Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


This thesis shows the development of organic or nature forms into necklaces. The artist, practically from her very beginning, has lived with nature and tried to absorb its being. Giant Plant No. 1 shows the final result or statement embodied in the form of a walnut and silver necklace. Over a period of years, several paintings, pins, earrings, pendants, and sketches were done on the theme of the splitleaf philodendron. The silver forms imbedded into the walnut are reaching out into space. It is a small space--like the tiny room the artist lived in with the giant plant. The fact that the plant form is in silver or light in value and the surrounding space is walnut or dark in value says that the reaching out of the plant was absorbed by t ne space. Life was once there as can be seen by the outreaching fingers, but it was caught and seized by death. Therefore the dark walnut gives it a frozen, entombed feeling. It was a plant that needed light and space, but it was forced to live in a tiny cubicle without enough to sustain it. It was caged. There are many leaves in these cubicles around the neck which compose the necklace. There are many people like this plant in the world. “A Blade of Grass” is a necklace of 10-karat gold. It is bent around the neck. It was bent by the elements and finally completely broken from its roots, perhaps by a big piece of hail. This is shown by the flattened end and by the fact that it is not attached to anything. It is left abandoned to be moved again by the elements--the wind or the movements of the person wearing it. "Lake Poetry" is a necklace composed of the lake. It is a circle of infinite depth that encloses the neck. The circle going around the neck suggests the lake itself. During the creation of this piece, the decision of whether to use the piece of cottonwood in a circular form or a semicircular form arose. A semi-circular section of the annual growth rings was chosen as it seemed to imply a stopping of growth. The glass blue beads attached to the cottonwood piece suggest the lake water, while the other piece pointing in a downward direction represents the plant life around the lake. The water lily seed in the center with the two semi-circle silver pieces, indicate t bat water surrounds the seed for growth; but the fact that the circle is not continuous suggests that the ebb of the lake could recede, leaving insufficient water for growth . Perhaps there is a death theme--a death of nature theme--implanted into all of these necklace forms. It is possible that plant life could disappear from the earth. Some scientists are already predicting that it will. The idea of the particular piece of work determined the materials and the technique used. For the most part, the construction method, with variations, was used. Both precious and semi-precious materials were used where they seemed to contribute to the idea. In the case of "A Blade of Grass," for example, a low-karat gold was used. Silver, because of its color, would not have carried the idea as the low-karat gold as it suggests the blade of grass in its final cycle of life.


Dr. Joel C. Moss

Date of Award

Summer 1966

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1966 Betty R. Hochman


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