Nobody enjoys moving, but moving with art supplies and artwork presents its own unique set of challenges and frustrations. If you’re relocating your art studio, it’s important to protect expensive art supplies from damage or loss and carefully pack irreplaceable artwork so it arrives at its new home intact. Coming in at number 3 in a list of the top 10 items most likely to be damaged during a move, artwork deserves extra time and care to ensure its safety during transport. Read on for a few important tips for securely packing up your studio for a move.
Secure Flat Files
If you have a well-stocked flat file or other loose artwork, the safest way to transport it is to roll it and store it in cardboard tubes. These tubes are cheap to come by, and they protect loose artwork from bending or tearing during transport. Aim for tubes at least 3 inches in diameter in order to limit bending as much as possible. If you’re rolling more than one piece into a single tube, use a non-stick barrier paper like glassine between each item. Pack the tubes into cardboard roll files to secure them during transport.
If you have to move canvasses or framed artwork like paintings and prints, you’ll want to pick up some special materials to prevent damage during a bumpy ride or humid weather. Stretch wrap keeps items tightly bound so they don’t bend or break in transit. It’s also effective at sealing pieces from moisture and preventing damage from packing materials. Without shrink wrap, newspaper ink could transfer onto artwork, and packing peanuts could end up stuck to oil paints. For framed pieces, create an X across the glass with painter’s tape before encasing the item in stretch wrap. This offers a little extra protection, and helps keep the glass together in the event of a breakage.
Once a canvas is wrapped up, surround it in a couple of layers of bubble wrap for cushioning. Then place it in a cardboard box that’s just big enough for the canvas and two to three inches of dunnage material, like packing paper or packing peanuts, around each edge.
Crate Ceramics and Sculptures
If you’re moving sculptures, pottery, or other three-dimensional artwork, wooden crates offer the safest way to transport breakable pieces securely. You can commission custom crates with built-in framing and padding for maximum protection. While crating company services can be costly, it’s the best way to ensure that treasured pieces reach their destination in one piece. Plus, you can hang onto the crate for your next move or use it when you sell the artwork. If you’re handy with carpentry and have access to tools, you may also be able to construct your own crates using lumber, plywood, and foam insulation.
Box Up Supplies
Stretch wrap is your friend when it comes to packing up small supplies like brushes, paints, bottles, and other utensils. Not only will it keep things from getting knocked around, it will also secure the lids of bottles so you aren’t faced with a mess when you start unpacking. Once you have items grouped and bound, pack them into boxes with ample packing material, and label each box so it’s easy to prioritize unpacking and find what you need.
If you’re moving in hot weather, take special care with oil paints and mediums and solvents like turpentine. Not only can excessive heat compromise the integrity of your supplies, but some chemicals could also ignite if left in a hot vehicle for too long. Make sure any chemical supplies are in well-labeled boxes, and schedule them to be loaded last and unloaded first.
As an artist, your studio is one of the most valuable things you own, from the years of accumulated supplies to the hard-fought fruits of your labor. So when it comes time to move your studio, you want to be sure that your investments are protected the best they can be. If doing it all yourself seems daunting, consider hiring professional help. You can find moving companies that specialize in transporting artwork and supplies so you can rest easy knowing your work is in safe hands.
Image via Pixabay
This guest blog post was written by Aimee Lyons. We so appreciate her taking the time to write this.