Japanese Artist Turns Pearls into Skulls

If you’re in, say, a biker gang, and you’ve always wanted to add a touch of refinement to your flaming skull-laden attire, well then you’re in luck.

Producing work since 1974, Japanese artist and jeweler Shinji Nakaba infuses all matter of anatomical forms, like skulls and flowers, into what he describes as “wearable sculptures.”

The pieces he’s most famous for, are these meticulously crafted human skulls, carved from oyster pearls and which can then be fitted to rings, necklaces or brooches.

Japanese Artist Turns Pearls into Skulls

“I use not only precious metals and stones, but also everyday things, such as aluminum beer cans, plastic bottle, or even garbage,” says Nakaba.

In addition to selling pieces through his online shop and Etsy, Nakaba’s work has been shown at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Arts & Design in New York, as well as several galleries and museums around Japan.

This tiny art requires extreme skill and patience, but the results are absolutely amazing.


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