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Best of Curo 2008

Humanities and Social Sciences, Policy, and the Arts

Humanities and Social Sciences

EXAMINING PARENTING STRESS FOR PARENTS OF YOUNG CHILDREN WITH AUTISM STRESS DISORDER

 

Jennifer Barr

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jonathan Campbell

The University of Georgia

Parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) report higher stress levels than parents of typically developing children and parents of children with Down Syndrome. Research has shown that parents of children with ASD attribute the highest degree of parenting stress to their child’s embarrassing disruptive behavior, lack of prosocial behavior, and inability to function independently. This study examined Parenting Stress Index (PSI) scores of six families with children with ASD participating in the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Clinic at the University of Georgia. Participant PSI scores were compared to literature documenting specific stress profiles of parents of children with ASD. Based on the published literature, it was predicted that parents would score higher on certain subscales of the PSI. In the child domain, participants were expected to score highest on the Distractability/Hyperactivity, Reinforces Parent, and Acceptability subscales. In the parent domain, participants were predicted to score highest on Attachment, Role Restriction, and Depression. The results show that the hypothesis was rejected in all subscales except distractability/hyperactivity and acceptability. These results could be due to the small sample size or the use of all high-functioning participants.

  

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RECONNECTING WITH THE HUMAN ASPECTS OF MEDICINE THROUGH FIELD EXPERIENCES ON LA ISLA DE OMETEPE

 

Lauren Kelly

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Pamela B. Kleiber

The University of Georgia

As an undergraduate premed student preparing for a career in global infectious diseases prevention and management, I lived with and helped administer medical services to Nicaraguan residents on La Isla de Ometepe for two weeks in summer 2007.  Reconnecting with the most essential and human aspects of medicine, I worked intimately with a Nicaraguan clinical physician as we visited four remote villages.  I used qualitative research methods, specifically, heuristics (Moustakas), to interpret my experiences with the Ometepe people.  Heuristics, a holistic process rooted in identifying with one’s surroundings and creating an environment of continual questioning and self-dialogue, deepens self-awareness and illuminates one’s connection with the world.  My bilingual and visual journal documents my experience on the island, questions my prior assumptions, and details questions I developed in the field.  During the four months after I returned, I iteratively reread and analyzed my journal and crafted Eres un Universo de Universos, a compilation of developed ideas and specific awakenings that transpired from the resonating themes of my documentation in Nicaragua.  The process allowed me to identify particular moments marking personal transformations: the ferry boat ride when I left the world I knew; my severe illness when the people whom I intended to care for took care of me; and the post-trip reflection when I realized the unrivaled values of the experience.  In my findings, I describe through my newly developed heuristics lens the persons, places and events as I experienced them during this intensive field experience on La Isla de Ometepe.

 

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THE TORT SYSTEM IN GEORGIA: PERCEPTION V. REALITY

*Awarded Best Paper with Civic Implications*

 

Rebecca Lunceford

Faculty Advisor: Dr. David B. Mustard

The University of Georgia

A tort is the unlawful violation of a private legal right other than a mere breach of contract. Many have feared recently that tort reform is necessary to repair the current system of unreasonably high and frequent punitive damages awarded to greedy plaintiffs. These high damages create incentives to file tort cases and lead to possible abuse of the legal system. Research from data collected through the University of Georgia Law School shows that this is not necessarily the case. The rate of tort filings has decreased significantly within the data. The percentage of tort cases that actually go to trial is extremely low, and of the small amount of cases that do go to trial, very few are awarded punitive damages. Georgia’s current tort system appears to operate well with little need for powerful and immediate reform. This also appears to be the trend among national data collected through the United States Department of Justice. Tort rate filings are stable, a relatively small percentage of cases go to trial, and punitive damages are rare.

 

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THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL USE ON ANTISACCADE PERFORMANCE

 

William T. Oliver

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jennifer McDowell

The University of Georgia

Previous research on alcohol and its effects on cognitive function have shown marked impairments in ability to inhibit behaviors. Habitual alcohol use is thought to impede executive control and overall cognitive efficiency as measured by simple perceptual tasks. Studies in persons engaged in habitual alcohol use have shown significant impairments in both reaction times and inhibition tasks. This suggests that there will be a positive correlation between alcohol use and antisaccade error rate, and in alcohol use and eye movement reaction times for correct antisaccade trials. Antisaccade tasks, which require rapid eye movements to the mirror image location of a peripheral stimulus, will allow for reaction time and behavioral inhibition to be measured simultaneously. In order to test this hypothesis, undergraduate participants were tested using a standard alcohol assessment interview (CDDR), recording such variables as frequency, duration, and amount of use. Following each interview, participants completed antisaccade tasks in which error rates and response times for correct antisaccades were recorded on a trial-by-trial basis. A significant negative correlation was found between duration of drinking in years and percent correct during antisaccade trials, and a significant positive correlation was found for lifetime number of drinks and reaction time. These findings provide a greater understanding of the cognitive impairments associated with alcohol use and may be useful in creating better treatment and prevention strategies.

 

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THE HOMERIC LINEAGE OF LAUTARO IN ERCILL'A LA ARAUCANA

*Awarded Best Paper in the Humanities*

 

Victor Manuel Orellana

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Nicolas Lucero

The University of Georgia

Within the highly structured literary periods of the European Renaissance and the Spanish Golden Age, Alonso de Ercilla relied heavily on imitation of classical form to both legitimize and inspire the workings of his poem, La Araucana. As a part of the fiercely competitive body of work accompanying the colonial movement through the New World, this poem was expected to adhere to very specific ideals for the church, the Spanish crown, and the highly biased audience across Europe that would be judging it. Therefore, to sell the idea of a serious threat to the Spanish conquistadors, Ercilla used individual heroes to raise the opposition to epic proportions that could feasibly hinder such a superior military force. Furthermore, he employed the virtuous Hector from Homer’s Iliad in his character of the Mapuche war-chief Lautaro to elevate him to formidable stature, linking the two heroes through epithet, similar trials of love at war, and their ultimate downfalls through hubris. This example of imitatio, one of many in the poem, was important for the character’s conceptual development as well as for the critical reception of an aspiring Renaissance epic. Read within this context, Ercilla’s challenges to contemporary archetypes and the prejudices of his audience become increasingly more clarified, especially those regarding the image of the ineptitude and barbarism of the natives of the New World. Additionally, it helps establish a link between La Araucana and the secondary epic tradition started by Lucan’s Pharsalia, offering further explanation both for commonplace criticisms of the poem’s structure and for the arguable digression of the poem from its boldly-stated mission of Spanish glorification.

 

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THE GLOBAL ARMS BAZAAR: LESSONS FROM THE 2006 HEZBOLLAH-ISRAEL WAR

*Awarded Best Paper with an International Focus*

 

Tyler Pratt

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michael Jasinski

The University of Georgia

For four weeks during the summer of 2006, the Lebanese non-state group Hezbollah shocked onlookers by employing an unexpected arsenal of technologically advanced weaponry in its conflict with Israel. The July War heralded Hezbollah's ascent to unquestioned military primacy among non-state organizations, and Hezbollah's ability to withstand Israel's powerful retaliation earned the group a striking boost in soft power throughout the Arab world. More importantly for the United States, the month-long conflict introduced a new type of foe into the calculus of the Global War on Terror: a non- state group with all the organizational prowess, public support, and military capability of a state but lacking the traditional limitations of deterrence or responsibility for civilian populations. While other non-state organizations have successfully exploited asymmetrical means of combating U.S. military might, Hezbollah alone has managed to procure such a diverse array of complicated, highly specialized weapons systems and utilized them to devastating effect. This paper attempts to collect and analyze available open-source information on Hezbollah's weapons procurement efforts, revealing a highly diverse supply chain that reached into every continent. It also offers suggestions for restricting the weapons, technology, and capital that found its way into Hezbollah's extensive armory from well over a dozen countries, as well as ways to improve strategic communications efforts for containing the group's growing soft power.

 

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determining THE TRUTH: THE WAR ON TERROR AND REPRESSION IN CHINA

 

Ashley A. Wilkenson

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Patricia Sullivan

The University of Georgia

Human rights organizations, academics, and foreign governments have long accused China of oppressing its Muslim Uyghur population, many of whom are separatists. Since the War on Terror began, the criticisms of the Chinese government’s actions against the Uyghurs have increased. However, it may be difficult to establish whether bias has contributed to charges of intensified human rights abuses. To produce less biased assertions, automated searches can be used to determine whether human rights violations have actually increased. In order to establish the accuracy of the claims that China has repressed the Uyghurs more after the War on Terror began, both Chinese rhetoric and acts of Chinese repression as reported in newspapers were analyzed by machine. For rhetoric, a word counting program was used to search newspapers for the language Chinese officials and media used to describe Uyghurs and dissidents from 1994-2007. An events data coding program was used to look for words describing acts of repression from 1994-2007. After analyzing the data before and after the War on Terror began and controlling for variables such as the Strike Hard Campaign, a crackdown on crime and separatist activity that occurred in early 2001, the results suggested that intensified government repression correlated with the War on Terror. The rhetoric test indicated that China’s use of terrorist descriptors of the Uyghurs also increased after September 11th. This case shows that automated events data coding may provide a trustworthy account of human rights violations in a given state.

 

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POLICY

Avoiding Overcorrection: An Alternative to increasing the army's end strength

 

Rocky T. Cole

Faculty Advisor: Pa

The University of Georgia

To many in the U.S. military, Operation Iraqi Freedom shows that the Army lacks enough personnel to fight the “long war” against Islamic extremism. In response to this concern, the Department of Defense is pushing for a permanent 65,000 soldier increase of the Army’s end strength, the legislated number of active-duty personnel that the Army must employ. However, this increase constitutes a dangerous overcorrection for the Army’s shortcomings in counterinsurgency operations—protracted, low-intensity conflicts against radical guerillas. Significant “boots on the ground” will not effectively quell asymmetric insurgencies. The Defense Department’s plan will only burden the military with massive expenses. These funds would be better spent on training and technology—force multipliers essential to future military successes. The Army should maintain its end strength around the current level and focus on building a highly trained and smartly equipped force. Investing in advanced communication technology, robotics, and extensive training—specifically academic training in military strategy, sociology, and linguistics—will transform the Army into a versatile Expeditionary Force. Because of its higher per unit lethality and specialization in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations, creating such a force will negate the need for more “boots on the ground” and increase the Army’s success in future conflicts. To support our argument, we present a review of recent military and scholarly analysis of the strategic lessons being learned in Iraq.  

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Increasing Trade Security: United States-Venezuelan Trade incentives

 

Nathaniel T. Edwards

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Christopher Allen

The University of Georgia

Trade with Venezuela has risen to the top 15 nations with which the United States conducts trade; it has also become the fourth largest provider of American crude oil and petroleum products, topping over a million barrels every day. While trade with Venezuela has steadily increased, diplomatic relations have steadily declined due to open antagonism and criticism by both sides. In juxtaposition, there is a significant national security threat as Venezuela becomes a prime locale by which to load a weapon on a boat intended for American ports and Venezuela offers little domestic protection of exports to America. This risk is becoming even greater as Chavez continues to increase relations with American adversaries and openly critiques American capitalism. As trade relations increase, each state can demand a greater level of security be met and maintained in order for trade to continue. Therefore, this paper proposes the creation of a system of economic incentives in exchange for meeting and maintaining security standards at ports. Because there is a risk of Venezuelan hesitance to participate, the policy aims to appeal exclusively to the economic sector of Venezuela and avoid political confrontation. Furthermore, it aims to avoid Chavez’ criticism of capitalism by establishing a controlled economic system between the United States and Venezuela. This policy will be rationalized by comparing similar case studies as well as noting inherent benefits of trade systems.

  

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The United States Intelligence Community: Why Unity Matters

 

Alexander Johnson

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Loch K. Johnson

The University of Georgia

As the Soviet Union mounted a new threat against the United States of America at the beginning of the Cold War, President Harry Truman sought to organize and unify the nation’s intelligence serving with the creation of the Central Intelligence Community (CIA) in the National Security Act of 1947 in order to better protect its citizens.  The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 a half of a century later brought about new calls for intelligence reform and served as an impetus for the reorganization of the intelligence community (IC) in order for the nation to counter its new threat.  Preventing intelligence failures that would result in further attacks on American soil is the major motivation for bringing cohesion to the United States IC.  Consequently, President George W. Bush signed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act (IRTPA) into law on December 17, 2004, creating the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).  Unfortunately, this legislation has failed in its purpose to increase efficiency, only adding a layer to the already over-sized and disparate intelligence bureaucracy.  The Department of Defense, with its support from influential members of Congress, has played a large role in rendering the ODNI ineffective. This policy proposal addresses the shortcomings of the IRTPA, specifically in its failed attempt to foster cooperation among intelligence agencies with the same success shown by the Goldwater-Nichols Act which brought jointness to the military branches in 1986.  Congress must empower the DNI by granting the position full budgeting and appointment powers and, therefore, the ability to manage and lead the entire IC most effectively.  To support the merits of this policy, analysis will be presented from texts written by intelligence and military experts, former intelligence officials, congressional research, and contemporary media outlets.

 

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You are what you eat: mandating point-of-purchase nutrition information in Georgia restaurants

 

Kelsey Jones

The University of Georgia

The number of overweight Americans has risen dramatically in recent decades, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to deem obesity an epidemic and driving national health care groups to address the crisis as their highest priority. Coinciding with this trend, studies have shown a significant increase in the consumption of restaurant food among all segments of the population.Restaurant foods—due to their typically higher density of calories, fats, sodium and sugars than their at-home alternatives—significantly contribute to obesity and its related diseases. These issues present a particularly acute problem for the State of Georgia, where overweight or obesity affects at least 59 percent of the population. To curb the negative impact of obesity on the health of its citizens, the Georgia Assembly should take immediate action to require that restaurants provide basic nutrition information to consumers at point-of-purchase. Without this information, individuals cannot make educated decisions about the food they consume outside the home. This prevents them from accessing the facts necessary to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Such a policy, managed by the Georgia Division of Public Health (DPH), will offer a simple means to combat the obesity epidemic and will place Georgia on the forefront of public health initiatives. In addition, the Georgia DPH should complement this legislation with a mass media campaign to promote awareness of menu changes and public advocacy for healthier options as part of the pre-existing “Take Charge of Your Health, Georgia!” program. Georgians will benefit from the implementation of this policy, as it will both improve overall health levels and provide economic gains for individuals. Foremost, citizens will take responsibility for their weight and their health by making educated meal decisions when dining at restaurants. Restaurants will respond to a more health-conscious population by providing nutritious meal options to attract patrons. Finally, all Georgians will benefit from the money the government saves in budgetary allocations to care for obese persons and their related ailments. As such, the Georgia legislature must require that restaurants provide nutrition information to consumers at point-of-purchase so that all individuals have the means to improve their personal health and well-being.  

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minor access now: unrestricting the morning-after pill

 

Catherine Mencher

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Monica Gaughan

The University of Georgia

In 2006, 82 percent of all teen pregnancies were unplanned, and among all age groups, teens have the largest proportion of pregnancies ending in abortion.  Despite such indicting statistics, the FDA still requires minors to have a prescription for Emergency Contraceptive (EC), the only contraceptive effective after unprotected sex.  A section of the FDA ban; however, reserves the right of states to allow minor access to EC.   This paper will evaluate the accuracy of FDA reasoning behind limiting minor access and propose the creation of a Georgia Law allowing minors over the counter (OTC) access to EC along with a concurrent ad campaign to address the major issues surrounding this law. The policy calls for expanding funding to the Georgia Health and Human Services subcommittee to fund an EC task force.  The task force will first conduct a comprehensive study establishing both the availability and knowledge of EC to teenagers.  Following the study, vigorous public campaigns throughout Georgia will explain to teens how to use and access EC and highlight the general public’s misconceptions about EC-- specifically that EC causes an abortion and would increase teen sex.   

  

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The importance of American Developmental Aid in Nicaragua

 

Lucas Puente

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Santanu Chatterjee

The University of Georgia

This policy paper will focus on the strategic importance of American developmental aid to Nicaragua. In recent years, U.S. aid has decreased alarmingly, despite Nicaragua’s importance in maintaining American influence in Latin America.  Although the recent election of leftist President Daniel Ortega worried American investors and threatened to undermine American economic clout, Ortega has shown some pro-American tendencies in the early stages of his presidency.  However, he has also worked extensively with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez to strengthen political and economic ties between the two countries.  With Chavez’s anti-American message gaining traction throughout the region, the United States must capitalize on Ortega’s pendulum-like politics to protect its Latin American economic and political interests. The United States should increase its annual developmental aid to Nicaragua in order to strengthen long-term Nicaragua-U.S. ties. Additionally, such action would stabilize the country and catalyze economic growth through increased governmental transparency, infrastructure development, and human capital advancement.  This proposal will analyze relevant economic data and academic articles as well as assess the current political state of affairs to demonstrate that increased aid will yield political and economic benefits for the United States, Nicaragua, and Latin America as a whole.

  

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THE ARTS - Project Runway

 

In this collaborative project and runway exhibition by Jewelry/Metalsmithing students of Professor Mary Pearse and Fibers students of Professor Clay McLaurin, material, adornment and body as site are examined and performed, taking cues from Visiting Artist Anya Kivarkis, and the publication "Fashion at the Edge." For one week, these students worked in teams of five with non-traditional materials, manipulating paper towels, hosiery, window screening and roofing shingles into performative, and in some cases spectacular, wearable art.

 

Project Runway: Consume

 

Gabrielle Bratton, Maddie Edwards, & Miriam Rowe

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Clay McLaurin, Department of Fabric Design, University of Georgia
Prof. Mary Pearse, Department of Jewelry/Metalsmithing, University of Georgia

The University of Georgia

 

 

This piece explores the concept of restriction. We chose physically light weight materials, nylon and polyester batting, to create the illusion of something heavy that would weigh down the body. The decision to use nylons was also important because nylons are physically restrictive to the body. We wanted this piece to restrict the body’s movement both by adding weight and tension.

 

Materials: Paper, Cupcake Liners, Paper Towels

 

 

Project Runway: Cyborg

 

Jenny Bryant, Julie Givens, & Marilyn Zapf

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Clay McLaurin, Department of Fabric Design, University of Georgia
Prof. Mary Pearse, Department of Jewelry/Metalsmithing, University of Georgia

The University of Georgia

 

 

In our age of cyber-technology, identity and personality can exist apart from the body. Is it the moral nature of our bodies that drive us to create potentially immortal and forever youthful online personas, or is it technology that is suffocating our physical presence? As our minds become more disconnected from our body, will the current hybrid nature of technology and humanity remain? “Cyborg” questions the function of the body in this transitional time of being “plugged-in.”

 

Materials: Electrical Cord, Mirror, Plastic, Vellum

 

 

Project Runway: The Defense of Intimacy

 

Ashley Buchanan, Lindsey Bartell, Eleanor Simmons & Jenny Moore

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Clay McLaurin, Department of Fabric Design, University of Georgia
Prof. Mary Pearse, Department of Jewelry/Metalsmithing, University of Georgia

The University of Georgia

 

 

The Defense of Intimacy deals with an individual’s prerogative to protect the aspects with which they feel most uncomfortable. By juxtaposing a hard, coarse outer shell with a pure, soft, and tactile interior the wearer can choose how she wishes to express her vulnerability.

 

Materials: Textured Poster Board, Satin, Organza, Yard Tubing

 

 

Project Runway: Untitled

 

Lindsay MacLean Ruderman, Susan Kent & Rachel Huggins

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Clay McLaurin, Department of Fabric Design, University of Georgia
Prof. Mary Pearse, Department of Jewelry/Metalsmithing, University of Georgia

The University of Georgia

 

 

We chose to address the idea of consumption in society and explore the opposition of manufactured consumer products and the natural human body. Transforming consumable paper products into a beautiful piece that takes over the body speaks to the trend of overconsumption that is so prevalent in our society.

 

Materials: Nylons, Batting

 

 

THE ARTS - Individual Projects

 

Simulacrum Ring

 

Marilyn Zapf

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Robert Jackson, Department of Jewelry/Metalsmithing, University of Georgia

The University of Georgia

 

 

My current research explores the line between the real and the reproduction. Moulds are taken from specific areas of the body and reconfigured into a landscape questioning how an image is created, how true a copy is to its original, and at what point a reproduction leaves what it signifies and becomes a reality in and of itself. The work, used in a jewelry context, emphasizes both its dependence on and departure from the body. The ring format relies on the finger for its function while simultaneously hiding the finger from view. In “Simulacrum Ring,” moulds are taken from the knuckles of the hand, reconfigured, translated into silver, and returned to the body in its new orientation.

 

 

The People

 

Adam Gruszynski

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Ted Saupe, Department of Ceramics, University of Georgia
Prof. Sunkoo Yuh, Department of Ceramics, University of Georgia

The University of Georgia

 

 

Lately I have been exploring different ways to express myself through clay. I build each sculpture quickly to create a gesture. Later I carve, scratch or throw thin slabs of clay on the surface. It is important to have every part of the process make its own visual mark on my work. To enhance the texture I use multiple amounts of stains and apply glazes in specific areas to contrast the rawness of the clay. I work mainly with stoneware and use multiple firing techniques such as salt, raku, electric, and gas.

 

 

Residue Brooch

 

Kathleen Janvier

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Mary Pearse, Department of Jewelry/Metalsmithing, University of Georgia

The University of Georgia

 

 

My present work stems from the intersection between an alternative materials study and an investigation into the tradition of historical reinterpretation. Simultaneous research into the formal qualities of plastics coupled with an interest in the aesthetic and conceptual functions of Edwardian jewelry quickly lead to the combination of both in this contemporary analysis of jewelry as image. The Edwardian period, or la Belle Époque, was known for its commitment to elegance and fashion. As industry began to rise, so too did the extravagance of the upper and middle classes who soon turned to fashion, especially jewelry, for visual suggestions of their opulent lifestyles. Elegance was associated with a delicacy of materials, a monochromatic white on white aesthetic, and an airy weightlessness. White diamonds in barely perceptible platinum white settings surrounded by intricately laced decorative motifs became the dominant elements of acceptable Edwardian adornment and still remains a popular aesthetic choice for those wishing to call attention to their wealth and social status. The notion that this aesthetic can and does relate the same set of values today that it did one hundred years ago begs an investigation into the function of jewelry as an image of opulence and elegance. By using sterling silver chain as the drawing medium in creating loose ephemeral silhouettes of actual Edwardian artifacts, I attempt to expose the transient qualities of the image, which captures only a single instant in time that cannot be recreated but whose record remains locked in the physical presence of the visually experienced image. The frame surrounding these chaindrawings works to emphasize the function of these pieces as images of jewelry before they are seen as wearable pieces themselves. Lastly, the decision to use a lightweight, white plastic stemmed from a desire to recreate the white on white aesthetic of Edwardian jewelry while at the same time encasing and freezing the chain drawing in its transitive state of being so that the loose thin edges of the plastic relate a freshly torn feeling from some jeweler’s sketchbook of a piece yet to be created.

 

Materials: Plastic, Sterling and Fine Silver

 

 

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