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100 Layers of Nacre: One Woman's Journey

Nacre, also known as mother of pearl, is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some molluscs as an inner shell layer; it is also what makes up the outer coating of pearls. It is strong, resilient, and iridescent. Herein lies the life story and journey of Michelle Uchiyama. No one knows the secrets the oyster holds within its shell, as a tiny grain of sand slips inside and begins to sting and burn the tender creature until in abject defense, the oyster fights back, releasing a protective substance stronger than any wall humanity can build, into the shelter of its shell. One day when the shell is finally opened, not only is the oyster inside; there is sometimes miraculously a beautiful pearl surrounding and perhaps having even dissolved the irritant.

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