Sculpture and shipping are not natural bedfellows. Clients are naturally concerned about shipping, particularly when ordering ceramic pieces internationally. They want their animal sculptures to be safe. But they also care about environmentally friendly shipping.
Great care must be taken with packing my animal sculptures in order for them to survive the ordeal of shipping. Over the years, I’ve developed various techniques to ensure my animal sculptures are as secure as possible in transit. As you would expect, I use copious quantities of packing materials. Many pieces are double-boxed.
In recent years, in an effort to reduce my own carbon footprint as much as possible, I’ve tested and changed the products I use in an effort to move towards environmentally friendly shipping whilst continuing to ensure my animal sculptures are as safely packed as possible for their onward journey.
Bubble wrap offers the safest and most reliable packaging and there are now environmentally friendly alternatives. I use ‘BioAir Degradable’ bubble wrap which will naturally degrade within 2-3 years. I have tried paper alternatives but they do not have the air cushion technology that ceramic sculpture needs to ensure it is properly protected. I do supplement bubble wrap with paper packaging. I also use paper based tape to secure bubblewrap and boxes.
Another packaging staple is loosefill. This is needed to immobilise the packaged sculpture within the box. In the interests of environmentally friendly shipping, I’ve switched to potato starch loosefill. This innovative product (which smells like crisps) is feather light and effectively fills any voids in the box. This ensures the wrapped sculpture is safely suspended within its protective box. This Biofill dissolves in water.
A custom-sized outer box is lined with twisted recycled paper which suspends the inner box. Overall, when packing, I work on the assumption that the box is going to be thrown down a flight of stairs! Double-boxing gives an all-round buffer zone for the sculpture. Ultimately there is at least 30cm of cushioning between the sculpture and the outside of the box. All the card and paper products are easily recyclable.
For large bronze animal sculptures custom-built wooden crates are used and shipped using specialist couriers. All my animal sculpture deliveries are fully insured for peace of mind. As you can see, safe environmentally friendly shipping is not as straight forward as first appears. But it’s an essential part of my business and something I take very seriously.
If you’d like to commission your own animal sculpture, contact the studio and we’ll talk about subject, pose, media, price and – of course – shipping. It’s all part of the service.