Shinji Nakaba is a Japanese jewelry designer from Tokyo who has been practicing his craft since 1974. All of his creations are wearable pieces, but Nakaba is known for his use of unconventional materials. Recently, he’s received a lot of online interest for these intricate skulls that he carved from pearls.
Nakaba says that he wants to bring new life to things that may be perceived as having little or no value. While he does use precious metals and stones, he also uses everyday materials such as aluminum cans, plastic bottles and even garbage.
You may notice that many of Nakaba’s pearl skulls have “Vanitas” carved into them, which is Latin for “vanity” and is possibly a reference to 16th and 17th century funerary art which usually emphasized the transient nature of existence.
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