Mother of Pearl Shells’ Carving of Beautiful Skulls

Gregory Halili is a New Jersey-based artist. Inspired by the lush vegetation and tropical wildlife of the Philippines, he creates stunning bas-relief skulls delicately hand-carved and painted on mother of pearl shells.


Halili prefers to work with shells collected from the Philippines, because he was born and raised there. First, he would select the shell of gold-lip and black-lip mother of pearl and then he carve them by hand.


When it’s done, he would use oil paint to dab muted tones of color onto the iridescent surface. After that, he fuses the human form with the natural world in these lovely, intricate works of art.


Then as you would expect, there comes up a stunning human skull adorned in the shell of mother of pearl.