Packaging artwork to survive a rigorous postal or courier journey is a skill that I mastered many moons ago. At one point in my life I was a teenager working in a warehouse packing items to be sent out for record shop window displays. They taught me, “It’s all about reinforcing the corners, which get knocked the most”. It’s also about creating a tight fit inside the parcel, so things can’t move about. I even post large clay sculptures with success!
What goes on inside my packaging
For paintings, the first covering is a layer of greaseproof paper – to protect the surface from marks. The next layer is bubble wrap – I save every piece of bubble wrap but often have to buy rolls of it too. I scour the streets for used cardboard boxes and make them into custom sizes. I make two boxes for each piece, one inside the other with bubble wrap in between. I make cardboard corners and keep them in place using clingfilm.
For sculptures I wrap them in bubblewrap and then clingfilm. Then I make a custom card board box that is a tight fit, even if it is an irregular shape. I set this cardboard into a second box which is filled with polystyrene or expanding foam, so that the inside box can’t move.
Works on paper shipped in a tube
I post my artwork all over the world and have only ever had one problem when I tried to send a print flat – it arrived with a crease. Now I always roll works on paper or paintings off the stretcher and send in a tube.
The other hint to keep the postal price down is to be economical on the size, make sure the outer box is as tight fit as possible. Over sized parcel prices depend on size as well as weight. I charge very little for packaging materials and my time for doing this.
So what I’m trying to say is, I am happy to guarantee the artworks safe arrival or give you a credit note!