Photography by Harumi Obama
We chat with jewelry designer Shinji Nakaba about his beautiful “fairy skulls,” which are intricately carved from tiny pearls, and the inspiration behind his innovative work.
The Kanagawa-born artist always aspired to create something unique, and in his early twenties he tried everything from dressmaking to hairstyling to try and fulfill this desire. But when Shinji Nakaba was introduced to jewelry making in 1974, he finally found his medium.
The self-taught designer and self-proclaimed rebel has since created a manifold collection of jewelry made from a range of materials such as aluminum, gold and even plastic bottles. His main focus is on revolutionizing glyptic art, the ancient tradition of engraving. And, as with the pearl skulls, his pieces often reflect a kind of modern vanitas, portraying the dark beauty that lies in decay.....Read more