I regularly send animal sculptures all over the world so having good packing skills is essential and something I have fine tuned over the years. The best piece of advice I have ever been given on packing is ‘Pack as if they are going to throw it down a flight of stairs!’
I start with the extremities, creating a doughnut of bubble wrap around the ear (for example) but not touching it. I continue this upwards until it is surrounded. Next I create pads which bridge vulnerable parts, such as where a tail meets the body. These will cushion an impact. Large pads are put an either sides of legs, again creating a cushion to deflect any impact. I then roll the animal sculpture up in large bubble wrap about four times over and tape it up tightly.
The next step is to prepare the box. I tend to use ‘Biofil’ loose-fill to fill the voids and create more cushioning. Biofil is a potato derivative and environmentally friendly; the starch chips actually dissolve in water. Once the box is full with the animal sculpture and has 20cm of Biofil on all sides I tape up the box.
I have 5cm polystyrene pads (sadly no enviro-friendly alternative yet) specially made for me which are stuck on all sides of the box before placing it into a second outer box. This is to keep it in position. Both boxes are specially made so they fit together perfectly. Double boxing reduces the chance of impact harming the animal sculpture. Finally, I stick ‘Handle with care’ stickers on it for good luck!