Nails at Bellus Academy: The Art and History in Sculpts
Read about the art and history in nail sculpts with Bellus Acadmey’s Nail Technology Educator, Sam Beall!
“Sculp-ture [Skuhlup-cher] Noun – The art of carving, welding, or otherwise producing works of art in three dimensions.” Sculptured nails are just that, works of art. This lost form takes years to master, but is completely worth the artistic freedom it allows. This technique utilizes a form that is placed under the free edge of the nail. Each enhancement is built and then perfectly molded to fit each individual nail.
Nail enhancements have progressed much throughout history. The earliest recorded enhancements dates back to the Ming Dynasty where long red or black artificial nails indicated status. Ancient Egyptians, who were known for innovative ideas and luxury, preferred bone, ivory, and gold to adorn their nails. Later in the 19th century, upper class women in Greece used empty pistachio shells as garnishment. This spread the trend of artificial nails across Europe.
These lovely jewels as we know them today got their start in the oddest of places, a dental office. In 1954, a dentist damaged his nail and used dental acrylic to repair it. Thus sculpts were born. Although these enhancements didn’t truly gain popularity until the 1970’s, “porcelain nails” did pose a challenge due to the original nature of the product. In the early 80’s, a new cross-linked polymer changed the way these enhancements were applied. This new revolution in nail care, designed for actual use on the natural nail, now allowed for thin and natural coverage.
Since then, the industry has changed in leaps and bounds. We see new innovations almost daily, still we return to that little black dress, good ol’ liquid and powder in its basic of forms and applications. As a nail artist, sculpture is a way to create beautiful customized works of living art or high fashion. For a guest it adds strength and durability when applied and maintained by a well trained technician. From something as simple as a classic pink and white set, to a mermaid’s tail from the depth of the ocean, your imagination is your only limitations.