it’s all the rage in japan. it’s…


Aluminum foil balls.

Perhaps you’ve seen the video tutorials.

Well, we’ve got a few balls going, in various stages, so we’re happy to share with you what we’ve learned so far. (Because I have no doubt that we will take this to the next level; being a family who make masks with foil quite often, although we usually cover them with tape and paint and paper mache, the idea that we could sand and polish our foil layers is very tempting.)

When you are first pounding and compacting your ball, you’ll be hearing a thud. But then… when things start to tighten up… your hammer will bounce against the foil ball. Listen to the difference — hear how Claude’s hammer bounces, and you hear two strikes for every time she brings it down.



(Since making field recordings to use in music is kind of our thing now anyway, we made one.)


Yes, you CAN make a ball using a roll of foil that gives you, in the beginning, a ball much bigger than a basketball. If you want to work at that size, it’s best to start compacting as you go — and not wait until your ball is entirely “rolled”. It’s going to lose a lot of size no matter what, but a compact core does provide a lot of stability whether you have a small or large ball.

Claudia made a small ball — her own little moon. It had craters and imperfections she chose to keep there and not sand away. She did use maybe as many as five different grades of sandpaper, and “just” sanding was about a week’s worth of work, off and on.

Since we have all the materials needed to make more, there’s no doubt we will — but we might be going for different shapes (again, masks and puppets are always of interest around here), and there are three loaf-like, well-intentioned starts that we think we can still salvage. Claudia’s orb is magical and beautiful! She worked very hard, and furthermore, she worked past the point where she’d done “enough” — and did more. And it made a difference.