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Press - Magazine "ORNAMENT"

- ANCIENT • CONTEMPORARY • ETHNIC 1984 By Erica Goebel -

"I only like diamonds when they're in concrete," says Los Angeles jeweler Sue Dorman. Diamonds in their traditional settings give off messages of opulence and power Dorman, 40, chooses to contradict and test the messages, and likes the disquieting feeling that her diamond and concrete pendants, rings, and earrings produce. Pioneering the startling union of common materials and precious stones nine years ago, she challenges the values of her craft and the economic marketplace.

It's a beauty and the beast combination. On one hand the concrete elevates the splendor of the diamond, on the other it belittles the diamond tradition; the wearer of the flagrant combination is saying, "money is no object with me," or the person is saying, "I reject establishment values." Dorman has heard all of these reactions to her work. For her, the unusual combination is an "unconscious, but an inevitable expression" of her style and beliefs.

On a purely technical level, she finds the mat texture and banal color of the concrete is a dramatic contrast to a diamond's shape and brilliance. She has also found that a diamond set in concrete must be high quality, flawless, with no carbon spots, otherwise the concrete reveals the imperfections. Her pieces excite her because they continue to test her assumptions too.

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