Constellation Portraits: Thread Wrapped Around Nails

Kumi Yamashita Nail Art 1

A single, unbroken sewing thread is wrapped around a grid of carefully placed galvanized nails to bring human faces to life in stunningly intricate detail. Artist Kumi Yamashita, best known for light and shadow art, has crafted a series of portraits just as beautifully wrought as any made with more conventional media.

Kumi Yamashita Nail Art 2

Kumi Yamashita Nail Art 7

Kumi Yamashita Nail Art 3

Entitled ‘Constellation,’ for the visual effect of the nails and thread, the series is created on wooden panels painted solid white. Thousands of small silver nails are set into the wood, and Yamashita carefully winds the thread around them, sometimes using an entire spool for a single portrait.

Kumi Yamashita Nail Art 4

Kumi Yamashita Nail Art 5

Kumi Yamashita Nail Art 6

Based in New York City, Yamashita was born in Japan and received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Glasgow School of Art. The Constellation series continues Yamashita’s transformation of everyday materials into visually arresting images that challenge the way we perceive these items.