Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Packing pots

About this time a year ago I attended my first wholesale show in Baltimore. For those of you who don't know, a wholesale show is one where artists set up their display and many gallery owners from all over the US come and make orders for the upcoming year. I was very blessed with a successful show and have spent much of my studio time over the past year filling orders for new galleries. It was a goal of mine to have a wider range of exposure, and I was able to do that as a result of the show.

Yesterday I packed my final order (actually, I may have two more orders if waitlist galleries still want the work) of the year. It felt good to see a giant list have the final X through the order to say it was shipped. I thought I'd share a little about my packing process, as I've gotten a little better at it (although I still occasionally have breakage- it's hard to completely guard against someone dropping your box, which happened last week!).

I first get all my pieces together and check the list to make sure I haven't overlooked any items.

Each piece will be wrapped well with bubble wrap, with the end taped so it doesn't come free. Masking tape or another colored tape works best because whomever is unpacking on the other end will be able to easily find the tape (rather than using clear plastic tape). I often tear off a bunch of strips because it's much more efficient than wrapping the piece, putting it down, tearing one piece, etc.Here's a pile of wrapped and taped pieces:

The final mess of bubble-wrapped pile. I like to have all the pieces out so when I'm loading the boxes, I can see what may fit in a little nook. I didn't take any pictures of the loaded boxes, but a couple things to keep in mind:

-don't stack plates flat on the bottom of the box. Instead, create a little nest with newsprint and stack them diagonally or on their ends. I will often add a little paper cushion in between the plates as well

-Fill all gaps between pieces with newsprint- you don't want the work shifting in the box

-add extra bubble wrap around protruding handles, feet, and spouts before wrapping the entire piece Always double box your work with at least 2" of foam peanuts in between. That's my gigantor bag of peanuts- 20 cubic feet!

I always overfill the top because the peanuts tend to break down through transport:

The process yesterday took a little under 3 hours (which is always longer than I think it will!). This was a particularly large order, so it took me a bit longer to wrap all the work. This all includes wrapping, packing, typing the invoice, creating a cd of images and info, dropping it off at UPS and a quick trip to Wendy's for a celebratory Frosty!


Elaine Spallone said...

Awesome to see that process and know the tricks!

Ron said...

You are amazing. I can't believe you do all you do. Great job on all those galleries.

Becky said...

Wow! Doubt that I'll ever get to this point, yet it's good to see the process. BTW, the stuff that's coming out of your current class is really cool! Luv the new bowl template and hope to play with it sometime soon.

Also am looking forward to the NoDa gallery opening in Feb.

How's the baybay?

Amy Sanders said...

Ron- thanks, same to you

Becky- there are some of those templates under the long table in the front classroom. Feel free to use them anytime. The little one is great- moving sometimes!