Voices

Where can a full and frank porn talk go aside from one person decreeing that the other cannot have the sexual outlet they rely on?

Cookson braced for a hit as Europe reins in its steel production

One of the UK's oldest industrial companies has warned its profits will be materially below hopes due to a slide in European steel production.

Room at the top for old V&A furniture

You may feel like you are window-shopping at Harrods or the Burlington Arcade when you step inside the slick new furniture gallery at London's Victoria & Albert Museum, which opens in December.

Bold Tendencies: Sculpture Project 6, Peckham Multi-story Car Park

Overlooking the Bussey Building, where Victorian industrialist George Bussey once made a killing by manufacturing everything from roller-skates to cricket bats, the upper levels of this disused Peckham car-park have been swept and filled with Art.

At risk: The Portland Vase, which Wedgwood considered his finest work

Last-ditch effort to save Wedgwood collection for nation

A leading ceramics hoard, destined for sale to fill a pensions gap, may be rescued

Drowning Rose, By Marika Cobbold

Since her popular debut, Guppies for Tea, Swedish-born Marika Cobbold has established a reputation for astute and acerbic romances. Her previous novel, Aphrodite's Workshop for Reluctant Lovers, saw the goodness of love intervening in human affairs via the auspices of a relationship therapist. The heroine of her seventh novel, Eliza Cummings, could do with some one-to-one sessions herself.

Ray Finch: Potter and teacher at the head of his profession for 75 years

The potter Ray Finch was a man of dignity with strong values who shrank from self-promotion and publicity.

What will you buy for your home on your holidays?

It seems that more of us are taking our summer breaks in Britain. If you're doing the same – and have an eye for style – you can pick up some brilliant finds for your home away from the beaten track.

Designer marriage: Robin and Lucienne Day

A celebration of the power couple of modern interior design husband and wife Robin and Lucienne Day opens in London this week.



Paul Greenhalgh calls for better funding of craft-based art

The newly appointed director of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich, Paul Greenhalgh, says that craft-based art is at risk of a slow death in Britain unless art schools are better funded.

The mummy returns: Ming Dynasty woman exhumed

She died many centuries ago, but her mummified corpse and clothing have been almost perfectly preserved despite being buried for hundreds of years in a wooden tomb a few feet beneath a busy street in the city of Taizhou, eastern China.

Lisa Stickley: At home with the 'pretty tomboy'

Her prints are loved by Hollywood A-listers, but Stickley hasn't let success go to her head. It's still just a hobby, she tells Huma Qureshi

The Lost City of Stoke on Trent, By Matthew Rice

When Emma Bridgewater first came to Stoke on Trent with a view to making ceramics, she was charmed by the "cheerful griminess" of the city and "fascinated and appalled by the chaos of roadworks... boarded-up shops and rundown terraces". In this book, her husband and business partner, Matthew Rice, a fine designer, sets out to explore the contradictory qualities and defects of this city founded on coal, steel and ceramics; to try to understand why Stoke on Trent and its industry grew, why it has declined and what its future might be.

Gillian Lowndes: Potter and sculptor noted for incorporating a wide variety of materials into her work

Although trained as a potter, Gillian Lowndes incorporated a range of other materials in her objects that took on all the strength and intrigue of sculpture. Taking an experimental approach that drew on a diverse range of objects that included traditional artifacts seen and collected in Africa, the detritus of everyday, as well as clay, Lowndes produced work that challenged perceptions of what clay could be and how it could be used to comment on waste, culture and tradition.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there