steel mesh, white agate , epoxy resin ,   2012 ,

SHINJI NAKABA X  moto nakaba



















































Transparent skull Ring

Hand carved Acrylic Block , 2014 ,












































Where and when did you first have the idea to carve pearls?


I wanted to break the traditional idea of jewelry making. I did not want

to be restricted by rules and traditions, which restricts creativity.  By

becoming an expert on traditional jewelry making, I wanted to utilize

that skill to create something that is unconventional. For example,

traditionally it is never ideal to carve pearls because it would ruin its

integrity. I always thought pearls looked unnatural when polished to

make them look smoother, to fix scars or scratches. Or when I tried to

carve cultured pearls, the core would always emerge, and I ruined the

pearls by peeling off the nacre. Even with knowing all these challenges,

I’ve always had this devilish thoughts of “carving pearls” in the back

of my mind. Around 2010, a friend gave me pearls that did not have

a core, so I started carving inward as much as I wanted, and the result

was absolutely stunning. I was so shocked by its beauty; however, I was

not sure if this could be sellable or even durable to wear, so I asked my

friend to wear it for a year. After one year, the skull looked even more

interesting with a weathered surface. Also, it did not break, thus I thought

this could be sellable! I’ve experimented with different type of materials

to carve out skulls (crystal, ivory, coral, precious stones,) 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 now believe peals are born to be

carved into skulls, I would call them “Fairy Skulls. ”I believe innovation

is an offspring of “outlaw” and “curiosity".  


What is it about pearls as opposed to gems or other stones that drew you to them?


I am captivated by the unknown potential of pearls.   Read more....  







Skull & Snake Necklace

Hand carved keshipearl , 18kt gold , cotton code ,

pearl boy
hand carved pearl , inking(urushi) ,  2015

Lily petal earring
"Lily petal earring"
model,   nao nakaba
photo,   noriko nakaba

aluminum, steel ,

"VANITAS" earrings


      WHISPER Editions            Vanitas Pearl Necklace   

Hand carved pearl, red cotton cord , 18K Gold,

“Only pearls can make my idea of ephemeral beauty into reality,” says Shinji Nakaba, artist and creator of this special edition for Whisper. From an adjustable red cotton cord hangs a drop shaped skull, carved skillfully by Shinji from a white freshwater pearl roughly the size of a dime, impressive in their tiny scale. The necklace, designed to be worn by anyone, in any way — Shinji suggests with a tee shirt, with fur, or in the nude — is adjustable between 14 and 24 inches in length and fastened by a smaller silver pearl. This very special edition is extremely exclusive as only ten have been made. Each are numbered and hand signed by the artist, including the word “VANITAS.”    

Go to WHISPER  Editions

Read more about Nakaba on The Hourglass.

Adjustable between 14 and 24 inches in length and fastened by a smaller silver pearl. 

adjust 24 inches

adjust 14 inches


let's make a new start !

Let's make a new start !       

These Photos, Taken Nearly 40 Years ago, my friend find photos
and sent me these. I think probably that it about 1975, the days of
I just started studying jewelry!


Chaise lounge in the forest
Chaise lounge in the forest

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