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Dear Metal Clay Friends,

When artists get together, one of the big topics of conversation is tools.

This issue, with many artists fresh from attending the Metal Clay Artists Symposium and/or the Art Clay World Instructor Intensive, several contributors had tools at the forefront of their minds.

Carrie Story shares her favorite polishing tools in "The Kiln Gods Were Nice...Now What Do I Do?" Ed and Martha Biggar try (and fail) to narrow down their top ten tools. Their failure is our gain!

Barb Feyka introduces a special tool for the Silhouette Curio, the Amy Chromas Engraving Tool.

Reviewer Jen Gastelum takes a look at the new brands of sterling clay. And Photographer Steve Rossman brings us a new trick to use in his favorite software tool.

Bringing us a roundup of tiny and inexpensive doming tools is Metal Clay Today's newest columnist, Kim Landholt.

Kim is a natural innovator and finds as much creativity in thinking up new tools and approaches to metal clay as she does in creating metal clay art. She'll be sharing her innovative thinking in "Metal Clay Bliss."

On a personal note, this issue is a little delayed because my mother passed away while I was working on it. It was Mama who gave me my passion for reading and writing, and she was so tickled that I now edit a magazine. This issue is dedicated to the memory of Loucille Kaericher.

May you all have a joyous holiday season and the best New Year ever!

Pat Evans