There are two qualities that automatically make an art piece more impressive - when it's really big or really tiny. In the case of Japanese artist and jeweler Shinji Nakaba, it’s the miniature scale of his intricate skull carvings that caught our attention. The diminutive artworks are each crafted from a single oyster pearl, adding a unique layer to the sculpture’s statements. While pearls are pristine and often associated with purity, skulls represent darkness and finality. The carved skulls are mounted to rings, turning the pearls into jewelry - but in a very different way than we are accustomed to seeing them.
Nakaba carves all manner of skulls into tiny pearls – and other similar items, like melamine resin beads. He mostly does human and animal skulls in the oyster pearls, but also some pretty adorable moon faces and angels. Most of his miniature carvings get mounted on delicate wire-wrapped rings, resulting in truly unique jewelry pieces.
If you’re inclined to own one of these tiny pearl sculptures, check out Nakaba’s online shop. All of his pieces are made to order, and prices range from $280 to $650, depending on the size of the pearl and the type of jewelry mounting. The price may seem high for a single pearl, but the carvings are so intricate and accurate that it must take Nakaba hours and hours to complete one of these “wearable sculptures,” as he calls them.
Via This is Colossal
Images via Shinji Nakaba