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The Independent Culture
THE EMBROIDERED cloths used as wallhangings, bedcovers and curtains in central Asia and India since the 17th century are known as "suzani"- from the Persian suzan, meaning needle - and were made by women for their dowries. You can find an exhibition of suzani textiles and costumes at the adjoining shops of Joss Graham and Omar Masom.

Suzani: The Floral Motif in Textile Art, at Joss Graham, 10 Eccleston Street, and Turkmen Gallery, 8 Eccleston Street, London SW1 (0171-730 4370 and 0171-730 8848), until 21 November, Mon-Sat 10am-6pm

RALPH BALL makes path-breaking lights and furniture - his Aero light of 1979 started the trend for suspended wire lighting systems. He is also the Royal College of Art's senior design tutor. The objects in his new exhibition - such as "Golden Delicious" made of lightbulb "fruit" in a lightshade bowl - fall gratifyingly between design and sculpture.

Ralph Ball's Introspective Furniture, at Plateaux Gallery, 1 Brewery Square, Butlers Wharf, London SE1 2LF, until 15 November, Tues-Fri 11am- 6pm, Sat, Sun noon-6pm

BROUGHT UP and trained in the Potteries, the ceramicist Stephen Dixon is steeped in Staffordshire traditions, as well as being a fierce new talent. His figurative works draw on old techniques but contain biting social satire on political issues such as the Clinton/Lewinsky affair and the legacy of Diana, Princess of Wales. He also has a nice line in world leaders portrayed as scary monsters. Prices range from pounds 170 to pounds 1,835.

Stephen Dixon's work is at the Crafts Council Shop, V&A (0171-0589 5070) until 15 November, Mon noon-5.45pm, Tues-Sun 10am-5.45pm

WELL ORGANISED Christmas shoppers should head for Leighton House Museum in London this week where the Association of British Designer Silversmiths is holding its first full-scale show. Look out for Wally Gilbert's fused decoration sterling silver paper knives and spoons (see above), star-shaped dishes by David Bromilow and Howard Fenn's sterling silver and frosted- glass candle-vases.

The Silver Show at Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, London W14 until 14 November, 11am-5.30pm