Shipping artwork and crafts Feed

Behind the Scenes, Design, Rolling Up, Packing UP Your Art and Craft for Shipping

IMG_7862
Previous posts and SlideShare Presentations
have focused on designing your art or craft for shipping. I firmly believe that if we want our artwork to travel safely, securely and without breaking, or costing an arm and a leg, then artists and makers need to design their work for shipping.
Harriete Estel Berman rolling up pencils for safe shipping of artwork Pick Up Your Pencils Begin

Planning in advance during the design phase can improve the likelihood that your work will arrive safely and securely. This is not saying that the artist changes the art or craft in design, concept or aesthetic. What I am recommending is that thinking ahead will save you heartache, tears, storage space and shipping expenses.

My vision for the artwork Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin took five years to bring to fruition, yet, all along, I knew that if I wanted it to leave my studio, it had to pack up as compactly, store easily, and ship without problems.

Considerations included pedestrian problems like:

  • making sure the artwork arrives safely without damage (In this case, I couldn't even have a pencil point break - talk about challenges);
  • making sure the weight of the boxes are manageable for one person (usually me) to pick up and carry;
  • storage allowance will be as compact as possible;
  • installation and repacking are relatively easy for others to execute without me. (More about this soon.)

Here is a presentation about rolling up the artwork for safe shipping and compact storage. What do you think about the recommendations? Any suggestions, corrections or confusion?

 
Below are links to presentations about designing your work and packing for shipping. Principles in these lectures can be applied to shipping anything.
This is a large PDF with lots of pictures...give it time to download.


Custom Shipping Box /Design Your Work for Shipping
MORE INFORMATION:
The 2012 PDS "Ins and Outs of Shipping (includes 9 presentations about shipping)

Please consider sharing by copying the link to the presentation or handouts and writing your own original content to avoid "duplicate content". A comment or review is all you need for improved SEO. Do not copy and distribute this information without permission from the author.


SlideShare for Exhibition Opportunities

During the past two weeks I dedicated special efforts to creating SlideShare presentations about my artwork Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin.
Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin discusses the impact of standardized testing on education.by HThese efforts were way over due...the artwork has been finished for a while, but admittedly, I was confused about my objective for the Installation, and De-Installation presentations. How could I possibly squeeze in all the images and information in one presentation?

So instead of creating one presentation, I created several presentations each with a different objective.

My first goal was to make this 28 foot wide by 15 foot tall installation seem less intimidating to prospective exhibition locations.

Harriete Estel Berman Looking UP during installation of Pick Up Your Pencils, BeginiAll those exhibition venues, from big musuems to smaller non-profit spaces, are dealing with the impact of a weak economy, lower membership, and increasing expenses. They compensate by reducing expenses such as shipping and installation costs of exhibitions. The perception is that the bigger an installation, the more labor it takes and the more it costs.

Pencil-shadow-Pick-Up-Your-Pencil-Begin
An exhibition that fills the room (e.g. one that it is 28 feet wide and 15 feet tall) may look like it needs a moving van to ship. It occurred to me that perhaps this monument to #2 pencils, could cause curatorial staff to have serious budgetary concerns.

So this SlideShare presentation is an effort to dispel these concerns by talking about the pedestrian aspects of installing and exhibiting the artwork.

But then I realized that other audiences would really enjoy this short presentation.  Potentially a much bigger audience. Doesn't everyone these days love seeing the action behind the scenes?

Creating this SlideShare also means that I can share my artwork with a wider more diverse audience. What you think?

INSTALLATION Details for Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin is one of 30+ presentations that can be found on my SlideShare Harriete Estel Berman
Tomorrow's post is about designing your work for shipping.

P.S. My visit to SlideShare last week  to test their user interface was featured on the SlideShare Blog! TALK ABOUT sharing work with a new audience. 
SlideShare-ASK-Harriete


Dimensional Weight As A Shipping Factor

At one time, shipping prices were determined solely by the weight of the box. A heavy box costs more to ship than a light box. Sure that makes sense.

But a few years back all the shipping companies added another factor - the size of the box. There was a realization that a large box uses more space in a truck or plane. Thus, a new factor was added to calculate shipping prices called "dimensional weight."

Dimensional-Weight-Arrows

Now all the shipping companies consider the dimensions of the box in the shipping calculations.
If you go to FedEx or USPS they take out their measuring tapes to find the length, width and depth of the box. This is put into their computer along with the actual weight. The shipping calculation will take the heavier of the two, either the actual weight or the dimensional weight.

To save time, Kim Cridler recommends writing the dimensions of the shipping boxes on the outside of the box.

The dimensional weight is a shipping factor that you can not avoid, but it is something to consider when you double box your artwork for shipping. A one inch to two inch margin between the interior and exterior shipping box is important to protect most artwork.   So unless you have something unusual, any larger sized outer box may be costing you more money for shipping.

Harriete

Shipping Large Sculpture by Kim Cridler


View additional presentations posted by
Harriete Estel Berman

In$urance Value, Whole$ale Price, Retail Price for $HIPPING

When shipping your art or craft, save money by understanding whether to use the wholesale price or retail price for shipping insurance. It doesn't matter how much shipping insurance you purchased for shipping -- your documentation for the value of the shipped item is the critical issue.

Here is an excerpt for the Q & A from the SNAG Professional Development Seminar. I describe the scenario briefly. (P.S. This is the first time for me to insert an audio file MP3 in a post. If it doesn't work for you let me know.)

InsuranceforSHIPPING

Audience
When sending work to a store/gallery or exhibition sponsor, insure the art or craft at the wholesale price.
This is all you will receive if the work is sold. This is all the insurance company will pay you (the artist) if the work is lost or damaged during shipping. You must be able to prove that you have received this wholesale price for the same or similar work.

However, if the art or craft has already been sold at the retail price (and you have a receipt to prove it), then insure the art or craft for the retail price during shipping. The invoice for the purchase price will be adequate documentation for the insurance company that you expected to receive this amount.

Insuring for a higher or lower amount than the actual value may be considered fraud. So honesty is the best policy. Insure for the accurate value given each circumstance.

Sometimes when shipping art or craft, the insurance is provided by the exhibition sponsor. In this case, the insurance value is either A) the wholesale price if still owned by the artist, or B) the retail value if owned by a collector.  A collector can show a purchase receipt to prove value.  As an artist, a successful insurance claim depends on being able to prove that you have sold similar work for similar amounts to the insurance value. The insurance company will expect documentation such as:

  • invoices for purchase;
  • copies of past checks for similar or identical work; or
  • appraisals from qualified persons to establish value. 

 Harriete

Posts about Insurance Value, Wholesale Price & Retail Price:

In$urance Value, Whole$ale Price, Retail Price - Under$tand the Money defines the terms.

Insurance Value, Wholesale Price, Retail Price For EXHIBITION CONTRACTS 

SHIPPING2012WHITEsquare500H
The SNAG  Professional Development Seminar presented three hours of shipping information for artists and makers. We covered shipping jewelry from precious metals to large sculpture, making a custom made shipping box to international shipping. And more!

There are nine presentations and handouts with information about shipping.

All of the PowerPoint presentations with audio and handouts from the SNAG 2012 PDS are available on line at two locations:
SNAG Professional Development Seminar
Or the Professional Development Seminar page on my web site.

Additional information about shipping can be found on ASK Harriete

Ask me which presentation is the best for your interest or media.

IMG_8847
11 boxes in my living room ready to ship to Alaska.
2 boxes ready to ship to Los Angeles, CA.
Last week was a busy week!

 

 


<p>Previous posts about Insurance Value, Wholesale Price &amp; Retail Price:</p>
<h3><a title="Insurance Value, Wholesale Price, Retail Price For EXHIBITION CONTRACTS"
<h3><a title="Insurance Value, Wholesale Price, Retail Price - Understand the Money " href="http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/2012/08/insurance-value-wholesale-price-retail-price-undertand-the-money.html" target="_blank">In$urance Value, Whole$ale Price, Retail Price - Under$tand the Money</a> defines the terms.</h3>
<h3><a title="Insurance Value, Wholesale Price, Retail Price for Shipping" href="http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/2012/08/insurance-value-wholesale-price-retail-price-for-shipping.html" target="_blank">In$urance Value, Whole$ale Price, Retail Price for $HIPPING</a></h3>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

In$urance Value, Whole$ale Price, Retail Price - Under$tand the Money

What's the difference between Insurance Value, Wholesale Price, and Retail Price? Confusion is common, but it is important to understand the differences before shipping your work to an exhibition or elsewhere.  The consequences can be substantial -- we are possibly talking tears, frustration, embarrassment and real money.

You would not believe the stories I have heard from others and experienced myself.

Today's post provides the definition of each term. The next two posts will discuss in more depth some examples of deciding shipping insurance and confusion at exhibitions. Misunderstandings will likely cost you money and potential embarrassment.

Here are the definitions:

The RETAIL PRICE is what the gallery/store/exhibition sponsor lists as the purchase price in the catalog or on the “price list.” (We are ignoring "discounts" off retail in this post.)

The WHOLESALE PRICE is what the artist actually expects to receive as payment. This is sometimes called the “artist price”, but I'd recommend never use the term "artist price" because it may imply different things to different people.

If a gallery, exhibition sponsor or collector uses the term "artist price", I strongly recommend that you ask them to clarify what they mean. Sometimes a person uses the term "artist price" as some kind of special discounted price off retail or wholesale. Beware . . . you would not believe the long sad tales I have heard. Don't use the term "artist price".  

The INSURANCE VALUE may also be a confusing term. Most artists, galleries, and exhibition sponsors usually equate the insurance value as the wholesale price. Most insurance companies will only pay the artist the wholesale price if the work is lost, damaged or stolen during shipping or at an exhibition because this is what the artist would receive if the work was sold.

Insurance value steps up to the retail price as soon as the artwork is sold at retail. The invoice for purchase will be the documentation an insurance provider wants to see to establish the insurance value at the retail price.

This is true regardless of who sold the artwork at retail (whether an artist or gallery/store/exhibition sponsor). Insurance value will be full retail when the work is sold at retail.

The insurance value for a collector is either the purchase price or current market value in the marketplace. If the retail price of an artist's work has increased over the years, a collector may want to periodically check to be sure their insurance policy covers the current market value of the work in their collection. Some insurance companies may require an appraisal to establish insurance value. 

This is the beginning of the discussion. The next posts describe insurance value, wholesale price and retail price for shipping, and some real stories resulting from confusion with exhibitions.   These will be real stories, but I will try to keep it simple for clarity and to avoid revealing names of the innocent and the guilty.

Harriete
BermanConvU
Conversation U
from a series of 200 teacups titled "Consuming Conversation".

This is the image for a retrospective exhibition of my work at:

Kimura Gallery, University of Alaska Anchorage,
3211 PROVIDENCE DRIVE, ANCHORAGE, AK  99508

August 27, 2012 to September 28, 2012
Reception:  August 27, 2012, 5:30-8:00 PM

If you live in or near Anchorage, I hope you get to go. More information soon.


Dam# Damaged Boxes - Photograph or Video DAMAGES!

Damaged Boxes? Photograph with your camera, phone or videotape. 

Inside TRUCK with damaged boxes As soon as the truck arrives, be ready to start shooting photos. If the work turns out to be completely safe, you can delete the photos.

A couple of years ago, I was in this situation and noticed damage to my exterior shipping boxes before they were even removed from the truck.  Some were visibly damaged; others not.

Driveway 17 crush bottom of another box. Photograph every box as it comes off the truck. 

Inform the truck driver to make sure he notices the damaged boxes also. 

Be nice to the driver.  It's probably not his fault.


Driveway 16 crushed box Report damages to everyone you can think of including, but not limited to the shipping agent, shipping company and the exhibition/store/gallery staff. 

Wait........
Sometimes the shipping company wants to look at the boxes before you open them.

Sometimes they will  tell you to go ahead and open the boxes to see if the work is damaged.

Always be cautious and follow their instructions.

IMG_4416
If they allow you to open the boxes....keep the photographing each step to document the  packing
as you open the box.   Even if you paid for shipping insurance, you must prove that the packing was more than adequate to protect the artwork.

If the work is damaged in transit, you'll want to make a successful claim for damaged work. Your photographs or videos become the foundation of your claim. 

Stay tuned!
Last week I was on Jay Whaley Bench Talk on BlogTalkRadio in conversation with French Thompson as we offered an hour of
shipping tips.  Find out if you are packing and shipping your work effectively. Save money, time, and tears.

The Next post is about insurance value, wholesale value, and retail value.

Harriete


It is surprising how many artists do not know how to pack their work for safety and security

SHIPPING2012WHITEsquare500H

Why does Leila Hamdan, artist and museum registrar say: "It is surprising how many artists do not know how to pack their work for safety and security." At the Museum, "it was always heartbreaking to open a package and see that their work had been damaged."

LISTEN to French Thompson & Harriete Estel Berman as we talk about shipping disasters, recommendations, and solutions on Jay Whaley Blog Talk Radio.

Originally recorded on THURSDAY, August 9th, 2012 the archived recording is online.

ASK Harriete posts about the shipping includes presentations, handouts and more from the SNAG 2012 Professional Development Seminar:


PACKING YOUR WORK FOR EXHIBITIONS

(tip sheet)

Shipping Comparisons: Shipping Cost & Insurance with Common Carriers by Loring Taoka

Compare USPS to Fed Ex; Outrageous Difference

CONDITION Report from the Professional Guidelines for shipping art or craftConditions Report  from the Professional Guidelines

Claims for Damaged Work  from the Professional Guidelines

DAMN! Damaged boxes! Claims for Damaged Work.

Preservation, Conservation - Design for Repair

Additional presentations about shipping for artists and makers are also available on the Professional Development Seminar page on my web site.

 


Tales of Woe & Blood Curdling Shipping

BlogtalkradioThe archived recording of a conversation about shipping with French Thompson  and Greg Berg can be found on  Jay Whaley Bench talk on BlogTalkRadio.

French will be telling tales of woe about shipping he witnessed when organizing a recent exhibition.

SCREAMINGHarrieteshipping BoxCrushedFRAGILE 

 

We will be talking about how to prevent common shipping problems.

We  offer shipping recommendations and practical recommendations.

Harriete


DOCUMENTATION for Shipping: An Easy Step by Step Guide

HarrieteBlueFaceDocumentation for shipping art and craft is essential and professional. I've talked myself blue in the face about this topic but others certainly echo the advice.

Several presentations about shipping from the SNAG Professional Development Seminar mentioned documentation as key for successful shipping and to be taken seriously as a professional.

Combining all of the advice this SlideShare presentation offers an easy, straightforward  step-by-step guide for:
Documentation for SHIPPING Art and Craft

Veiw more presentations from Harriete Estel Berman

Information mentioned in
Documentation for SHIPPING Art and Craft:

Condition Report PDF

Packing Tips Sheet from ASK Harriete  

Harriete

BlogtalkradioThe archived recording of a conversation about shipping with French Thompson  and Greg Berg can be found on  Jay Whaley Bench talk on BlogTalkRadio. We will be talking about how to prevent common shipping problems with practical tips and recommendations for artist and makers.



If SHIPPING GOES WRONG!!!!!!

Brigitte Martin tells tales of shipping woe. Work shipped to her gallery in Pittsburgh turned into a shipping disaster described in this presentation:

View additional presentation from Harriete Estel Berman
 

At first this seemed like a sad story with all the blame placed on the shipper. Is that what you thought?

After listening to this audio presentation several times it occurs to me that most of the problems with this crate could have been avoided with better shipping preparation. How? Read the post Great Crate Tips on ASK Harriete.

Harriete

 

Other ASK Harriete posts about shipping:


PACKING YOUR WORK FOR EXHIBITIONS

(tip sheet)

Shipping Comparisons: Shipping Cost & Insurance with Common Carriers by Loring Taoka

Compare USPS to Fed Ex; Outrageous Difference

CONDITION Report from the Professional Guidelines for shipping art or craftConditions Report  from the Professional Guidelines

Claims for Damaged Work  from the Professional Guidelines

DAMN! Damaged boxes! Claims for Damaged Work.

Preservation, Conservation - Design for Repair

Many of these presentations were offered at the SNAG 2012 Professional Development Seminar about shipping. 

Additional presentations about shipping for artists and makers are also available on the Professional Development Seminar page on my web site.

 


International Shipping Issues

Shipping internationally can be a "bucket of eels", says Andy Cooperman as he shares information on the difficulties of international shipping.

OceanDon't let your boxes get lost in the confusion of customs, forms, VAT, and other taxes. Shipping across international borders can be expensive with consequences. Plan ahead with all the proper forms (in quadruplicate). Dot your "I"s and cross your "T's" at every step of the way, or your packages my be lost at sea in a bureaucracy of paper work and unexpected expenses.

At the end of the presentation listen to more information from the audience about shipping to Canada and return to the U.S.  offering additional international shipping tips and explanations.

International Shipping Issues by Andy Cooperman
View more presentations from Harriete Estel Berman

Helpful Glossary

The International Shipping Handout offers a glossary of international shipping terms that may confront you before your work crosses borders. Download PDS2012InternationalShippingCooperman

Harriete 

 

Other ASK Harriete posts about shipping:


PACKING YOUR WORK FOR EXHIBITIONS

(tip sheet)

Shipping Comparisons: Shipping Cost & Insurance with Common Carriers

Compare USPS to Fed Ex; Outrageous Difference

CONDITION Report from the Professional Guidelines for shipping art or craftConditions Report from the Professional Guidelines

Claims for Damaged Work  from the Professional Guidelines

DAMN! Damaged boxes! Claims for Damaged Work.

Preservation, Conservation - Design for Repair

Many of these presentations were offered at the SNAG 2012 Professional Development Seminar about shipping. 

Additional presentations about shipping for artists and makers are also available on the Professional Development Seminar page on my web site.

 


GREAT CRATE Tips

Nv0012_crateDuring the SNAG Professional Development Seminar about shipping several of the speakers gave excellent tips for making and using a crate to ship their art or craft. In this post, I am digesting these great crate tips into one post.

CRATE TIP #1 Screws holding on the lid need to be long enough to screw into solid wood of the body of the crate. I'd say at least 1/2" to 1" deep. Keep in mind that the lid may be used as a handle, or pushed one way or another as a crate is moved around. The crate may be shipped side wasy or upside down. Will the lid stay on?

CRATE TIP #2 Lella Hamdan recommended marking the screws on the crate indicating which screws should be unscrewed in order to remove the lid.  Pure genius, maybe even obvious, but I never thought about it before. You don't want the exhibition sponsor to disassemble the entire crate when they only need to remove the lid.

CRATE TIP #3 Lella Hamdan recommended ADDING HANDLES to your crate to facilitate handling. Great idea! Even a small crate can be heavy or hard to carry. Handles could definitely help the shippers and handlers if the crate is in that middle ground where the crate is heavy but not so large that a fork lift is needed.

CRATE TIP #4  Secure work inside the crate so it can't move. This was mentioned by Kim Cridler, Lella Hamdan and Brigitte Martin. Movement inside a crate (or a box) is destined for disaster. Give the box or crate a shake. There should be no rattle sounds.  Assume that the box will be turned on its side or upside down regardless of UP arrows. Securing the work one way or another is a shipping necessity.

CRATE TIP #5  Do not enclose oil, liquids or non-essential items in a crate with the artwork.  In Lella Hamdan's lecture HORROR STORIES: Packing and Shipping Recommendations for Artists  she showed a crate where a container of oil was shipped inside the crate with the artwork. This is a recipe for disaster if the oil container leaked or broke free and rolled around inside the crate hitting the artwork. Either ship the oil separately or perhaps it could be purchased locally by the exhibition sponsor. This approach also saves on shipping weight and shipping dollars.

CRATE TIP #6 Small items, or individual parts should be self contained in their own interior shipping box inside the crate. This prevents damage or possible loss. Examples of contained small parts within the box can be seen in Kim Cridler's lecture Shipping Large Sculpture. Example  of a shipping disaster as a result of loose items within a crate is discussed in Brigitte Martn's lecture If Shipping Goes Wrong.  

BoxesAll of these shipping presentations are from the SNAG 2012 Professional Development Seminar.

Future presentations to be discussed include: International Shipping, and Documentation for Shipping.

Through the summer the PDS Committee (Andy Cooperman, Brigitte Martin and myself, Harriete Estel Berman) discuss, debate, stew and brew about the PDS topics for the next year. I am wondering...do the readers of ASK Harriete have issues that they think would make a good program topic? What are the pressing issues for artists and makers? What kind of professional information is needed, wanted, desired? I am waiting to hear from you privately or publicly in the comments.

Harriete


SHIPPING Options for LARGE SCULPTURE - "thinking outside the box"

DollargrShipping is expensive and it seems to cost more all the time. The cost of shipping large scale work can be prohibitive.  More problems arise when the size of your box or crate exceeds the limitations of standard shipping options like USPS, UPS and FedEx. It can be very stressful, and the shipping solutions aren't all that easy to find on your own.

That is why Kim Cridler"s lecture "Shipping Large Sculpture" is so great. Kridler offers multiple options for shipping large scale work outside of the white glove, professional art shippers that are impossible for most of us to afford.

 BoxesAre you prepared for success? Do you think ahead about shipping when you design the work? Kim Cridler shows how she disassembles her work for safe shipping.

Are you planning for shipping in your schedule three months in advance?
See how Kim Cridler plans ahead.

Are you planning for the shipping expenses? What are the options?

What shipping documentation would exhibition locations expect to see? Cridler reveals her recommendations.  

This fabulous lecture Shipping Large Sculpture by Kim Cridler includes less familiar shipping options such as:

  • Blanket Wrapped Shipping
  • Less Than Truckload Shipping
  • Greyhound Shipping
  • Amtrak Shipping
  • Navis Pack & Ship
  • Plus...of course the ultimate in do it yourself with U-Haul.

Kim Cridler also prepared a great handout offering practical advice about shipping options for large sculpture. Download the PDF HANDOUT Shipping Large Scale Work Kim Cridler

Kim Cridler working in the studio

Kim Cridler working on large sculpture in the studio.

Kim Cridler Sculpture finished in the studioase

Kim Cridler with finished work in the studio (above).

Kim Cridler large sculpture shipped in truck.ut

Blanket wrapped shipping. Suspended inside truck. 

Kim Cridler Large Sculpture Installed.eutrInstalled

Sculpture by Kim Cridler installed.

This presentation Shipping Large Sculpture and the handout by Kim Cridler were originally given at the SNAG 2012 Professional Development Seminar.

The PDS occurs each year during the SNAG Conference. Organized by Brigitte Martin, Andy Cooperman and myself,  Harriete Estel Berman, the PDS provides professional development information for the arts and craft community.

Please feel welcome to share this information with your fellow artists, makers and arts organizations. If you are interested, I can provide the code to embed the SlideShare presentations on your blog, or web site.

Email me:: bermaid [at] harriete-estel-berman.info, leave a comment or find me on Facebook.

Harriete

 

Shipping Boxes for Art or Craft Should Include Instructions


PACKING YOUR WORK FOR EXHIBITIONS

(tip sheet)

Shipping Comparisons: Shipping Cost & Insurance with Common Carriers

Compare USPS to Fed Ex; Outrageous Difference

CONDITION Report from the Professional Guidelines for shipping art or craftConditions Report from the Professional Guidelines

Claims for Damaged Work  from the Professional Guidelines

DAMN! Damaged boxes! Claims for Damaged Work.

Preservation, Conservation - Design for Repair

 

 

 


HUMOR IN CRAFT

Humor in CraftThe exhibition Humor in Craft opened first at the Society of Contemporary Craft July 20,2012. I so wish that I could be there! What a hoot! Curated by Brigitte Martin, the exhibition is based on the book she authored by the same name Humor in Craft.

"Humor in Craft" opens at Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, MI.

Exhibition dates: March 4 - April 19, 2014

Opening is April's Fool Day, April 1, 2014 

Get the book from your local library or bookstore to see silly, serendipity, superfluous or simply entertaining interpretations of humor. Nothing is expected or ordinary. The full color book includes 235 makers.

There are several catalog essays from a wide range of authors. A round of applause to everyone that attempted to write about humor. What a challenge!  I found the essay by Garth Johnson memorable as he offered historical background on humor in ceramics.


Below a selections of work from the book:
CorncodeCraigNutt
"Corncorde" by Craig Nutt
Installed at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Sweet tooth necklace
Sweet Tooth Necklace by Sanna Svedestedt

DonnaMcCulloughdress
Team Mobiloil, by Donna M. McCullough

 

There are many more fabulous pieces.
Get the book. There is something for everyone!

I am thrilled to say I have several pieces in the book Humor in Craft. Womanizer Kitchen Queen (1982) is included in the exhibition Humor in Craft.

WomanizerFULL72
The blender body and lid are all painted copper construction. Essentially, I fabricated by hand a manufactured object as a commentary about our consumer society. Carefully constructed using sheet metal the appliances are not found objects.

The ballerina inside the transparent plastic blender container pirouettes to a wind-up music box playing "May Your Wish Come True".   (15" height x 5" width x 5.5" depth)

Womanizercrown72
A custom made pierced crown on the top of the blender container says: Misstress of the Home. Mistress (in the title is misspelled intentionally.) I wanted the "MISS" to refer to the Miss America style of beauty competitions. It is also autobiographical as my name "Harriete" means "mistress of the home". Imagine that!  Yes, it's true!  I AM kind of obsessive about my house. No Kidding. Come and visit. 

Womanizer_panel72
Womanizer, Kitchen Queen has a 10 Button Panel with a plastic lamination. There is brass lettering on the front. The small black lettering says: LOVE, HONOR, OBEY, CHERISH, MIX, BLEND, STIR, CREAM, SPREAD, BEAR.

This appliance is one appliance from a series of appliances made from 1980 - 1988.  (scroll down on the sculpture page to see all the appliances.)

Immediately below is a SlideShare presentation with audio about how I designed and packed this work for shipping.

 

 


Upon Return of Work - Always Open the Box IMMEDIATELY


BoxCrushedFRAGILEUpon return of your art or craft from an exhibition, open the box or crate immediately or within a few days at the most.

 

 CHECK CONTENTS against the Inventory List or Shipping Receipt. Make sure everything that was placed in the box has returned from the venue.

Tina Pint from Jeweler's Mutual Insurance specifically addresses this concern in her lecture Safe Shipping of Jewelry. Small high value items can be removed from a single box fairly easily and the box reclosed, thus her caution for double or even triple boxing.

Brigitte Martin also describes a similar concern in her upcoming lecture "If Shipping Goes Wrong" when a crate arrived broken in the truck with parts from a sculpture strewn around the truck bed. A great reason to double box smaller elements inside the crate.

CHECK FOR DAMAGE
It is important to check that the art or craft has survived shipping in "O.K." against the Condition Report.

IF THERE ARE ANY PROBLEMS, DOCUMENT THE CONTENTS OF THE BOX IMMEDIATELY with a camera or your phone camera. Photo documentation is essential, if you expect to file an insurance claim.

 ClaimsDamage2010_Page_1If you ever need to make an insurance claim, the Professional Guidelines has a document Claims for Damaged Work.

ClaimsDamage2010_Page_2This document gives you step-by-step instructions about how to make a successful claim for damaged work with the responsible organization, their insurance company, or the shipping company.

ClaimsDamage2010_Page_3Claims for Damaged Work: Artist Checklist itemizes a list of tasks that should be followed to make a successful insurance claim.

ClaimsDamage2010_Page_4The tasks are listed chronologically.  Remember that the insurer will always look for reasons to deny or approve your claim - your verbal statement is not enough. 

When it comes to shipping, you must establish that your packing was more than adequate to protect your work during shipping.

You must prove your case with as much evidence as possible or your claim may be denied. 

Harriete

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shipping Boxes for Art or Craft Should Include Instructions


PACKING YOUR WORK FOR EXHIBITIONS

(tip sheet)

Shipping Comparisons: Shipping Cost & Insurance with Common Carriers

Compare USPS to Fed Ex; Outrageous Difference

CONDITION Report from the Professional Guidelines for shipping art or craftCondition Report  from the Professional Guidelines

Claims for Damaged Work  from the Professional Guidelines

DAMN! Damaged boxes! Claims for Damaged Work.

Preservation, Conservation - Design for Repair

 

 

Prestige, Value and Identity Bracelets by Harriete Estel Berman
Prestige, Value and Identity Bracelets by Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen


TAOKA3BOXESThere are several presentations ranging from shipping jewelry from precious materials to large sculpture. There is also a great cost comparison with three different size boxes, and different insurance values. Stay tuned.

 


Tips for Safe Shipping of Jewelry

Shipping jewelry, gemstones, or high value items is a specialized shipping scenario. Considerations include insurance limitations by shipping companies, and theft.

Do you know how best to protect your jewelry during shipping?

Tina Pint of Jeweler's Mutual Insurance Company offers great information about shipping jewelry in her presentation below. This presentation was originally given during the SNAG Professional Development Seminar 2012.  Presentations about shipping and information from the past seven years is also available on my web site.

Box_3TIPS for SHIPPING JEWELRY:

1) Double or triple box your work.
     This prevents "slitting" the box to steal the contents.

 

2 No-box) Never label your box "jewelry" even if this is part of the name of your company or the shipping destination.

  • Using the words jewelry, gemstones, diamonds just makes your box a target for theives.

Yes-box

 

3) Don't ship a tiny box.

  • Tiny boxes scream "jewelry inside, steal me".


4) Check the shipping & insurance policies of the shipper.

  • Many shipping companies limit insurance for shipping jewelry.

Tape_roll

 

5) USPS Registered Mail was the preferred shipper in most cases.

  • Insurance should cover the amount of money you would receive in payment.    
  • If selling wholesale, insure for wholesale.
  • If selling retail, insure for retail.

 

6) Declare full value to avoid fraud.

  • Fraud is a Federal offense if using USPS. (Listen to the Q & A at the end of Tina Pint's lecture for an explanation of this issue.)


Receipt

7) Always include a Inventory Record or Invoice.

  • Document the contents of your box (e.g with photos).

 

 

 

 

This is an informative presentation by Tina Pint of Jeweler's Mutual Insurance Company:

 

 

Insurance Considerations for Safe Shipping of Jewelry from Tina Pint of Jeweler's Mutual Insurance
View additional  presentations from  Harriete Estel Berman

Shipping Boxes for Art or Craft Should Include Instructions


PACKING YOUR WORK FOR EXHIBITIONS

(tip sheet)

Shipping Comparisons: Shipping Cost & Insurance with Common Carriers

Compare USPS to Fed Ex; Outrageous Difference

CONDITION Report from the Professional Guidelines for shipping art or craftConditions Report from the Professional Guidelines

Claims for Damaged Work  from the Professional Guidelines

DAMN! Damaged boxes! Claims for Damaged Work.

 


Preservation, Conservation - Design for Repair

 

 

Prestige, Value and Identity Bracelets by Harriete Estel Berman
Prestige, Value and Identity Bracelets by Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen


Compare USPS to Fed Ex; Outrageous Difference

Everready Working WomanRecently I had the opportunity to participate in an exhibition with one of my favorite autobiographical pieces Everready Working Woman (left).

It cost $67 to ship it by USPS Registered Insured Mail from the San Francisco Bay Area to Arizona.

However, when the show was over (only a week later )... return shipping by Fed Ex cost $177.26 for the same identical box, with the same artwork, for an identical distance. 

That is an outrageous difference.  $177.26? . . .  for one lightweight box is a lot of money.

I was so shocked by the price difference, it took more than a day to figure out how to  reply to the email asking me to pay the $177.26.

What would you do? Really! Any suggestions?

  • Pay for the return shipping up to $67 and burn my relationship with the museum.
  • Pay the full amount of $177.26.

At this point, I have written to the exhibition sponsor asking why the return shipping cost 2 1/2 times more than shipping to the museum.

Here is my email.

J---,
While I appreciated your returning my work, your email was a huge shock.

It cost me $67. to ship my work U.S.P.S. Registered Insured to the show in AZ
To see that the return shipping by Fed Ex costs $177.26. is unexpected to say the least.
 I am thinking that there has to be some mistake.

How could shipping the same identical box cost 2 1/2 times the original shipping?

Thanks for looking into this further…..

Harriete

UPDATE:
Just found out that they shipped the box FedEx standard overnight. I would swear that my conversation said 2nd day air. At least it would have been less. I am really upset. This means one show that was up for four days cost $244.26. Not worth it.

I am going to the FedEx office and discussing this issue. 

Hopping mad. Any ideas?

 

I will update this post....with information so stay tuned.


Shipping connects our studios to the world. It is such an important issue that the SNAG Professional Development Seminar dedicated our entire 2012 program to shipping. A recent post Shipping Comparisons: Shipping Cost & Insurance with Common Carriers compared five shipping companies. The cost comparison handout did not reveal such a disparity between USPS and FEDEX. What gives?

Everready Working Woman


Art Movement During Shipping is a Problem?

Today's post focuses on some typical bad packing examples & solutions.

LooseJewelryInBox This photo (left) is bad news. Loose items (even if contained within a small box) will self destruct during shipping. If the work can move around during shipping, it will always cause damage.


Damaged Necklace Look what happened to the necklace during shipping. It arrived broken (right).  This is not the shippers fault. This is bad packing. 

 


HamdanIMG_1823"For shipping multiple small items in a large box, sub-divide the box into compartments to prevent movement," says, Leila Hamdan. 

A necklace could be wrapped in tissue so beads will not hit each other, then placed in a small box.

 

Barcode Necklace for shipping This custom made shipping design for my necklace uses a piece of cardboard covered in flannel. Seam binding glued to the flannel holds the necklace in place with loops. The necklace is tied onto the flannel. A couple of dollars of materials creates a shipping solution, preventing movement during shipping is the goal.


Leila Hamdam Empty Crate MovementEvery box or crate should be completely filled with Styrofoam, foam peanuts, soft foam, bubble wrap or air filled bags. Empty space in a crate allows the contents to shift and move. 

Always plan for the rough & tumble of shipping.  Expect your box to be shipped side ways or upside down.

This photo (left above) was from Leila Hamdam's lecture HORROR STORIES: Packing and Shipping Recommendations for Artists.  Yes, the artwork arrived damaged!

 KimCridlerbaggiesKim Cridler protects individual elements in plastic baggies. Then offers further protection by shipping the small elements in recycled plastic packaging. KimCridlerrecycledboxesHer lecture, Shipping Large Sculpture, will be posted soon.

 

 

More information and SlideShare presentations about shipping are coming soon.

Do you have photos of shipping disasters you want to share?

Or do you need a solution for how to create a custom shipping box? Send me images: bermaid [at] harriete-estel-berman.info

Harriete

BarCodeN
Bar Code Identity Necklace by Harriete Estel Berman

 


Shipping Comparisons: Shipping Cost & Insurance with Common Carriers

Have you ever wondered which shipping company is best for shipping your work to an exhibition?

 
SNAG Professional Development SeminarPds_logo300For the SNAG Professional Development Seminar, Loring Taoka prepared a short presentation and an essential handout for comparing shipping costs. Download PDSShippingCostComparisonsLoring

TAOKA3BOXES

For a shipping price comparison:

There are three different boxes.

Three different insurance values.

All boxes were estimated for shipping from Seattle, WA to Pittsburgh, PA.

LoringTaoka3differentscenerios

Download  the  Shipping Comparisons handout.
PDSShippingCostComparisonsLoring_Page_1 PDSShippingCostComparisonsLoring_Page_2 PDSShippingCostComparisonsLoring_Page_3










Watch the SlideShare presentation below.

Note: Shipping cost is not the only issue. Careful handling and availability of shipping insurance are also important considerations.  

Not all carriers offer insurance to the full value of the item (which is really misleading and irritating).  

Careful handling during shipping is important.  It is my professional opinion that UPS should only be used for production work where the objects shipped are replaceable. I do NOT recommend using UPS for shipping one of a kind exhibition work.

USPS "Registered Insured" offers the best handling and full insurance. This is my recommedation for all shipping.  Registered Insured is the least expensive option if the insurance value is over $1,000. It has the added protection of being a Federal offense to tamper with USPS mail.

Harriete

Related topics about shipping art or craft:

ShippingOneofAKind_p4.ai HORROR STORIES: Packing & Shipping Recommendations for ARTISTS

 PLAN PACKING for SHIPPING Art & Craft

Shipping Planning vs. Sh*t Happening

Shipping Boxes for Art or Craft Should Include Instructions

 


Boxes for shipping Art and Craft

PACKING YOUR WORK FOR EXHIBITIONS (tip sheet)

Claims for Damaged Art or Craft in the Professional Guidelines

Claims for Damaged Work

Condition Report from the Professional Guidelines

DAMN! Damaged boxes! Claims for Damaged Work.

Preservation, Conservation - Design for Repair

 

 

 


HORROR STORIES: Packing & Shipping Recommendations for ARTISTS

Leila Hamdan As part of the SNAG 2012 Professional Development Seminar about shipping, Leila Hamdan, former Registrar for the National Ornamental Museum and artist, gave an informative lecture with lots of essential shipping information for artists and makers.

Her presentation has been posted as a SlideShare presentation with audio.  You can watch the same presentation as SNAG Conference attendees.

Here are a few quotes from Leila Hamdan.

"It is surprising how many artists do not know how to pack their work for safety and security."

At the Museum, "it was always heartbreaking to open a package and see that their work had been damaged."

"The way that artists pack their work is a reflection of how they make it."

"Do not fill your box with random bits of materials so it seems as though you've emptied your recycling bin."

"Find a weighted balance [for your shipping box] to avoid having one side of the box heavier than the other."

"Always include your contact information inside the box, so you can be found should the outside label be torn off. And this does happen a lot."

Shipping connects your studio to the world.
Stay tuned for more shipping information from the SNAG Professional Development Seminar and ASK Harriete.

Harriete

ShippingOneofAKind_p4.aiRelated topics about shipping:

PLAN PACKING for SHIPPING Art & Craft

Shipping Planning vs. Sh*t Happening

Shipping Boxes for Art or Craft Should Include Instructions


PACKING YOUR WORK FOR EXHIBITIONS
(tip sheet)

CONDITION Report from the Professional Guidelines for shipping art or craftConditions Report from the Professional Guidelines

Claims for Damaged Work  from the Professional Guidelines

DAMN! Damaged boxes! Claims for Damaged Work.

Preservation, Conservation - Design for Repair


PLAN PACKING for SHIPPING Art & Craft

When shipping your one-of-a-kind work, the packing must protect your art or craft!

There are five essential criteria:

  1. Packing needs to protect your work against normal hazards. If the packing is found to be inadequate, insurance may not pay for a claim...even if you paid for insurance. A minimum standard is double boxing.

  2. All packing materials should be reusable for return shipping. Never use clear plastic tape to secure bubble wrap. Removing the tape ruins the bubble wrap and makes it unsuitable for return shipping.  Cutting through the tape risks damage to your work.

  3.  Movement in the box raises risk. Movement risks abrasion and breaking. Art or craft needs to be firmly held in place with no sound or movement.
     
  4. Packing materials & instructions should provide a fool proof "recipe" for repacking. Assume that the staff repacking your work is merely overwhelmed and exhausted, at best... or inexperienced, at worst.

  5. Packing sends a message about your work. The packing for your art or craft indicates how you want your work handled. A custom-made professional quality shipping box clearly signals quality and an expectation for care and attention.  In contrast, work wrapped in crumpled newspaper, paper scrap, diapers, rags, etc. looks too much like trash (which may be thrown away) or looks like rough handling is acceptable.

HERE IS A STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL on
PACKING one-of-a-kind artwork for SHIPPING
:

View additional presentations from Harriete Estel Berman

 ShippingOneofAKind_p1There is a matching four page PDF handout with pictures from the Professional Guidelines. (This handout is 26MB so give it time to download. Print it in advance so you are ready to make your own shipping box.)

 

ShippingOneofAKind_p2Shipping connects your studio to the world.
Stay tuned for more shipping information from the SNAG Professional Development Seminar and ASK
Harriete.

ShippingOneofAKind_p3Are you shipping jewelry, precious materials, loose stones or larger sculpture?  PowerPoint presentations from the SNAG Conference and handouts are coming soon.

Harriete

ShippingOneofAKind_p4.aiRelated topics about shipping:

Shipping Planning vs. Sh*t Happening

Shipping Boxes for Art or Craft Should Include Instructions


PACKING YOUR WORK FOR EXHIBITIONS
(tip sheet)

Conditions Report from the Professional Guidelines

Claims for Damaged Work  from the Professional Guidelines

DAMN! Damaged boxes! Claims for Damaged Work.

Preservation, Conservation - Design for Repair


Shipping Planning vs. Sh*t Happening

Shipping starts when you're making your work! Sound confusing? Perhaps, but this is the voice of experience. 

This is the first in a series of posts about shipping. This will include some PowerPoints with audio from the SNAG Professional Development Seminar, handouts, essential tips and tricks for shipping and documents in the Professional Guidelines including the Condition Report & Claims for Damaged Work.

BoxesTAPEcovers imagesIf you want your art or craft to travel across the state or across the country or around the world, start planning for safe shipping during construction. This is especially important if there are large or heavy elements combined with delicate components.

 

Kim Cridlers culptureIt isn't just my opinion. During Kim Cridler's lecture about SHIPPING LARGE SCULPTURE at the Professional Development Seminar at the SNAG Conference, she showed images of the dis-assembly of her sculpture prior to shipping. (Her PowerPoint will be available soon.)

 

 

Kim Cridler SMALL parts in bags for shippingThe small floral elements come off the sculpture and ship separately in small bags. When the sculpture arrives at an exhibition destination, the small elements are reattached. Planning during construction prevents the larger heavy sculpture from damaging the fragile elements.

Below is an example from my work. You will see how the work was designed to disassemble and how the custom made shipping box is designed to insure safe shipping.

WomanizerFULL72This appliance from 1982 is titled Womanizer, Kitchen Queen. The base is very heavy construction from brass and copper (yes, I made it to look like a real appliance)  but the plastic container and crown are very light weight and delicate.

 

 

Womanizercrown72The Crown would likely be dented and broken if it was shipped with the heavy base. The entire sculpture was designed to assemble on site and ship in a custom made shipping box.

 

IMG_8048In the left photo you can see the base being removed from the box.

 

 

 

IMG_8051The crown ships in a separate smaller box to provide protection from the heavy base.

 

 

 

IMG_8058To the left,  the crown is being lifted carefully from the custom made shipping box.

In the SlideShare presentation below, you can see how this sculpture was designed for shipping, and how the custom made shipping box protects the artwork.

Custom Shipping Box /Design Your Work for Shipping by Harriete Estel Berman

View additional presentations by  Harriete Estel Berman

Stay tuned for more posts in this series. Lots of valuable information for shipping your art and craft safely and securely.
Harriete


Professional Development Information - Live, Online, and In Person

Yikes"Pencil in" professional development to boost your career with free information.  Two opportunites, the first, an ONLINE interview, and the second, a in-person discussion in SAN FRANCISCO.

ONLINE
Andy Cooperman, Harriete Estel Berman, and Brigitte Martin in conversation on Thursday, April 5th, at 3PM Pacific Time/ 6PM Eastern, on ‘Metalsmith BenchTalk on BlogTalkRadio’ with Jay Whaley.
Audience members can listen to the archived podcast.

San Francisco
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES: Questions and Commentary with Andy Cooperman and Harriete Estel Berman  
  
Monday, April 16, 2011 7-8:30p.m.
(More information below.)


The details:

BlogtalkradioONLINE podcast with Cooperman,  Brigitte Martin and me, Harriete Estel Berman as we open the pandora's box of shipping problems and solutions. Originally broadcast on Thursday, April 5th we  discuss the upcoming shipping topic for the Professional Development Seminar that will be held during the SNAG Conference.

 

 


SNAGlogoLast year's SNAG Professional Development Seminar program can be viewed online at any time. The original PPT slides with audio as presented at the 2010 Conference have had over 22,000 views! The program from 2010 has had nearly 10,000 views.! Find the podcasts and handouts with presentations on the SNAG web site or my web site.

 

Professional Practices in San Francisco
GuestArtistSeries2012v2.72Professional Practices with Andy Cooperman and Harriete Estel Berman will include a short presentation by Andy and myself. Then we will jump right into questions and answers by asking each other a couple of tough questions about the "road to success".

This event occurred on Monday April 16th at Academy of Art University
sponsored by the Academy of Art and the San Francisco Metal Arts Guild. 

This program was videotaped and will be available as a video presentation online....so check back, and I will let you know how to find it.

Harriete


Preservation, Conservation, Experimentation - Practical Recommendations

Preservation, and Conservation of art or craft media starts with the artist. Yes, before work leaves the studio for a show, gallery, or exhibition I think artists and makers should take concrete actions by including care, display and maintenance instructions with their work.

For less expensive items, care instructions may be on a hang tag or a sheet of paper included with the bill of sale. Issues may be whether the work is dishwasher safe, oven proof, washable, fade resistant, proper cleaning methods, recommended waxes, or best framing methods for the media, etc. This can protect the artist or maker from dissatisfied  customers that did not know how to care for the work properly.

For one of a kind work, I write complete instructions and glue them to my interior shipping box and include an additional copy in the box. Informing the future owner or exhibition sponsor how to properly care for your work may help protect your work.

MaintenanceInstructions for Care and Maintenance should be very specific including recommendations for specific cleaning products and maintenance techniques.

PleaseWEARglovesInclude disposable gloves in every box.  While museum professionals would normally wear gloves when handling artwork or craft, not every exhibition situation is in a museum. Protect your work from fingerprints. Acid and oils from hands can damage wood, metal, fiber and paper. Fingerprints look unattractive on glass, ceramics or metal.

Windows_full_600
Windows of Memory © 2003
Recycled tin cans
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Consider the life expectancy of the materials, archival options and maintenance issues.

For example, tin cans (my primary materials for the past 23 years) rust and fade. While I can not prevent this I provide instructions including:

  • Avoid display away from windows, or strong sunlight.
  • Wax artwork for protection from moisture and fingerprints.  

While there is no assurance that the collector will be able to protect your work, it does protect the artist from accusations. If your work fades and the owner complains, at least you can demonstrate that the owner was informed.

The use of unproven or experimental materials presents some unpredictable outcomes, both good and bad.
As an artist, try to think ahead for twenty to 200 years. Think about the future of your work and your reputation.

Do you have any ideas for archival options and maintenance issues for protecting your work that you can share? Please leave a comment.

Harriete

Below is an image of recently finished seder plate Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Assiyah, Yetzirah, Beriyah
followed by an example - a complete set of instructions for Unpacking, Display, Functional Use, Maintenance and Packing.
TuBishvat SEDER Plate by Harriete Estel Berman
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Assiyah, Yetzirah, Beriyah
A Seder Plate for TuBishvat by Harriete Estel Berman
Constructed from recycled tin cans, 10k gold and s/silver rivets.

Maintence and Shipping Instructions for Artwork page 1 examplepage1

Maintenance and SHIPPING PAGE 2 sample instructions for shipping and maintaining art and craftin


Finding Exhibition Opportunities - Photos and Packing

Redpencilstaninte72
A real life example:

Pencil_stanineWEB I recently finished making Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin and am currently looking for an exhibition space. A previous post offered a few suggestions on how to find exhibitions spaces for your work. This post will show what I am doing step by step to find  exhibition opportunities.

PencilsCenterPROGRESS72 First, photos of the finished work are needed.  In this case, because of the size of the work, I need to find a temporary space to install this large sculpture for photography. The artwork is 27 feet wide and 12 feet tall with an installation height minimum of 15 feet.  

A friend has volunteered a large gallery space but only for a weekend.  So, next weekend, my whole family will have to help install the work and take it down in a day and a half.

Great photos are essential to obtain an exhibition commitment.  This has been mentioned many times before (so I won't belabor that point in this post).  But here are some additional issues to resolve early: shipping and storage.

PencilsPACKINGlaidout7061
Shipping and storage are significant issues for both the artist and the exhibition sponsor.
I recommend making custom packing for one of a kind work as soon as it is finished.  Your work can then be stored as needed and you are ready to ship safely as well.

PencilsROLLING
For Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin I devised a simple method to protect the work with brown paper.  Each of the fifteen feet long stanines roll up into tight bundles. This protects the pencils, while providing compact storage and shipping. Before I even started this project five years ago, I planned how it would ship. It was all part of the big plan. Always plan for shipping and storage while you make the work.
PencilsROLLING7071
You can view every step of the packing process on my Facebook album  or in a special Flickr set with step by step photos.  It may appear that the packing is simple. REALITY CHECK: It took two people working really hard for 6 and a half hours solid to get this done in one afternoon. We had to replicate this "envelope" for each of the nine stanines.
PencilsROLLEDinBOX7075
In the above photo you can see Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin wrapped tightly in the brown paper in its individual box. It will be surrounded with bubble wrap and peanuts for shipping.

Yes, I know, there is empty space in the box but I want lots of cushion (bubble wrap and peanuts) to surround my work and don't want the box to be too heavy. People will drop heavy boxes to the floor. I want gentle and  careful handling to protect my work.

Pencilboxes7078
The pencils stanines are in these boxes. All nine stanines fit in five boxes!

I do not like the printing on the outside of these boxes but the dimensions were perfect. I will cover the writing with brown packing tape and my instruction sheets.  I still have hours of work to further prepare the boxes.

WEIGH YOUR SHIPPING BOXES
Many times exhibition sponsors want an estimate for shipping before making a commitment.  The artist should be ready to estimate the cost for shipping (especially if the exhibition sponsor is paying for shipping). Each box needs to be weighed.

In my exhibition proposal, I will be able to provide the exact number of boxes, dimensions of the boxes, and shipping weight. For example, Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin ships in five boxes, 40" x 12" x 12". Weighing the boxes is work for this moring.

Write Instructions for Unpacking, Display, Installation, Packing and Shipping.
I know this seems like a lot of advance work,
but all of this advance preparation provides protection for your artwork and gives exhibition sponsors confidence in showing your work.

Sample Instructions for Unpacking, Display, Installation, Packing and Shipping will be the next post on ASK Harriete.

Stay tuned.

Harriete


Shipping Boxes for Art or Craft Should Include Instructions

When shipping work to an exhibition I include instructions for UNPACKING, DISPLAY, ASSEMBLY (if necessary), and RE-PACKING MY WORK for return shipping.

IMG_2860In every box, a copy of the instructions are glued on the inside flap of the interior shipping box and a separate set is in the box. I glue the instructions to the box so that even if the loose copy is lost or misplaced, there are always instructions with the box and artwork. I also include disposable gloves in my interior shipping box. (See image below.)

Instruction Labels should include the following:
  • Labels on the boxes should be neat and easy to understand.
  • Use Elmer’s Glue or rubber cement – not glue sticks – to adhere the labels to the box.
  • Glue an ADDRESS label or ‘rubber stamp’ inside all boxes with your complete name and address. 
  • Glue a TITLE label, including title, date created, materials, and dimensions on the outside of your interior shipping box.
  • Include assembly instructions, if necessary, along with a diagram or photograph of how the artwork should look or be displayed. (READ the previous post.)
Sample image for your packing box.

Artwork should be well-constructed and designed to survive shipping conditions.  During the creative process, it is a good idea to design the work to survive the sometimes unpredictable vibration or "rough and tumble life" of shipping conditions. Consider what will happen if your box is turned sideways or upside down. Work that is not appropriately designed for shipping is much more likely to become damaged during shipping and consequently unable to be shown in the intended exhibition. For this reason, sometimes it is best to design work to be disassembled and reassembled at the exhibition location. This is especially important if there are heavy components and lightweight or fragile components in the same artwork.

Remember Me by Harriete Estel Berman
Remember Me     © 1998-99
Recycled tin cans and vintage steel doll
houses, Brass wire embroidery,
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen



Consider how the work will be displayed.  Include a custom display, if needed, along with clear instructions for the set up. If you have a pre-conceived idea of how the work should be displayed, this information should also be sent to the Exhibition Sponsor two months prior to the show.

Just in case the exterior of your shipping box is damaged, the interior shipping boxes should be labeled with:
Artwork
Title       
Artist name

Address
City, State, Zip
Phone (area code) and number
Email:
Web site: 

Here are Packing Tips to Download PackingTIPS PDF


IMG_2866
Remember Me in it's custom made interior shipping box. The interior of the box is upholstery foam cut to fit the artwork. The foam is covered with flannel and felt. In this photo the felt flap is open. This interior shipping box is appropriately sized for storage. For shipping it should be surrounded by 1"-2" of peanuts in a larger exterior shipping box.

SHIPPING PRESENTATIONS WITH AUDIO

Documentation for SHIPPING Art and Craft

Custom Shipping Box /Design Your Work for Shipping

PACKING one-of-a-kind artwork for SHIPPING


Tips on Packing Your Art or Craft for Shipping to an Exhibition.

PACKING YOUR WORK FOR EXHIBITIONS

INTRODUCTION
Thoughtful preparation for packing and shipping your work helps ensure that your work will arrive without damage, makes you look like a professional artist, establishes that your work will be handled and installed carefully according to your expectations and returned without damage.   What more can you expect?

Sloppy packing increases the chance that your work may be damaged during shipping, lost in the packing materials, possibly damaged when it is unwrapped, returned in an inappropriate shipping container or poorly repacked because the artist did not provide adequate packing instructions or reusable packing materials.  Is that what you want? That is what you are going to get if you don't pack your work properly.

CrumpledNEWSpaperHERE ARE A FEW TIPS for PACKING YOUR WORK
.

DON’T do this:      
                                               
•    Don’t use newspaper for packing material.
•    Don’t reuse an old or beat-up box.
•    Don’t reuse a box with printed product information printed on the box.
•    Don’t wrap your work in bubble wrap sealed with plastic tape.
•    Don’t tape your interior shipping box closed.
•    Don’t eat or drink when packing or unpacking work.

DO the FOLLOWING for your Exterior Shipping Box:
•    Design your packing materials and boxes to be reusable for return shipping.
•    Label the inside of your exterior shipping box with your name and contact information.
•    Make your shipping boxes look professional and new.
•    Double-box your work. This means that your work is packed in an interior box surrounded by at least two inches of “shipping peanuts” between the interior box and the outer shipping box.
•    Attach FRAGILE stickers to the exterior of the shipping box.

SAMPLE INTERIOR SHIPPING BOX BELOW:
IMG_2864

Do the Following for Your Interior Box:
•    Design the packing materials used inside the interior box to be reusable.
•    For small artwork, a Tupperware-type plastic container (with a resealable lid) may be an excellent interior box.
•    Label the interior box with your name and address – inside and out.
•    Label the interior box with the title of your work ON THE OUTSIDE.
•    Glue instructions for Unpacking, Display, Maintenance and Repacking on your interior box. (see below for more detailed information).
•    Always include a pair of disposable gloves with your work (placed inside the interior box).
•    Place the following papers inside the interior box with your work:
        o     A List of Inventory (including wholesale and retail value).
        o    Condition Report (especially if this is an important piece or traveling exhibition).
•    Include a current RESUME and ARTIST STATEMENT if you haven’t sent them already.
BRASS BRADS •    Use brass brads with string to securely close the box (if the lid doesn’t already seal like Tupperware, for example). DO NOT USE TAPE.

Stay tuned for more shipping tips and a printable handout next week.

Are you wondering why I made the recommendations listed above? Just ask.There is a reason for every suggestion.

Harriete


How To Ship Large Artwork? Asking ASK Harriete, the artist, a few questions.

Several readers have asked how best to store and ship larger sculptures.  In today's post I will reveal how my work is designed for shipping. Storage is another problem that has no easy solution. Right now a lot of artwork lives in closets, bedrooms and in my studio.  Sometimes, artwork is out on display at various exhibition spaces, but other times, like now, most of my work has come home to "rest." No easy answers for storage exists, but I do design and make my own interior shipping boxes for compact and flexible storage.

SLIMfast
Hourglass Figure: The Scale of Torture
Recycled tin cans, battery motor, alum.
rivets, dial, screws.
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
© 1994
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen All

All my artwork is designed during construction in anticipation of shipping. If possible I plan and design to disassemble fragile or delicate components from heavier parts. This principle is applied to smaller art work as well. Below are some examples.

BermanObverse_front Obverse Obsession (shown to the left) disassembles into multiple parts which include the base, body, lid, and the sterling silver "kiss" on top. Even the delicate sterling silver kiss "flag" comes off as a separate piece. 

Each part fits into a custom made interior shipping box. I cut foam to create recessed  shapes lined or covered in flannel. The interior shipping box then slides inside a larger shipping box with space for packing peanuts between the two.

AssemblyINSTRUCTION72 On the right,  you can see the inside of the base after it is disassembled. Assembly instructions are even written in letters from recycled tin cans. These instructions will never be lost (and of course, there are more detailed instructions for assembly and dis-assembly printed and glued to the interior shipping box.)

Obvob_kiss copyPP On the left, you can see the sterling silver kiss (that looks like it is aluminum foil). This kiss unscrews for easy cleaning (if it tarnishes) and for safe shipping. The sterling silver flag (labeled, SEDUCTION) has a little post that just pulls out and stores separately. 

Imagine trying to ship this chocolate pot without taking it apart. There would be real problems shipping a large heavy base along with a delicate sterling silver kiss and flag on top. Don't go there!!!! Plan ahead when constructing your work. 

Hourglass Figure: The 
Scale of Torture
Inside view of 
Hourglass Figure: The Scale of Torture
Inside the sculpture are assembly
instructions visible in this photo.
Recycled tin cans,
  
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman © 1994
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

On the right you can see another artwork, Hourglass Figure: The Scale of Torture, with the assembly instructions written inside the sculpture. These instructions, along with the elaborate details on the inside are not visible when on display.


PPGrass_SW The 9' x 9' Grass/gras installation is actually 36 separate panels measuring 18" x 18" square.  Each panel fits snugly inside its own interior shipping box. Two single panel boxes fit into a larger shipping box. There are 18 shipping boxes total. Storage is a real problem. Sometimes the boxes have to live in my living room or my childrens' bedrooms when it is not on display in an exhibition.

MeasuringCompliance The floor for Measuring Compliance (on the left) is about 10' x 14'.  This disassembles like a puzzle into manageable pieces, numbered, layered on top of one another with paper in between, and is reassembled on site. It travels with assembly instructions and a diagram.

AworkingRED
The #2 pencil bell curve piece titled, Take Out Your Pencils, Begin is constructed in nine sections. Each section is three feet wide (the red section or "stanine" is visible to the right) and rolls up very easily into a large roll. Eventually when it is done, each roll of pencils will get its own interior shipping box. To protect the pencils adequately, I will either roll layers and layers of bubble wrap around the pencils or find a tight fitting interior shipping box. This will ship in a larger exterior shipping box.

Double boxing is my preferred method.  If damage occurs to your shipping box, the interior shipping box safely protects the artwork.

Words to the wise, save yourself future problems:

  • Design your work for shipping (from inception and during construction)
  • Custom design your interior shipping box and packing method.
  • Double box your work.
  • A Professional Guidelines topic on making a custom interior shipping box will be ready soon.
Harriete

Payment Terms for artists and craft businesses.

Pain The recent post on late payments from galleries and stores seems to have touched on a very sensitive nerve, judging by the number of comments.   Apparently a lot of people have had some painful experience.   I will continue to collect your opinions, comments, tales, etc. and will follow up with more action items soon. 

Today, though, I'd like to focus on establishing the right payment incentives at the beginning of a galley, store, or customer relationship.  Specific payment terms and the consequences of late payment should be written into the consignment contract, purchase order, or invoice, whichever you use.  Interest should be charged on payments not received by the due date, no exceptions.  If the establishment is holding your cash, they should pay interest as mutually agreed in the contract. 

Like so many over situations, it is best to be prepared in advance with your Application for opening new accounts and your Ordering Policy.

-Bally Transi tSeries Chairs from 1994 Boris Bally has graciously agreed to show his Order Terms (download Order Terms) as an example.  An image of his Ordering Terms is shown below my signature, followed by a review of the terms (and some practical suggestions).  This is fairly specific to Boris' business.  You should adapt to your circumstances.

Harriete

Boris Bally purchase order policy (Download Order_Terms)

Order_Terms

Exclusive** representation of an artist's or crafts person's work should require a minimum purchase. In Boris Bally's example this only includes the area code.  Note that the Exclusive Representation is not extended to an entire city or state. Keep in mind that everything is negotiable, but why should artists offer Exclusivity for their line if the retail establishment is not adequately representing or selling your merchandise or art.

Everything is negotiable but establishing a  minimum amount for annual retail purchases is one guide for an Exclusive Representation. The big picture is that the retail establishment should clearly establish that they represent and sell within a specified geographic area to demand exclusivity to a state or several state boundary. 

Terms copy Consignment*** is for select exhibitions. Consignment is a very difficult way to make a living from your work. You don't have any control over inventory, display or promotion and have no guarantee that your work will sell. It can sit there for months, or even years.)

Payment is outlined clearly for first time orders, Proforma**** and accounts.  It is suggested that you try to get credit cards for orders (which means prepayment so you don't have to chase down checks)  Even though that entails a credit card fee (usually between 1-2%) it's worth not having to worry about getting paid in 30 days, or subsequent phone calls and emails when the payment doesn't arrive.  Stores are more used to this and they get 30 days from the credit card company so it doesn't make a difference to them.

Delivery should be clearly described. Sometimes this might be called Shipping.

Dimensionalweight Shipping indicates who is responsible for shipping to the gallery or store and whether it is a a fixed % of the total order for simplicity, or based on the weight of the box(es), or the dimensional weight of the box. (Shipping companies charge by dimensional weight of the box, if the box  is very large but light.) Keep in mind that Boris Bally's example is for purchase of retail goods (not on consignment.) 

It also might be good idea to clarify your preferred shipping method, for example, ground or air, USPS or Fed Ex, etc.

Purchase Orders usually expect the store/gallery to pay shipping. Consignment Contracts usually expect the artist to cover shipping to the Gallery or store. This increases the cost to the artist.

Order Policy  specifies that the order may not be canceled and they do not offer cash refunds.

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS:

Plan72 SPECIAL ORDERS:  If you will produce special orders or custom items establish your policy in advance including lead time needed to produce the item, pricing, and returns or exchange on special orders. 

REPAIRS AND ALTERATIONS: How do you want to handle repair and alterations to your work? Are you going to charge for repairs? Are you going to charge for shipping? Can your work be re-sized or changed to fit the person or installation? 

ProfessionalSize72 MINIMUM ORDERS: Do you have a minimum order? Do you have a miniumum for first time orders? A minimum for subsequent orders? Is this a dollar amount or a specific number of items?  

INTERNATIONAL Orders and shipping?  International shipping is incredibly expensive. I shipped  a pair of earrings to Australia and it cost the customer $28.00. Unless you have lots of experience with International Shipping, perhaps you will want to handle this on a case by case basis.  

If the readers of ASK Harriete have a TERM Sheet, Ordering TERMS or Purchase Order Terms that they would like to share, please consider leaving your ideas as comments below or write to me directly. It would be great to develop an example Purchase Order Terms in the Professional Guidelines, but I need your help.

Harriete

Definitions and image information below:

"Pain" image found at: http://research.unc.edu/endeavors/spr2005/pain.php

Plan Pin constructed by Harriete Estel Berman from recycled tin cans is available for purchase online..

Professional Size Pin constructed by Harriete Estel Berman from recycled tin cans is available for purchase online.

Exclusive** representation: The term “exclusive” implies that the gallery will be the only representative for the artist usually within a stated geographic boundary, for a specific body of work, or extent of sales. The geographic territory could be limited to a single city or town, a radius of a specified number of miles, the region, one state, several states, or nationwide. As for the scope of an artist’s work, an exclusive representation could be limited to a specific body of work, or a specific medium or type of work (e.g. jewelry vs. hollowware).

In contrast, the term “non-exclusive” means that the artist may sell the same work to a multiple number of businesses within the stated geographic territory.

This definition was taken directly from the Overview in the Consignment Contract as part of the Professional Guidelines.

Consignment***: Consignment is where the artist loans the work to the gallery or store and is only paid after the purchase of work. In effect, they borrow work from an artist for display in the gallery, and then pay the artist only when it sells.  This arrangement limits the gallery’s capital outlay, so they can devote more of their resources to paying for rent, staff, publicity, or other costs of doing business.

A consignment arrangement has advantages and disadvantages.  For example, one advantage is that consignment can allow a gallery to show risky or difficult work, since their money is not tied up in purchasing inventory.  However, a disadvantage is that even though the artist’s work is in the gallery’s possession, the artist isn’t paid until the work is sold.  This business arrangement is complicated enough that misunderstandings and difficulties can arise if the parties have not been clear about the terms of the arrangement from the beginning.   

This definition was taken directly from the Overview in the Consignment Contract as part of the Professional Guidelines.

Proforma****: Proforma is a business term for "Assumed, forecasted, or informal information presented in advance of the actual or formal information. The common objective of a pro forma document is to give a fair idea of the cash outlay for a shipment or an anticipated occurrence. Definition from businessdictionary.com



Work Returned from a Gallery Poorly Packed! What should I do?

Dear ASK Harriete:
I'm hopping mad. A necklace was returned to me by a gallery that held a special exhibition of emerging artist's work. The necklace was all in a jumble in a loosely packed box (not the box or packaging I shipped it in, by the way). There is damage to the piece that I must now repair. Arrgghhhh! The gallery blames the shipping company and the shipping company blames the gallery.  How do I get someone to repay me for the damage?

Hopping Mad


Dear Hopping Mad,
From experience, I think you can rule out collecting from the shipping company as they only cover damage to work that has been packed properly.  Obviously, this was not packed properly.  Ideally, the gallery should bear at least a portion of the responsibility as they are supposed to know how to pack work to avoid damage. 

Realistically, you must document damages in order to make a claim; i.e. with photos of the necklace “in a jumble, in the loosely packed box” when it was returned from the gallery and compare these to the photos sent to the gallery initially with the work.  If so, use the “Claims for Damaged Work” document in the Professional Guidelines (http://www.harriete-estel-berman.info/profguidelines/profguide.html). The “Claims for Damaged Work” offers a step by step approach for making a claim for damaged work. 

To make a claim requires a good deal of time. Could you repair and refinish the necklace in the same amount of time? Also, keep in mind that telling the gallery that they did not pack the work properly without clear photographic documentation will probably “burn” any chance to work with them again.  It may be better to take this experience and learn from it. 

There is a very important factor is this situation.  Artists should assume that the people receiving and returning work are overwhelmed – especially around an exhibition – and no special attention will be extended unless you provide both the packing materials and clear packing instructions to follow.  In general, if work needs special handling or extra care, I recommend that the artist should provide original packaging that is reusable, durable, and memorable with foolproof instructions and packing materials that the gallery should save for return shipping.  Even your shipping boxes need to look special so they are saved by the gallery and used for return shipping. Your original packaging needs to set such a high standard that the gallery follows your example for return shipping.

Suitable packaging for a necklace

Suitable packing for a necklace might include a flat foundation with ties to hold the work in place. Here are some step by step suggestions for preparing suitable packing for a necklace.
1. Start with sturdy cardboard with about one inch margin larger than the necklace. (If the necklace does not lie flat, then construct a 3 dimensional foundation from cardboard.)
2. Cover the cardboard with flannel or felt. Use "tacky glue" or something similar to glue the fabric to the cardboard. This fabric covering should look neat, tidy and professional.  Cover the underneath side of the cardboard completely also. The more attractive this looks, the more professional your packing for the necklace will appear and the more memorable to the gallery
3. Glue ties onto the flannel in strategic locations to hold the necklace in place. The ties should be made from ribbon or fabric seam binding.  Do not use string which may bind into knots that are impossible to open.  The fabric or ribbon will glue on better also.
4. Tie necklace into place using the seam binding with neat and tidy bows or slip knots.
5. Depending on the value of the necklace and the form, maybe a second layer of fabric over the top can prevent the packing materials from rubbing on the necklace during shipping.
6. Place the necklace on the flat cardboard (or cardboard form) in a box or plastic bag.
•    For small artwork, or jewelry a Tupperware-type plastic container may be an excellent interior box.
7. Double box. That means place the necklace in an INTERIOR BOX slightly larger than the necklace and then place that box in a larger EXTERIOR SHIPPING BOX with packing material surrounding the interior box.  
    •    Glue instructions for Unpacking, Display, Maintenance and Packing on your interior box.
    •    Always include a pair of disposable gloves with your work (placed inside the interior box).
    •    Place the following papers inside the interior box with your work:
        o     A List of Inventory (including wholesale and retail value).
        o    CONDITION REPORT  (especially if this is an important piece or traveling exhibition). Find the Condition Report in the Professional Guidelines at: http://www.harriete-estel-berman.info/profguidelines/profguide.html
    •    Include a current RESUME, ARTIST STATEMENT and CD with images if you haven’t sent them already.
    •    Use brass brads or ties to securely close the box (if the lid doesn’t already seal like Tupperware, for example). DO NOT USE TAPE to seal the interior box. (Every time the box is opened it will damage the box, or add layers of yucky tape.)
8. Place the interior box into the exterior shipping box. The exterior shipping box should be at least one inch larger all around. This buffer space should be filled with foam peanuts or those new blown up/sealed plastic bags.
9. Ship with insurance. I recommend “USPS registered, insured mail” for items worth more than $1,000. Use USPS insured mail for items worth $1,000 or less.
Never pack work in bubble pack secured with clear tape. The person unpacking the work can't see the tape and they may cut the work when cutting the tape.  In addition, when the tape is cut, the bubble wrap is damaged and not reusable for return shipping.

If you must use bubble wrap to wrap work, use colored masking tape which is easy to see and easily removed. If the above instructions are too elaborate for the value of the necklace, then perhaps the necklace could be mounted on a plain piece of cardboard (or even a piece of cereal box cardboard or file folder), tied with twist ties (to keep it in place), and then placed in a plastic bag.  Whatever the appropriate level, you want to send your work in packaging that is sturdy, neat, reusable and labeled properly for return shipping.

Sincerely,
Harriete Estel Berman