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?

Smaller companies: Have faith in UCM for throwing off its shackles

Could Universal Ceramics Materials be about to succumb to the MBO effect? There are in fact two MBO effects. The first is where a management buyout releases a company's energies, allowing it throw off the shackles of bureaucracy, red tape and general inertia of its parent, to see profits soar, sales rise, and management make a fortune out of their decision to back their own company. That, of course, is a good thing.

Antique and modern

Roger Trapp reports on an old saleroom's innovative approach to staff training

Worth a throw

VISUAL ARTS Lucie Rie and Hans Coper Barbican Art Gallery, London

Chinese wares

Collect to invest:

Spendthrift goes to Bath

Six reasons to visit the Georgian Spa Town

Norcros back on dividend list

Norcros, the industrial conglomerate in the process of unbundling itself, yesterday returned to the dividend list but indicated that long- suffering shareholders may have to wait up to two years for cash to be returned to them.

Treasures from Japan

John Windsor reports on this month's auctions and antique fairs

There's gold in them there bowls

Sophie Walker on Moorcroft, the pottery that collectors all want

Six of the best decorative tiles

1 Traditional Mediterranean tiles, West London Tiles, pounds 2.53 each. For a Mediterranean look try these pretty "Tozzetti" - traditional Portuguese hand-painted, glazed terracotta tiles. West London Tiles, 15 Portobello Rd, London W11. Call 0171-221 0033.

The hidden soul of harmony

The new `Mysteries of Ancient China' exhibition at the British Museum reveals an aesthetic perfectly balanced between strength and delicacy. By Bryan Robertson

Six of the best alphabet motifs

1Lisa Marklew Button covers, pounds 5.00 each or pounds 22 for a set of five Disguise boring buttons with these smart ceramic covers. A metal clip at the back slips over existing buttons so you can move them from shirt to shirt or change your message to suit your mood. Contact ceramicist Lisa Marklew on 0171-916 2368 for details.

Blue Chip: These chips still taste good

Johnson Matthey has plotted a course into the heart of the booming semiconductor market

The Investment Column: Shake-up costs hurt Norcros

Michael Doherty, chairman of Norcros, has lived a charmed life. Arriving in 1988, the year after the mini-conglomerate escaped a pounds 570m bid from Williams, Mr Doherty's brief was to give some direction to a group which had lost its way after a bout of over-expansion had left it bloated and directionless. But despite almost continuous restructuring in the intervening period, the shares have tumbled from over 400p to just 85p, up 1p yesterday.

The Investment Column : Morgan still raising profits

Morgan Crucible's decision to concentrate its resources on building strong positions in technologies serving a wide range of industries continues to pay dividends. Despite varying fortunes among its customers, the carbon brushes to metallurgical ceramics group still managed to raise profits another 17 per cent to pounds 85m in the year to 4 January.

MOSAIC EFFECTS

PERIOD FEATURES 3: TILES; Victorian ceramic tiles - often neglected, chiselled off or covered up - add richness, colour and value to a home. Lesley Gillilan continues her series on restoration
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