Last week I sold an original, “The Jury”. Terrific! But my delight was quickly tempered by the realization that now I needed to figure out how to ship this unframed artwork to the buyer in Kentucky, minimizing the probability it would get damaged in transit.
The last time I had this problem, I sandwiched the unmatted, unmounted art between two sheets of foam board. Foam board is very stiff but very lightweight, ideal to save on shipping costs. But USPS managed to crease it, which made a crease in the artwork. I was horrified when my buyer told me, and I offered to buy it back, but he wouldn’t hear of it, he was just pleased to have my art.
So this time, I went a step further. I bought a sheet of 1/8″ masonite at Home Depot for $4 and had them cut it into two pieces large enough to make a 1″ border all the way around the artwork. I wiped them down with a damp cloth to remove all dust. I placed a sheet of tracing paper over the artwork, then wrapped the matted, mounted artwork in plastic. I centered the artwork on the masonite. I cut several squares of foam board and glued them to the masonite around the perimeter of the artwork to hold it in place. I taped a sheet of tracing paper to the facing sheet of masonite, to further protect the 8-ply mat. Then I sandwiched the layers together and secured the entire perimeter with shipping tape, leaving no gaps. The result was a very stiff, un-creasable flat package, with the artwork firmly nestled in the center of its interior.
The artwork is in transit as I post this. I’m pretty sure this one will arrive unscathed! Total cost of shipping materials: $4 (since I already had foam board and tracing paper on hand. Total postage, with insurance: ~$16.
March 4 followup: My buyer reported that it arrived in Kentucky in perfect condition! Looks like I’ve found a good formula.