When it comes to the relocation process, there are always items that require special care. Some of these items include art pieces that are simply too valuable to be relocated without proper protection. Add to this the dangers of global shipping and it soon becomes apparent that proper handling and preparation is of the utmost importance. In order to prepare artwork for global shipping, you will need to spend some time figuring out where the dangers lie.
Prepare artwork for global shipping – Useful tips
There are many things you should know. For one, you may need a temperature-controlled storage facility or you may need to consider glass or acrylic pieces and their protection. You can’t have any empty spaces in your shipping containers, and so on.
- Measure artwork
- Choose a proper shipping container
- Prepare artwork for global shipping – Use glassine paper to cover unframed artwork
- Protect acrylic or glass on framed artwork
- Prepare artwork for global shipping – Wrap your artwork and protect the corners
- Fill empty space in your shipping container
- Use heavy-duty, high-quality packing tape to seal each container
The first thing that you need to do, before anything else, is to properly measure the width, length, and height of all of your art pieces. You are doing this because you need to select an appropriate shipping tube or a box. This will also help you in determining the overall costs of the shipment. The costs themselves are highly dependant on the size and the weight and you might want to weigh your items if you want a more accurate assessment. However, you can always hire a professional mover and get their fine art moving services!
Choose a proper shipping container
After you have all the measurements, it is time to put them into action. The important thing is to select a shipping container that is just big enough for all of your items. It can be a bit bigger, just in case, but it can’t be smaller, for obvious reasons. This is also the time to figure out if you need some special container and handling. Similar to cold chain pharmaceutical logistics, transporting some art pieces can be really delicate. Your container needs to reflect this. If your pieces are unframed and larger than 48 by 48 inches, or framed and larger than 18 by 24, you may want to utilize a wooden crate.
Smaller pieces can go into a corrugated box that has a double wall. This box will prevent almost all movement while providing ample padding space. All in all, your shipping container will reflect your items. The more expensive they are, the more quality the container needs to be. Simple as that. You can always call your moving company and get their advice, too. This is often the best thing to do.
Prepare artwork for global shipping – Use glassine paper to cover unframed artwork
For canvas artwork, you will need to use glassine paper in order to cover them. This paper is acid-free and of archival quality. It will also protect your belongings from any moisture or dust. Make sure to cover every side and edge of your canvas and utilize acid-free tape to secure it in place.
Rolling your paintings requires the use of glassine paper, as well. What you want to do is place the canvas on top two sheets of glassine paper. The sheets themselves need to be at least two inches bigger than the canvas, on all four sides. Then place the artwork face up on the paper. If your art is based on fabric, such as linen or canvas, make sure to face it down before rolling. This will help in avoiding any incidents of breaking or cracking.
Protect acrylic or glass on framed artwork
The simple way to protect your glass pieces is to tape several strips of artist tape onto your glass surfaces, in a star pattern. Simply have two X like shapes that overlap in the center, to do so. This will give your glass pieces a bit more resistance to breaking or cracking, as well as preventing the glass from destroying the art.
Prepare artwork for global shipping – Wrap your artwork and protect the corners
The greatest danger to your artwork will be to their corners. These parts of your art collection are the ones that are the most vulnerable. The best things for protecting them are the simple cardboard corner protectors. Simply place them on the corners, secure them with artist tape and you’re set!
Fill empty space in your shipping container
Remember when we said that you need to acquire a shipping container that is just slightly bigger than your art collection? Well, this is the reason for it. All of the empty spaces need to be filled with some form of padding. The best things to use for this purpose are bubble packs or blankets. You can’t have your art collection moving and creating friction at any point during the transport. Pay even more attention to the bottom of the container, as well as the top. These areas are particularly vulnerable and you need to account for that. Simply use more padding and better security.
You will want to avoid packing peanuts for this purpose, as they have a tendency to all go to the bottom of the box. Obviously, this will leave the other parts, especially the top, without protection. However, if you can not handle the packing and relocating your art collection, a professional mover is always there to offer their help and heavy equipment for any kind of relocation.
Use heavy-duty, high-quality packing tape to seal each container
Finally, after everything is snug inside your containers, it is time to utilize the heavy-duty packing tape. When it comes to global shipping, you can never have too much protection. Purchase the highest quality tape that you can afford, it needs to be at least two inches wide. The tape itself also needs to be sensitive to pressure.
Ordinary duct tape is not fit for this job because it is simply not sturdy enough. Don’t even think about any other household tapes, too. Use the correct tool for the job and your art collection will arrive safely at its new destination!