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

Have you ever seen anything as delicate and beautiful as these hand carved pearls? These exquisite carvings are called called Fairy Skulls due to their small size and delicate features.

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

A unique piece of jewelry

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 : | Etsy

Fairy Skull Carvings

fairy skulls
fairy skulls being carved
fairy skull ring
fairy skull ring

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

fairy skull on a flower
fairy skull on a flower

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

fairy skull ring

“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

fairy skulls with berries
fairy skulls
fairy skull ring
fairy skull carving

Keep reading: This Native Tribe in the Philippines Makes Ornately-Carved Bikes from Wood

Thomas Nelson
Freelance Writer
Thomas is an environmental advocate currently residing in the Pacific Northwest. In his spare time, he enjoys experiencing the outdoors, raising chickens and ducks, and reading about current environmental issues. Despite slight colorblindness, his favorite color is green.