Shinji Nakaba – wearable sculptures from found items

By Aya | Women
Posted Mar 28, 2013

Shinji Nakaba, is a jewelry designer in Tokyo who, despite his history of creating since 1974, brings us a fresh and delightful surprise with his artistic creations. The materials he chooses to use make his work unique and memorable.  He uses not only precious metals and stones but also unexpected sources such as that found in polyvinyl water pipes, iron bolts and the garbage.  This trash, whether it be plastic bottles or fallen leaves, is then turned into treasure.

With his deft hands and keen eye he is able to transform these everyday items into precious jewelry. Each piece is a wearable sculpture.  Nakaba says “I just want to bring brand new life to something that has no value.” He finds beauty in everything.

His hydrangea flower brooch looks like real silver but is actually made from aluminum beer cans. A blue brooch made from a cap of Skippy peanut butter is playful and unique. The way he takes found materials and creates something new and decorative is not only an excellent way to recycle but also gives new meaning to the term waste not.

His jewelry attracts people engaged in both art and fashion from around the world. In 2009, he joined Camilla Staerk for a runway show in New York.  You can find his work on: the S. Nakaba website, display at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and Julie Artisans’ Gallery in New York.

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