Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Jewelry and Metalsmithing

First Advisor

Tracy Steepy

Second Advisor

Barbara Seidenath

Third Advisor

Lauren Fensterstock


This thesis explores the transformation of recycled materials and trash, into materials for jewelry making, and investigates the effects of human consumption on the environment. It is also concerned with ecological damage and biological harm by combining physical research methods with literature and data review. It also calls for consumers to reflect on their behavior and actively participate in the collective action of protecting the environment.

In this thesis, I collected and analyzed studies and information related to consumptive behavior, environmental pollution, and ecological damage. This includes academic papers, reports, statistics, and perspectives from professional organizations on consumption patterns, waste statistics, biological impacts of waste, examples of environmental pollution, waste management, etc.

The findings show that uncontrolled human consumption behavior leads to a generational pattern of large amounts of garbage and waste, which in turn leads to environmental pollution and the destruction of ecosystems. Extensive research reveals the challenges of over-consumption in terms of overexploitation of natural resources, increased energy consumption, and failed waste management. These problems seriously affect the ecological balance and pose a threat to the habitat and survival of animals everywhere.

Based on these findings, this thesis proposes a call for people to reflect on consumptive behavior and participate in environmental protection through artistic creation. Using materials such as found garbage as materials for jewelry making, and the installation of a large collection of feather brooches and necklaces of bird skeleton remains, this project conveys the harm caused by consumer behavior. It seeks to make an impact by evoking emotional resonance and action awareness in the audience. At the same time, this study also emphasizes the importance of promoting sustainable consumption and lifestyles, which requires the joint efforts of all sectors of society and the participation of every individual.


View exhibition online: Xiaodai Huang, The Common Destiny of Living Creatures



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