pastel, I wanted to pick up where I left off in last week’s post.
For added protection when packaging a framed pastel for shipment, place it in a strong clear plastic bag. This provides extra moisture protection and helps protect the frame from abrasion. If you’re using a homemade box, add thick cardboard sheets to the front and back of the painting. Make these slightly larger than the frame for extra puncture protection.
Before sealing the box, make sure you have enclosed all required information. For an exhibition, this might include the entry form, fees, return information (return label and shipping forms), and any pther special instructions. Place these in a manila envelope and tape it to the plastic bag covering the painting. This makes it easy to find. If you have a box that you wish to be returned even if the painting sells, make sure to note this in the enclosed information.
When labeling the box, print legibly and be sure to include phone numbers. Mark the top/front, in hopes that the carrier will transport the painting face up or in a vertical position. Be sure to note that the contents are fragile and should be handled with care (See photo above of a package with shipping labels and paperwork).
If you plan to frequently ship works, set up an account with FedEx or UPS. This makes return billing less of a hassle. Expenses will be charged to your account, allowing the shipping agent to simply affix the label to the return package and arrange for pick-up. Personally, I find FedEx to be a pleasure. I spend the extra amount for air service, providing prompt efficient service with less time for a package to be bounced from truck to truck.
Insurance can be an issue. Some carriers will not insure works under glass, while others restrict the value to the creating artist to no more than $500 per box. Educate yourself in advance as to the liabilities of your carrier. If you plan on shipping works frequently, it might be advisable to acquire separate supplemental insurance to cover your paintings. In this modern age, it’s easy to follow the journey of the painting as it makes its way to the final destination by using the tracking number from the shipping label. Having an account allows me to receive an email notification automatically when shipments have been delivered. I print this out and file it with the entry information.
Accidents will happen. That is why we have insurance. However, a little effort on our part to pack our painting well and organize our information goes a long way in helping to facilitate a painting’s safe arrival. Who knows, maybe it will sell and all you’ll have to deal with is the return of an empty box; it happens!