Saturday, September 25, 2010

White knuckles: Shipping art is stressful.

This week, I sent 2 copper repousse masks from Oregon to California. I was going to save shipping charges and pack them myself, but once I got to the UPS store, I changed my mind.

I am an artist, not a professional packer. My goal was to make sure my masks made it to California for the mask show, Maskibition 26, in great condition. So I decided to pay the $26 fee to have them packed by a professional. I delivered the masks to the UPS store, left them to be packed and came back to pay for the shipping. These masks measure about 24" each and weigh a few pounds a piece, maybe. The box they were shipped in was a 24"x24"x24" box...huge. And the amount of bubble wrap could keep the bubble boy safe for years. The box weighed in at about 7 pounds when it was done, so you can imagine how many peanuts were in that box.

So with all that packaging and the big price tag, did the masks arrive safe and sound?


The left horn on the 'Dragon' was snapped off on arrival. Now, it can be fixed. But, after all that packing and high price tag for 'fragile' shipping, I'm a little upset. Luckily, the directors of the show took good photos of the damage, and according to the UPS pack and ship promise, I'm supposed to get my packing, shipping and repair costs back.

Still, shipping art is stressful. I just hope that in spite of the problems, the show goes smoothly and my copper masks sell!


Michelle said...

That is frustrating. It's really unfortunate tha tthe masks were damaged, and terribly nice of the recipient to accept them anyway. Although the cost of packing and shipping was not enough in my mind to cover the damage.

Michelle said...

Sorry, I see they are also paying damage repair costs, but still...

Susan Gallacher-Turner and Michael Turner said...

I agree...the mask is really valued at more than the damage, shipping and repair costs. I am glad that the gallery was so understanding and helpful. It makes it a little easier.

Patrick Gracewood said...

Susan, Did they double box your mask? I recently packed my own art for shipping to England. (The professional charge for crating was more than the art was worth.)
I double boxed it, with a liner of Luan plywood inside the outer box. Sent it via the US Postal Service. It got there safe and sound. Yes, it's another thing for the artist to do, but sometimes (shipping!) it's best to do everything you can yourself.

Susan Gallacher-Turner and Michael Turner said...

They did not double box was a huge box, though, 24x24x24. Too big, I thought but assumed I was wrong. Maybe not.

I agree, I do try to do as much as I can myself. I just don't have the confidence that I'd know what to do. Maybe you can give me a tutorial?