May 30

Choosing and Making the Most Out of Your Event Space

ae16If you are planning to host a few friends or colleagues for dinner or an official event, it is wise to look for an ideal venue that you can rent. Here are some of the primary factors that you should consider when looking for an event space.

Cost

Different facilities charge varying prices to use their amenities. Hence, it is wise to compare prices to find the one that best fits your budget. Keep the venue cost low to allow more room in your budget for beverages, entertainment, food, and other miscellaneous expenses. You can also save money by being flexible on the date, as there are certain days of the week when some facilities charge low prices.

Food

If you intend to serve food, consider looking for a facility that has a kitchen to reduce your expenditure on dining. In most cases, facilities that do not have a kitchen hire a catering company or allow clients to bring in their own food or caterer. Other amenities that you should consider include an internet connection, audio-visual equipment, and clean up services.

Capacity

Your selected event space should accommodate all your guests. More often than not, venues that offer food and beverages often have a minimum and a maximum number of people that they can serve. That said, some can make special arrangements if you project that the number of attendees will slightly exceed the maximum limit. Having all this information beforehand will help you to make the right choice.

Location

Take the time to consider the geographical location of your target audience. Ideally, the venue should be within a reasonable distance from most of your expected guests. However, if most of the attendees will be traveling from outside the country or state, hosting the occasion near their hotels or airport is ideal.

Below are three tips on how to make the most out of your selected event venue.

Set the Mood

The mood inside the meeting, conference, or boardroom should resonate with the nature of your meeting. For instance, a design company that wants to hold a board meeting can decorate the area with posh carpeting, cozy seating areas, special lighting, and digital displays.

Have a Branding Alley

Create a branding alley to showcase your company’s sponsors and business partners. You can also go the extra mile and have someone give out product samples, brochures, or themed cards

Have a Mini-Networking Space

This space will give the attendees an excellent opportunity to network and socialize. It should have seats and a fast internet connection to facilitate the exchange of contacts

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May 21

Leaders and Artists More in Common Than You Think

ae15Creating art has a lot in common with authentic leadership. This article delves ever so lightly into how two deep subjects display many of the same characteristics.

To begin with, the path to true leadership is a journey that begins with attaining an understanding of who you are really. The ethical leadership of others requires that you first understand your own values and perspectives, your own vision, your own mission in life. In creating art, in order to ultimately produce quality work with meaning, a similar journey must be undertaken. You must know you—your own values and perspectives, vision, and mission to ensure that the art you are producing is grounded in authenticity and that you are pursuing truth, whatever that means to you. In visual arts like painting, are you just copying a scene from nature or how someone looks to you, or are you capturing light, shadow, color, texture, and value to express meaning beyond superficial appearance? In music, are you repeating someone’s song to sound like them or are you searching for your voice and bringing out the emotion from deep within, connecting with your listeners?

Developing leadership qualities takes time, in years rather than weeks. Some believe, as in most tribal communities, that a leader is born. I am of the school of leadership that believes a leader, being born with certain inherent qualities, can be made. This is not the fashioned leadership of the military or corporate world known as headship. In this form, a person exhibits certain managerial skills like having the ability to take initiative. They are then moved into increasingly more responsible positions until they are at the head of whatever group. In my view, they’ve become a strong manager, but not a leader as discussed here. A leader spends many years learning the craft of management—a set of skills enabling them to accomplish goals and objectives by coordinating a team of people and overseeing their production. He/she helps them manage their time, learn new skills, relate to people, etc. in order to be productive. A leader, on the other hand, has a vision and moves people ethically forward to see and pursue that vision for the common good. This is what we would hope to see in elected officials, but rarely do.

An artist, after mastering whatever craft required in their field, must elevate beyond craftsmanship and move toward truth by having a vision and through their work engage observers/listeners to see and understand that vision. Just as a leader engages the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of his/her followers and guides them purposefully toward his/her vision fulfillment, so the artist—through a series of thoughtful methods—moves observers/listeners to begin to share the same vision in the mind of that artist.

A question that sometimes faces people learning about authentic leadership is this: Do you consider Hitler a leader? The answer is no. Authentic leadership cannot exist without an ethical foundation.

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May 14

3D Printing With Polymers The Stereolithography Way

ae14Stereolithography is a unique process of creating three-dimensional objects with a computer within a few hours. It is also called 3D printing, 3D layering or additive manufacturing.

It employs a novel technique to create a solid object in its entirety. The base is a drawing (CAD) and the computer uses the drawing to create the three dimensional object. The computer literally creates the object layer by layer and this is why it is also called additive manufacturing.

How it works?

A liquid polymer – like polyurethane resin or silicone rubber – forms the base for forming the solid plastic object.

The technician has to first design a CAD drawing of the desired object. The computer will then break up the CAD program into layers before ‘printing’ it on the material.

Indeed, the computer literally prints (or paints) the cross section pattern of the base of the object using the desired polymer in the vat. A thin layer is formed which quickly hardens when exposed to the computer-controlled laser beam. The computer again traces another layer of the object and the liquid polymer hardens quickly enough on laser contact.

In this way, successive slices are constantly added one on top of the other, till the entire structure of the object is formed and solidifies. It has to be rinsed, cleaned and baked for proper curing.

This 3D printing computer is called a stereolithograph apparatus (SLA). It takes a minute or so to print a layer and a medium sized object can be ready within 6 hours or so. Bigger and more detailed objects can even take days.

In fact, stereolithography is only one of the forms of 3D printing objects. But it is the most popular technique as it makes rapid prototyping possible. You no longer have to wait for months to see how your invention will actually shape out. A sample can be ready for your perusal within a matter of hours. Changes and improvements also pan out faster and better.

Even mechanical engineers take advantage of this technology to verify the form or fit of a part (say screw or even a door handle) before putting it into mass production. And so do medical and manufacturing industries. The best part is that the samples or parts always turn out accurate and are durable too. And it is not to expensive either.

Indeed, all you have to now do is physically visualize a product to be able to turn it into a tangible reality! Just fall back on 3D printing and let the computer software and its ultraviolet laser tools do the job on the silicones or polyurethanes. It is actually quite exciting to watch how the liquid silicones or polyurethanes are quickly converted into different kinds of solid objects right in front of your eyes! All it takes is a little more finishing and you are ready to go!

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May 4

Finishing Our Wicker Baskets Using Unique Products

ae13Stake Basket

    • Choose eight long, medium willow shoots to serve as the basket’s “stakes.” These are the vertical pieces that form the structure of the sides of the basket.

 

    • Use your knife to sharpen the end into points. Insert a stake alongside each of your spokes, pushing each one down into the weaves as close to the center as possible.

 

    • Bend the stakes so they are pointing upward toward the sky.

 

    • Use knife, to trim the spokes back so they’re level with the edge of the weaves, then tie the stakes together at their tips to keep them in place.

 

    • Weave two rows of three rod wale. This weave requires three weavers, which are woven among the stakes to set them in position. Find three long, thin shoots. Sharpen the ends into points.

 

    • Insert the shoots into the base of the basket on the left side of three consecutive stakes.

 

    • Now do two rows of the weave as follows: Bend the far left weaver to the right in front of two stakes.

 

    • Pass it behind the third stake and out to the front. Take the next far left weaver and bend it to the right in front of two stakes. Pass it behind the third stake and out to the front.

 

  • Continue weaving this way, always starting with the far left weaver, until you have two rows of three rod Wale.

Untie Stakes

    • Add weavers to the sides of the basket. Find eight long thin shoots. Use your knife to sharpen the ends into points. Insert one, when you start with new shoots you will always sharpen them first.

 

    • Now insert one weaver into the basket behind a stake.

 

    • Bend it over the next stake to the left, pass it behind the stake to the left of that one, and pass it back to the front. Now insert a second weaver behind the stake to the right of the starting point of your first weaver and do the same – pass it over the stake to the left, under the stake to the left of that one and back to the front. Continue adding weavers this way until there is one weaver next to each stake.

 

    • When you insert the last two weavers, you’ll need to lift up the first weavers a bit to make room to add the last weavers underneath. Use an awl or a long nail.

 

  • This type of weave is called French Rand, it’s a popular weave that results in even, upright sides.

Weave Sides

    • Take weaver and pass it in front of the stake to the left, then behind the stake to the left of that, and bring the end out to the front. Take the next weaver to the right of the starting weaver and pass it in front of the stake to the left, then behind the stake to the left of that, and bring the end out to the front. Take the next weaver to the right of the starting weaver and pass it in front of the stake to the left, then behind the stake to the left of that, and bring the end out to the front.

 

    • Continue weaving this way around the whole basket, always starting with the next weaver to the right.

 

    • When you get back to the start you’ll see that there are two weavers behind the last two stakes.

 

    • Both weavers need to be woven around the stakes. Do the bottom weaver first, then do the top weaver.

 

    • For the last stake, do the bottom weaver first then the top weaver.

 

  • Continue with French Rand until you’ve built up the sides as high as you’d like them to go, then trim the tips of the weavers.

Secure weave

    • With a row of three rod wale. Find three long, thin shoots. Sharpen the ends into points.

 

    • Insert the shoots on the left side of three consecutive stakes. Now do one row of rod wale.

 

    • Bend the far left weaver to the right in front of two stakes. Pass it behind the third stake and out to the front.

 

    • Take the next far left weaver and bend it to the right in front of two stakes. Pass it behind the third stake and out to the front.

 

  • Continue weaving this way, always starting with the far left weaver, until you have a row of three rod wale.

Finish Rim

    • Bend one of the stakes to the right and pass it behind the first two stakes. Pass it in front of the third and fourth stakes. Pass it behind the fifth stake, then pass it back to the front.

 

    • Repeat with the next stake to the right of your starting stake.

 

    • The last two stakes won’t have other stakes to weave around, since they’ll be woven into the rim.

 

  • Instead of weaving around stakes, follow the same pattern,- but thread the tip in and out of the border. Cut the tips of the woven stakes even with the side of the basket.

Making handle

    • Make the base. Find a thick shoot to use as the base. Bend it over the basket, holding the ends in place, to find out how high you want the handle to be.

 

  • Cut it to the size, leaving several inches of extra length on each side. Sharpen the ends into points and insert them into the basket next to two stakes directly opposite each other.

Handle

    • Insert five thin shoots into the weave alongside the handle. Sharpen the ends and insert them deep into the weave so that they lay right next to each other.

 

    • Wrap the handle with the shoots. Gather the shoots and wrap them around the handle like a ribbon until you reach the other end of the handle. Make sure the shoots lie flat right next to each other. Tuck the tips under the top of the woven rim.

 

  • Secure the sides of the handle. Insert a thin shoot into the weave alongside one side of the handle. Bend toward the handle and wrap the base of the handle several times to secure the shoots are in place. Keep wrapping tightly until the base of the handle is secure, then pass the end of the shoot under the last wrap and pull it tight, then trim the tip. Secure the other side of the handle the same way.
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