New Jersey-based Filipino artist Gregory Halili is perfect proof of the idea that, with a bit of creativity and a healthy dose of talent and practice, beautiful art can be made out of some of the most unexpected objects. In his hands, these mother-of-pearl shells become delicate bas-relief skull carvings with subtle oil-paint accents.

Halili carves these skulls into black- and gold-lipped Phillippine mother-of-pearl shells and then finely accents these skulls with oil paint, to the point where it’s hard to tell where the shell’s natural nacre ends and the oil paint begins.

Halili is extraordinarily talented when it comes to tiny yet detailed paintings. To see some examples of his other work, check out his Facebook.

Source: | Facebook (h/t: colossal)