Japanese Artist Hand-Carves Pearls Into Exquisite ‘Fairy Skulls’

Have you ever seen anything as delicate and beautiful as these hand carved pearls? So exquisite!

Since 1974, Tokyo-based Shinji Nakaba has been creating unique pieces of jewelry. Unlike some other artists, everything he creates is completely wearable.

In fact, Nakaba calls his creations, “wearable sculptures,” and uses unconventional materials for the majority of them. These intricately carved pearl skulls are just one example of his exceptional work.

“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.”

After attempting these skull carvings with coral, crystal, ivory, and precious stones, Nakaba discovered pearls without cores. The lack of core allows for a smoother carving, without the issue of shredding or peeling.

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.”

Definitely take a look at Shinji Nakaba’s website and explore his other wonderful creations as well, like aluminium pieces, necklaces, rings, and brooches. He even has a section for Ikebana jewelry- a disciplined art form of arranging flowers in a precise manner.

More info : work.s-nakaba.com | Etsy | mobilia-gallery.com (h/t: Bored Panda)




Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known. – Oscar Wilde


“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas



“Art requires philosophy, just as philosophy requires art.”-Paul Gauguin


“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?” – John Lennon