Thursday, December 20, 2012

Packing and Shipping Work

A funny thing happens every time I get ready to do a show. Shortly before the show, as I am planning for it, I start to worry that I don't have enough work or anything worth showing. A day or so before I am to set up or install the show, the worry turns to mild panic. Then I start to pack up the work for the show. And after a while, I realize that I actually do have a lot of work and I start to be more concerned with whether I have enough packing materials or space in the car.

It used to be that I kept an audience for this spectacle. During those times of my life when I didn't have a large enough permanent residence in which to store the work, I would store the work at my parents house and I would voice my worry, panic and relief to my mother. Who would mostly just laugh at me.

Now I keep my work in my studio which isn't nearly as remote or solitary as my parent's basement, though it tends to be colder. Today as I progressed through an accelerated version of worry/panic/relief, my daughter and husband orchestrated a Angry Birds piggie attack on my studio. I had to use a space eagle to save my ceramic eggs.

hide your eggs!

I was packing up work to take to a show up at Central Washington University. Tomorrow I will be installing a version of last winter's "Kekino" installation at the Sarah Spurgeon Gallery. The show, "Yakima River Diaries,"will feature work inspired by water and specifically the Yakima River.

My "Kekino" installation at the "From The Ground Up" Exhbition 2012
SRAM Gears, made this past summer, will be in Bremerton next month
I also have work boxed up to go to Bremerton for "The CVG Show" at Collective Visions Gallery. "The CVG Show" is a juried exhibition. I am shipping my work, which saves me a trip, but it is much more difficult to pack work that will be unpacked and repacked by someone else. If I am driving work up, I tend to pack it more casually.

the top of my sculpture, partially packed

When I am packing work to ship, I liked to double box it so that it is less likely that something will punch through a double layer of cardboard box and break my piece. I also tend to put a layer of some kind of padding between the inner and outer boxes. This provides extra space and extra cushion in case something does poke through. In high school I had an oil pastel drawing at the state art show. It won an award and was subsequently shipped to the national show. Unfortunately, the show shipped there and back and I didn't have any contact with the piece or control of how it was handled. When it was returned to my parents house, I was there to accept it. The delivery man came to the back door and handed me a wide, thin cardboard box with a hole in it. We repaired the drawing, but I was not impressed. 

labeled unpacking directions for the top of my sculpture

This particular show banned packing peanuts as a packing material for shipped work. I used pieces of foam and egg cartons to cushion and support the piece and keep it from moving around inside the box. The bike part pieces are harder to ship than my usual work because they have more bits sticking out of them. I had to cut a space in some of the support foam for the largest gear to fit. I also taped the foam pieces to the box so that the work could (hopefully) be repacked to be shipped back to me.

foam taped on lid of interior box so that it is easy to open, unpack and repack
To take my work up to Ellensburg where I will unpack it, I've just wrapped each piece in a towel and stacked them in a couple laundry baskets.

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