So That Happened….Shipping Art

Shipping.1Dear Laura,

Yes, this paint bottle exploded twelve inches from the art I am supposed to ship this week. Fortunately, only a few dots of black got on it (I just left it since it was so small).  However, it did take me much of the morning to scrub my floor from the wide reaching splatter.  Ugh. Lesson learned = do not squeeze a clogged bottle of paint as hard as you can in hopes of a perfect drop of paint to come out.  It is clogged!  Just unscrew the cap already.

Anyway, today’s studio day was dedicated to shipping.  Yep, shipping.  The less glamorous part of a studio practice is this business side.  This is not something we were taught in school, but rather something we fumble through right?  Well, I thought I would share this process of shipping a piece of my art to another state for an exhibition in order to help other artists.

Shipping.2

I have been accepted into an exhibition in Colorado at Longmont Council for the Arts, Muse Gallery titled “Cabinets of Curiosity”. It will be on exhibit November 14-December 23rd. I am really thrilled, but less than thrilled that UPS quoted me over $200 for shipping both ways plus packaging. Which leads me to these photos above.

I went to the Public Storage to get some boxes and bubble wrap ($22) and then set out to make my own shipping box that would accommodate the sculpture in the above photograph.  Yep, cut my thumb.  I ended up hot gluing two boxes together to get the height I needed.  It is kind of a ramshackle mess, but it does the job.  I then wrapped it in all varieties of bubble wrap, foam, and packing peanuts (the biodegradable kind!).

I also spent time framing two pieces of art that will be included in a faculty exhibition at Ashley Hall.  I got these frames at Michaels from a buy-one-get-one deal ($40 each).  Bam!Shipping.3Onward to the US Post Office to ship.  I ended up sending it regular mail which will get it there on Nov. 3.  It cost $41 one way (including insurance).  I have to pre-pay the return shipping.  Since the work at Ashley Hall is local, I can just drop that off.  I only needed bubble wrap.  The grand total for having these three pieces exhibited this Fall is $104.

All this makes me appreciate the artwork I see in town that comes from out of the state.  It takes a lot of extra effort and care to ship the work correctly. Sometimes a gallery will help you with this cost (worth asking) but most times this is the responsiblity of the artist.

The time I spent was three hours building the box, packaging, labeling, cleaning up mistakes, and driving to the Post Office.  Now, I could have just dropped the work off to UPS and they would have done all of this for me.  However, the ramshackle afordable mess was the option I chose this time.

Please let me know if you, or anyone reading this, have other suggestions for this practical side of studio work.  I would love to hear it!

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