In the realm of nature as well as in human society, things are often not what they seem. Animals, plants, and humans use endless tricks and stratagems to hide their vulnerable parts, camouflage their true strength, and survive despite hazards and predators at every turn. To exist in this world as a woman is to be a student of these protective devices, to learn and adopt the techniques and behaviors that best ensure her survival against the forces of patriarchy and institutionalized oppression. She must use whatever means she can to protect herself and secure her place in the world. She may also choose to hide her true power behind the soft, pleasing flourishes of decoration. Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, women must adapt and evolve constantly to suit the demands of their environment, an imperative which is reflected in the complex negotiations of concealment, exhibition, and ornamentation of the body.

This body of work explores nature and its infinite complexity: it’s dangerous beauty, its potential to confuse and bewilder, its hidden secrets, and its multifaceted nature. In creating these works, I have attempted to evoke the deep connections between the human experiences of women and the endless adaptations of nature. The body of work spans a wide range of techniques, drawing from the infinite wealth of nature’s resources: welding, soldering, sculpting, stitching, painting, and building any way possible. Nature’s adaptability and cleverness are honored by using resources directly from nature, found items, recycled materials, and sustainable media in infinite combinations. From colorful, yet poisonous animals to carnivorous flowers, from camouflaged fur to iridescent feathers, from prismatic colors to reflections in a raindrop, this thesis invites viewers to explore and celebrate the ways in which women exhibit the spirit of nature and its endless ways of surviving in a harsh world.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Art metal-work--Themes, motives; Art metal-work--Technique; Artist-designed jewelry--Themes, motives; Artist-designed jewelry--Technique; Women in art; Art and camouflage

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

Luvon Sheppard


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes