INSIDE CI: Sweating the Small Stuff

The monthly roundup from Editor-in-Chief Susan Sutton.

I recently ran across an article* about a study that found that people who are more stressed out can have a higher risk of developing dementia. Not fair! I’ve often said I’m so stressed I feel like I’m losing my mind, but sheesh. I thought I was exaggerating. Not to mention the fact that reading about the study only served to make me even more stressed by giving me yet one more thing to worry about.

The world’s ongoing problematic economic state is causing a lot of us to experience a consistently elevated baseline stress level, which (for me, at least) can make the “small stuff” we’re not supposed to sweat take on unnecessary weight. For example, yesterday I had a run-in with my stapler. It honestly took me 15 minutes to remove the jam in the stapler, and I was this close to chucking it out the window. I actually had to take a deep breath and remind myself that the stapler was an inanimate object that could not understand my ranting and raving.

We’ve got several articles in this issue that will hopefully help keep your stress level in line. A new semi-processed borate has been developed that can eliminate the use of frits in floor and wall tile glazes while providing similar characteristics (see “Fritless Tile Glazes”). Another article details the refining process for precious metals and provides manufacturers and decorators with tips to help increase their recycling income (see “Precious Metal Refining”). And “Custom Fusion & Milling” offers refractories and ceramic manufacturers insight regarding the benefits of working with a fused mineral specialist.

One element of manufacturing that unfortunately often causes increased stress is government regulation, and the newly enacted Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is surely no exception. Read “Understanding the CPSIA” for an overview, and “Testing Compliance” for additional details regarding lead testing issues.

PPP Sourcebook

Our fourth annual Pottery Production Practices Sourcebook also accompanies this issue for select subscribers. Features in this special supplement include a profile of Holmes County Pottery, advice on dealing with galleries, and suggestions for using technology and marketing to expand your business. Additional articles discuss studio/workspace air quality, kiln venting and using microwave ovens to fuse glass. This issue also includes a great book review and a sneak peek of next month’s National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) annual conference.

In addition, the Supplier Index includes contact information for companies that sell into the pottery and glass markets. The Ceramic Supplier Directory provides details regarding each supplier’s product offerings in an easy-to-read chart format, while the new Glass Supplier Directory breaks out glass-related offerings for your convenience.† Be sure to visit the Sourcebook online at for spec sheets, direct links to supplier websites and more.

If you have suggestions for next year’s PPP Sourcebook (or regular issues of CI), please don’t hesitate to contact me at


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