The work featured in the collection RePlace consists of wearable art jewelry made primarily from found objects that were previously discarded. When the found components are collected, the purpose of their existence is shifted, and continues to change when the objects adopt a new meaning as jewelry. Preciousness of these materials is enhanced based on their emotional attachment to memories and their relationship to place and experiences. Focused on connecting a viewer to an experience and memory through wearable pieces, scenes and compositions were created by combining found objects with hand-fabricated structures.

By exploring materials foreign to traditional metalsmithing techniques, and because of the nature of the discarded objects, each work is one of a kind and cannot be reproduced. Material availability in the jewelry industry and inferred preciousness of objects is challenged through the use of weathered elements. Similar to gemstones in traditional jewelry design, these discarded objects act as focal points in the work. Because of their unique state, the rarity of the pieces elevates their perceived value. The essence of where and how the fragments lived in their past life is apparent but not obvious, as most of the pieces are unidentifiable. Viewers are invited to contemplate the history and purpose of the components based off their physical appearance.

In the form of jewelry, a deep sense of intimacy is experienced as the pieces are worn close to the body. Because the components were collected from a particular landscape and often resemble its traits, the process of constructing each piece triggered my own experiences of visited and imaginary places and served as a physical recreation and keepsake. The finished pieces invite viewers to confront their own visions of place and to allow for the resurface of memories of the natural world they have experienced themselves.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Artist-designed jewelry; Jewelry--Design; Found objects (Art)

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Metals and Jewelry Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School for American Crafts (CIAS)


Juan Carlos Caballero-Perez

Advisor/Committee Member

Leonard Urso

Advisor/Committee Member

Peter Pincus


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes