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Japanese Artist Hand Carves Pearls Into Beautiful Tiny Skulls



Tokyo based Shinji Nakaba has been mesmerizing his followers since 1974 with the most beautiful jewelry, being different to most artists – he creates ‘wearable sculptures’ which usually comprise of some rather unconventional materials.

One of his most beautiful examples would have to be the pearl skulls he makes into the daintiest pieces.

“I just want to bring brand new life to something that has no value,” Nakaba tells Magnifico.  On his Etsy profile he explains, “I use not only precious metals and stones, but also everyday things, such as aluminum beer cans, plastic bottle, or even garbage.”

Nakaba has attempted many different designs on coral, crystal, ivory and some precious stones, but his discovery of pearls which lack cores has definitely grabbed attention. Easier to carves as they don’t peel or shred, smoother, more detailed designs are possible.

On his website, Nakaba says this about his pearl skull carvings:

“I’ve experimented with different type of materials to carve out skulls but the ones I carved out of pearls are by far the best in terms of the durability. I also thought the contradiction between pristine pearls turning into these dark objects seemed even more appealing. I would call them Fairy Skulls.

Only pearls can make my idea of ephemeral beauty into reality.”

Nakaba is also famous for his other magnificent creations, made from aluminium, various necklaces, rings and brooches as well as Ikebana inspired pieces – a disciplined art form which details the layout of flower arrangements.

Check out his website and Etsy

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