shine the ball, it can peel part of the graphite away leaving the surface uneven.
Tip: My experience so far is that the graphite powder itself needs time to “dry” or cure before another coat is added. So, take your time, use your hands as long as possible, wait before adding another coat, and don’t rush into using a tool to shine the ball.
Tip: At a certain point when you feel like the surface is looking smooth, switch to holding the ball with a nice smooth cloth so that the moisture from your hands doesn’t alter the surface or cause your hands to stick. Later, when your all done, and the ball has had time to cure, you’ll be able to gently handle it.
UPDATES TO FOLLOW!