CRYPSIS – from Greek kryptos “hidden”

The Crypsis series is born from an investigation into the strategies of camouflage.


In the animal kingdom, the physical qualities of form and skin are employed to hide but also to signal. And yet, very often, these are useless without an accompanying behaviour. In the human realm, this is also very true of fashion, which can hide or project the wearer but only truly so with the aid of their behaviour. In jewellery, the strategies of camouflage are even more pronounced, where forms of decoration, status and identity are not naturally occurring on the body and yet need to be voluntarily activated by that body and be experienced in an environment.


The interaction of jewellery and body is, like that of camouflage design imitating the natural kingdom, a cryptic strategy. It produces at once concealment and confusion. It creates distraction as much as disruption and distortion. It is disguise as well as adaption: mimesis as well as signalling. This shapeshifting produces in the wearer as well as the viewer an intellectual uncertainty (1), a sense of the uncanny, creating both the comfortable illusion of familiarity and the unsettling unreality of difference. Protection as well as dazzle.


This is also very true of the creative process. The series comes from the experimentation of applying familiar methods to unfamiliar materials. As a maker, I have introduced new textures to old forms, and new forms to old textures. I have introduced a camouflage strategy in my own making process, allowing my embodied knowledge the protection to express itself in familiar ways and yet to be ultimately unsettled by the uncanny in my results.


It is this journey that I propose to the wearer and the viewer: the uncomfortable and yet seductive task of deciphering, of answering the question of what is and what is not.



(1) From Sigmund Freud's “The Uncanny” (1919), first published as “Das Unheimliche” in Imago, vol. 5, pp. 297-324. In Freud, S. (1953-74, James Strachey, transl.) The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. XVII, London: The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis

Photography, Ricardo Villalobos
Catalog text, Lieta Marziali

Crypsis I (Brooch) Refractory stoneware, porcelain, tulle, silver, brass, steel
71 x 71 x 36 mm, 64g
Crypsis II (Brooch) Refractory stoneware, porcelain, recycled leather, silver, screws, steel
123 x 90 x 13 mm, 61g
Crypsis III (Brooch) Porcelain, parchment, silver, steel
89 x 89 x 17 mm, 61g
Crypsis IV (Brooch) Refractory stoneware, porcelain, parchment, silver, brass, steel
67 x 95 x 46 mm, 56g