This artist carves skulls out of pearls

Wearable skulls were a favourite of Alexander McQueen

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Death has never looked so adorable as in these tiny skulls from jewellery designer Shinji Nakaba, which are all crafted out of pearls.

The skulls can be work as rings or brooches, but there’s something quite nice about them just being scooped up in the palm of a hand, as in some of the promo photos of the pearls.

Nakaba, from Yokohama, Japan, has been making jewellery and ‘wearable sculpture’ out of unconventional materials since 1974.

“I just want to bring brand new life to something that has no value,” he told Magnifico, adding on Etsy: “I use not only precious metals and stones, but also everyday things, such as aluminum beer cans, plastic bottle, or even garbage."

Many of his skulls are inscribed with the word ‘vanitas’  - the Latin word for ‘vanity’ and a type of symbolic work in the 16th and 17th centuries that drew attention to ‘the meaninglessness of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits’.







A pearly pre-sculpture


Nakaba also carves slightly creepy human faces