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Packing Pottery Fast


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#1 Mark C.

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 05:46 PM



Mark

Getting out of shows came up on another thread. I mentioned to TRJ that I would follow up on getting out of show earlier than my jeweler friends. Packing pots is what I do so much of I'll share a few tips.

Keep in mind this will not work for everyone’s work-The factors are many but as a functional cone 10 potter packing lots of pots in the shortest amount of time is a key point as working efficiently in all phases makes pottery making for a living possible.

I learned back in the 70's to pack from some high-end potters who had tons of time in each piece-we where at an indoor show in San Francisco and they had a booth across from mine.

At pack up they saw me wrapping each piece with paper and said that will take forever here is a faster way-That was over 30 years ago and I've packed more tons of pots that my back wants to recall

So 1st know the limits of your work that is how tough is it?? If its cone 06 then its like super fragile and skip this and wrap it all 4 times then pray

If its cone 6 you are on your own as I have zero experience with that work range-but if its cone 10 porcelain like mine then this works well

Now let me say that wether you pack it into a mini van or pickup or a van like mine this packing will work for it all-If your work is not functional and has lots of things that snap off do not consider this way of packing-as noted not for everyone or all work.

I like to use banana and apple boxes from the store-they are heavy duty and are easy and FREE to get. I have about 80 at any one time.

When unloading after pricing I pack them just like at a show-I pick a form and box it up then another form and fill another box when its all done I may have a box or two with misc. leftover forms.

I do not wrap each piece ever with paper-Use whatever paper you like-I like unprinted newspaper on a roll.

I took some photos of yesterdays kiln packing-glasses which are packed just like my mugs two layers high-also a box of round and square bowls- I put a piece of paper between each bowl do not wrap them stack them and a small box of honey/jam /garlic keepers with a few small baking dishes on top-one layer of paper between and the key is pack them TIGHT so they cannot move around. I rarely have any breakage. So pack tight same forms as much as you can get into a box and get on with making more.

Mark




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#2 Venicemud

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 05:57 PM

Thanks Mark, nothing separating each item? You are relying totally on a tight fit? A bit scary. I love your glazes,

Joan
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#3 Clay Pigeon Pottery

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:04 PM

I'm drooling on my keyboard over the glaze on those two bowls in the right front....LOL!

#4 BeckyH

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 11:11 PM

We use plastic bins with cardboard dividers sized to the different heights of the mugs, goblets, etc. If necessary we add some padding to the sides once the compartments are full. The bins are weather tight, which is great when we are at an outdoor show. From a full set up of 20 feet of tables with stepped shelving on them and a pop- up pavilion, to loaded and ready to drive off takes about 25 minutes.

#5 TJR

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 08:01 AM

Hey, Mark;
Thanks for the tips. That individual wrapping of work gets old real fast. I make similar sized forms, stoneware and porcelain, so I will try your technique.
TJR

#6 GEP

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 09:16 AM

I pack for shows in a very similar manner ... therefore it works for cone 6 stoneware too!

I will use an occasional piece of bubble wrap to separate things, but otherwise everythings gets packed a tightly as possible with no cushioning. The trick to doing it safely is to make sure the load will not move.

I can get $6000 worth of inventory into four 15 gallon plastic boxes. Seeing Mark's photos inspires me to produce even more of the things that pack efficiently, in order to increase the amount of inventory I can bring.

Mea
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#7 Pres

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 09:22 AM

I pack for shows in a very similar manner ... therefore it works for cone 6 stoneware too!

I will use an occasional piece of bubble wrap to separate things, but otherwise everythings gets packed a tightly as possible with no cushioning. The trick to doing it safely is to make sure the load will not move.

I can get $6000 worth of inventory into four 15 gallon plastic boxes. Seeing Mark's photos inspires me to produce even more of the things that pack efficiently, in order to increase the amount of inventory I can bring.

Mea


I did shows in the 90's, and used to be able to pack pretty fast with ^6 functional. I would get liquor boxes from the liquor store-those with the partitions. Often you could get 1/4 partitions, 1/8 and 1/12th partitions. Stacking mugs and bowls in these was easy-I just threw in a cardboard spacer between pots stacking as high as the box. Really fast!

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#8 yedrow

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 09:43 AM

Great advice Mark, thanks!

#9 Ron B

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 12:28 PM

I use 66 quart plastic tote boxes and precut 1/8" foam pieces to circle around mugs and cups. For the bowls, etc I use flat pieces of the foam, cut to size, between them and then fill the empty spaces with more foam pieces. Sorting simular size pieces before packing will save you time also on packing.

Foam for the mugs (6" wide) is from a big box hardware store and is used on the sill plate to form a seal with the wood, just cut to the length that you need to circle the piece. To find other foam, locate a packing material company and see what they have. The roll that I bought was 12" wide and very long. Cut your foam sheet to the size that you need for your specific work. They last longer and don't tear or become a hassle to use like newspaper.

I cut my packing time in half by using the foam pieces. Label each tote with what should go into it so that you can grab the correct one for the pieces that you are going to pack. This foam also is also great between pieces if you are shipping to a customer before wrapping with bubble wrap.

#10 TJR

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 11:06 AM


I pack for shows in a very similar manner ... therefore it works for cone 6 stoneware too!

I will use an occasional piece of bubble wrap to separate things, but otherwise everythings gets packed a tightly as possible with no cushioning. The trick to doing it safely is to make sure the load will not move.

I can get $6000 worth of inventory into four 15 gallon plastic boxes. Seeing Mark's photos inspires me to produce even more of the things that pack efficiently, in order to increase the amount of inventory I can bring.

Mea


I did shows in the 90's, and used to be able to pack pretty fast with ^6 functional. I would get liquor boxes from the liquor store-those with the partitions. Often you could get 1/4 partitions, 1/8 and 1/12th partitions. Stacking mugs and bowls in these was easy-I just threw in a cardboard spacer between pots stacking as high as the box. Really fast!


Pres;
I know a potter who does this as well. Just leave the cardboard partitions in, and then just slide the work in. Great for mugs and tumblers and goblets.I don't know if you can do it with bowls,as they are pretty wide. I am trying this.
TJR.

#11 DAY

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:47 AM

After you pack your boxes, do you THROW them into your van? UPS does. . .Posted Image


I learned early, early on what works for retail does not for wholesale.
New bubble wrap, new peanuts, and new double boxes. $500 (wholesale) in an 18x18x18 gets from coast to coast with nary a chip.

#12 TJR

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:42 AM

After you pack your boxes, do you THROW them into your van? UPS does. . .Posted Image


I learned early, early on what works for retail does not for wholesale.
New bubble wrap, new peanuts, and new double boxes. $500 (wholesale) in an 18x18x18 gets from coast to coast with nary a chip.


Now we are talking about a different animal. We are talking slow and careful packing that takes a long time, but insures no breakage over a long distance. I packed pots in Australia and sent them back to Canada. Double boxed, lined the outside box with styrafoam board cut to fit, bubblewrap, two boxes one inside the other. I broke one lid on a wood fired teapot, as I left the lid sitting on the teapot. Should have packed it separately. Lesson learned.
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#13 clay lover

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:13 AM

I have been known to take pieces that I make multiple of to the liquor store with me to 'try boxes with cardboard partitions on for size'. Often I end up selling the try-on pieces to some one in the store.

With flatish pieces, I often find boxes that will allow me to set them up on their edges, with a layer of foam add to the bottom of the box. Sort of like qwe used to box record albums. now you know how OLD I am.Posted Image
I stand the platers up with a sheet of cardboard cut to fit between each one till the box is packed tight. the cardboard stays in the packing box, I just slot the going home one back in between the cardboard.

Something I have difficulty with the going home packing is keeping things separate by type. when I sell 2/3 of those platters, then the box isn't tight and I don't have another item that also fits that box style. So I end up with a mixed lot of things in each box, and carry home empty boxes or 1/2 full sloppy packing. Need to keep the empties, they are part of my pre -prepared going out system. Any advice on the 1/2 or mixed up, unpack- repack at home issue?
I would love to be able to pack up going home with things all together so as to not have to re do everything for the next show, leave things packed to just load up. Is this a pipe dream?

#14 DAY

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:50 AM

I would love to be able to pack up going home with things all together so as to not have to re do everything for the next show, leave things packed to just load up. Is this a pipe dream?
[/quote]

Speaking of "pipe dreams', back in the 80's we used to go home with a pocket full of cash, and a few traded items.Posted Image

#15 neilestrick

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 02:49 PM

I don't wrap everything, but I put a piece or two of thin foam between each piece, and just nestle each piece in around the other pieces as snug as possible. I start with the largest pieces at the bottom of the box, then fill in with the largest pieces I can fit in a spot, cramming small cups and lids into the small voids between the larger pots. I do not ever use paper. It really doesn't provide any cushioning at all unless you use a ton of it. I do use it to wrap the pots I sell, though. I take 8 large plastic totes full of pots to each show, about $7,000 worth of stuff. At the end of a show I can be on the road in under 75 minutes with everything packed, canopy and all. If I sell a couple boxes worth of pots, I can be on the road in an hour.

The only issue I have with Mark's system is that I will never use cardboard boxes, only plastic totes. I once had to pack up at a show in a rain storm that destroyed everything that wasn't plastic. Had I not had plastic boxes that day I would have had a hard time getting my work home.
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#16 Pres

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:13 PM

After you pack your boxes, do you THROW them into your van? UPS does. . .Posted Image


I learned early, early on what works for retail does not for wholesale.
New bubble wrap, new peanuts, and new double boxes. $500 (wholesale) in an 18x18x18 gets from coast to coast with nary a chip.


Different topic here, but I'll bite. I ship chalices and patens from coast to coast using single boxes 14X14X14m popped popcorn, and bubble wrap. Compression is part of the secret, good tape, and USPS shipping. In 20 years only lost one except for the time when my son sent out the shipment(lost 3/4ths! I don't insure, and send regular parcel post. Easiest for me, completely against the standards out there, but it works.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#17 Mark C.

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:52 PM

A few points to add-my boxes mostly live in my van all the time only out for unpacking and packing- hence they do not get wet. My extended van is a dedicated fair/pottery vehicle and never gets unpacked all the way. They are square (hold more)and slide on top of one another (packed 6 high) well as there is no lip like most plastic tubs have- No lifting up to get them out. Even if a few got toasted the price is right on them and they recycle well. I keep a few on wood sticks (6-12) above wet ground with a water proof white tarp CLIPPED TO THEM for backstock out of any rain. I carry over 70 to a big show and usually sell 1/3 of them at least and take home the emptys. Smaller shows maybe 50-60 boxes-I always leave lots of backstock in van so I never run out of most items-This cannot be understated.A van full is two shows worth unless the show is a great one-which as of now I have 3 like that. Those shows I have done for over 20 straight years and built up clientele.
mark
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#18 Mark C.

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:59 PM

Since some are talking about shipping pots and I did some of that today as well as a dinnerware set last week I'll say I always double box and keep all pots from touching one another.1 to 2 inshes around boxes and all is well-bubbles sheet foam or peanuts your choice I use it all.I tape forms so thay cannot move or touch each other when tossed. Lids are separate forms.
I use a variety of packing materials and keep a shed dedicated for that of free packing stuff.I make sure one can throw the box and it will survive-I just sent 50# of pottery to San Francisco -no breakage-rarely do I see any with the exception of shipping during the holidays which Now I refuse to do as they do bust stuff then and I;m to busy selling it then to ship anyway.
Mark
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#19 neilestrick

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 08:53 AM

When I ship plates, I stack 6 together with two sheets of thin foam in between each, then tape them all together to form a solid mass. As long as things can't rattle against each other, they won't break. These go into a single box with cardboard baffles around them to prevent them from migrating through the peanuts. Never had one break.
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#20 BeckyH

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 09:03 AM

Our big worry is chips at the rim and foot. As long as there are no clinky noises from the bin, things will be just fine.




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