Memory and experience play an important role in the creation of my thesis work. I often reflect on moments that leave an impression me. I think these really touch my feelings and shape my creative mind. The feelings are always plain, they do not say anything, and do not unassuming, buried very deep. I see my jewelry pieces as small sculptures that carry stories, documenting important times and feelings that I experienced in my life.
For my thesis, I play and experiment with salt crystal and metal. For me, the growth of crystal is the same as the growth of a person. People continue to absorb others life experiences and advice in order to help themselves figure out the right way in their life.
China has an old saying that old people often offer to young people “I have eaten more salt than you have rice.” In Asian culture, rice is the staple for most of our meals. To say that someone has eaten more salt than you have of rice shows that they have been around and gone through a great deal more than you and we should respect their wealth of life experience.
In my art, salt becomes symbolic of defining people’s life experiences. The salt plays an ambiguous role. On the one hand, the salt crystals which form around my work support the fine metal structures, but on the other hand, the salt is slowly biting into the metal. This is symbolic of the way older people’s salt influences young people.
My thesis contains the full development of my working process by looking at the organic growth of salt crystals over metal structures, and I am inspired by the constantly changing course of how crystallization impacts the metal. Through my thesis work, I expect to pass my feeling about the complicated relationship between myself and my family to the audience.
Metals and Jewelry Design (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School for American Crafts (CIAS)
Juan Carlos Caballero-Perez
Yang, Yi, "Salt" (2017). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus