Saturday, September 20, 2014


Fall seems to be one of the busiest times of year for artists.  Shipping artwork, whether for show or sale, is part of the studio routine right now. 

It is important that work is packaged to prevent any possible damage in shipment. How you pack also shows the receiver of the work whether you care about your art or not.  A sloppy packing job can lose future sales for an artist.

Two works were shipped out this past week.  Here are some photos from the packing process.

 The artwork was laid out on the worktable for cleaning and to make sure hanging devices were intact.

All work should be labelled with name of artist and title of piece.  This should be done on every piece created, but is especially important if the work is being shipped to a show or client.

Find a sturdy box that the artwork will fit into.  I order quite a few boxes from U-Line.  They deliver fast and customer service is good.  It is best to ship in a box with no labeling on the outside.  Who wants to receive artwork in a box that shipped tomato sauce to a grocery store?  Yes, I've actually received artwork I've purchased packaged that way before.  You need to show that your artwork is important to you and not an afterthought.

Foam pads were ordered.  One was placed in the bottom of the box and folded on the edge.

The artwork was placed on top of the foam.  I needed to make sure the tie on this piece would stay as straight as possible and that the upper collage section would not be damaged in any way.

Another piece of foam was cut to buffer between the box and the collage.

The cut foam was placed between the box and collage and another section of foam was placed under the collage and on top of the artwork.

A smaller foam section was placed on top of the collage section.

Bubble wrap was placed on top of the lower foam to fill in extra space in the box and prevent the upper foam from sliding down away from the collage is is protecting.

A final piece of foam was cut to fit as the final layer.  Everything fits so there is no movement of the piece during the shipping process.  The box was then brought to UPS for shipment and a return shipping label was placed inside box.

Shipping mixed-media pieces can be tricky.  I try to prevent as much movement of the piece as possible.  The two sides of chain in the piece above were attached together with a safety pin for shipment.  Remember to leave a note about any attachments used for shipping and that they should be removed for show purposes if you are shipping to an exhibit/show. 

 I also tried to brace the pulley in this piece so it wouldn't turn during shipment.  I cut two pieces of foam for either side and a shorter piece for under the center of the pulley.  This was then covered with foam and bubble wrap in similar fashion to the first artwork shown.  

Please be careful with bubble wrap when shipping mixed-media.  When work is shipped in hot weather, bubble wrap can leave marks on painted, collaged, or glued areas.  I have found it better to use the foam and cover the foam with bubble-wrap if the box needs filling at all.  It is best to never use foam peanuts or styrofoam products as they are messy to unpack.  Accidents do happen when shipping artwork, but you can do your best to try to prevent it.

A lot of shipping is learned through trial and error as various styles of artwork require different packing techniques.  Think about ways that packaging of artwork can be improved and have a great day. 


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