Jump to content
andryea

Transporting your work to an art fair

Recommended Posts

How you do handle this aspect of art fairing? I went to my first 'makers market' and am in a bit of a quandry about packing and repacking my work when traveling to an art fair. 

My first experience was a bit of a free for all. I got out a variety of new and used  bubble wrap (large bubble, small bubble), some thin soft sheets of styrofoam, textured paper etc. I was diligent and careful as I packed everything at home. I took my time organizing the pieces. Nesting and carefully wrapping with padding in between when appropriate. I bubble wrapped other pieces individually. Everything made it there no problem. Where I ran into problems with my 'system' or lack there of was when I packed to leave. It wasn't leisurely and I wasn't organized in the same way. Pieces got rewrapped haphazardly because I had helpers and I rushed. Once home, when I unpacked, I discovered a broken piece (thankfully only one).

Now, as I prepare to do another fair I want to be smarter. I want avoid what happened and do things differently.

I'd love to hear how all you who travel with their work to fairs and shows how you do it. What kind of packing materials do you use with bowls (of all sizes), plates/platters,  mugs and more fragile items? What do you pack everything into... plastic totes, boxes, crates? Do you use anything special? My nature is to pack tight which I think may be working against me in this arena.

Anyway, I'd appreciate all the  help or advice you have to offer. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

andryea,

I use a lot of wine, whiskey type boxes from local store. . . here in PA, the State store. You may also get them from your grocery store etc. The partitions in these, allow you to stack with cardboard between layers, so in a 6 partition box you could get 18 mugs. This type of packing is really effortless, and will allow you to keep cost down. I do put bubble wrap cut in 1/4 sheets for lidded jars the size of mugs. 

I have also seen folks create wheeled on one end boxes that are partitioned and then stand for display. Lots of things to think about with booth design and prep for a show. You may find more strands for this if you do a search on the main page so that you will search all categories.

 

best,

Pres

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My stuff is about right for Home' Depot's medium heavy boxes.  Your mileage may vary.  I use about 2 full rolls of carpet padding (also Home Dopeo. ( not a misspelling).  Per kiln load.    As long as their are no "clinks" when moving boxes, there will be no problems.  Large pots first, no empty spaces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use foam sheets to separate my pots. It provides great cushioning without being bulky. I buy the 1/16 inch thick foam, 12” wide, with perforations every 12 inches. (thank you for asking this question ... you reminded me that I need to buy more foam)

https://www.uline.com/BL_857/Uline-UPSable-Foam-Rolls

I think the only thing you did wrong was let your “helpers” pack your pots :-)

And “packing tight” is the right way to approach it. Pots that can”t move are safe. And it’s space efficient. 

Edited by GEP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link.  I'm getting some really great info on this forum.  

I'm questioning whether the 1/16 would work for me.  Some of my pots are good size, say 15lbs of clay and often odd shapes.  Even with the carpet pad, I often double up or roll the pad to fill a space.  Stil, l the heaviest they offer is 1/4" that comes out to .22 per square foot.  Seems reasonable if shipping doesn't cost a lot.  Pretty bulky stuff to ship.  I'll check it out next time I'm packing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm the odd man out-I use unprinted newspaper (rolls for really cheap from a newspaper) to pack pots. I use banana boxes which are stapled on bottom as well as apple boxes all from the supermarket . I have used this system for about 35 years-before that it was wooden apple crates back when they where all hand made and wood-also from the market.

I like this system as its all recyclable materials

If it rains I stack them on wooded slats and tarp them. They last for many years and I can get more anytime.The paper is harder to run down these days-They call it roll ends.

I pack flat round stuff in the apple boxes like dinnerware -chip and dips etc -The apple boxes hold everything else.

There are a few potters I know who use this system.Also a few that buy thier boxes as well.All these folks are on larger scale than most.

Edited by Mark C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you like recycled materials, check this out.  When I can recover my packing I use foam that I have been saving for 25+ years.  Back in the day, phone systems (PBX) used cards for different functions.  Sometimes 50 or more on a new install.  The cards where a full 16"x16".  Each card was packed separately with 2 of these sheets.  I have a half dozen boxes full. Some of them are on their last legs now, but I haven't thrown any out yet.  The carpet padding is only for when I drop off full boxes at my wholesale account.  Which I hope will be more often.  They reuse the packing, so they're happy to pay for it.

I have a roll of unprinted newsprint.  I got it from Smart and Final some time ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On one of my very first outdoor markets, I got rained on pretty heavily.  I managed to stay dry under my tent, but because the back end of my booth was in the gutter, all my cardboard boxes that needed to be stored there got soaked through and ruined. I wound up packing all my pots into reusable grocery bags that were thankfully left in my van. My earnings from that show went towards some Rubbermaid bins.

I like the shortest size of those ubiquitous bins because you can stack them three in a row across the cargo section of a minivan and they don't shift. They stack very neatly on top of each other, and if you use the shorter ones, you can't over fill them to the point where you get breakage from the weight, as long as you pack tightly. I just use regular newspaper for cushioning. We got a subscription for about six months when someone came around selling them and just stored them all. I recycle the pieces that get too trashed.

I have a friend who went to the bargain section at the fabric store, and bought several meters of fabric, and cut them to size to wrap her pots in. Her business model is to sell 90% mugs, so one standard size of wrapping works for her.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/28/2019 at 4:47 PM, Pres said:

You may find more strands for this if you do a search on the main page so that you will search all categories.

 

best,

Pres

I must be doing something wrong because I have been unsuccessful finding any more on this topic. How do you suggest I do the search  on the main page?

 

Thanks,

Andryea

Edited by andryea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I learned long ago to pack tight-I do not use bubble warp. I also have wares that are tough-high fired and not fragile .

I was doing a show in thelater 70's in San Francisco across from some very detailed potters who sold bird mugs of all sizes. when it came pack upo time I was busy wrapping each mug with paper and they where about done when I was 1/3 done and thay had a doubkle booth compared to my single. I asked them how that was done???

they said we pack tight-all mugs on one layer a piece of paper bettween layers and then another layer of mugs-been doing that ever since -I'm known for quick exits.

bowls require one picece of paper between them. Pack tight-I rarely break work. I know the works limits-if you are new this will take time-I never let others pack pots with detailed instructions.

I could write a book on pickups but most over wrap the heck out of work and talk story in the slow time of show ends.I usually dring an expresso Sundayt afternoon and take down the tall stuff 1st and as its slow selling so by 5 pm the top shelves are all empty .

The other thing is on Sunday around 3 pm I start repacking  to get a jump on the dead time at a show.After a three day fair my mind is already down the road by 3 pm and the wares just need to follow.Double booth take longer.

Edited by Mark C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No cardboard, no paper. Only plastic bins. Wet boxes and paper can make packing in wet conditions even more miserable. I use foam sheets, but I do not wrap anything- I tumble stack. Individually wrapping each pot takes forever, and bubble wrap doesn't protect the edges unless you have several layers, which wastes a lot of space. I put the biggest pots in the bin, and start filling in with smaller pots, putting two layers of 1/16" foam between them as I nestle them into the stack. Everything is snug and doesn't roll around. I've had bins fall over and not break anything. Using the tumble stack method I can pack every pot in 20 minutes. At most shows I will be on the road in under an hour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I buy the dish moving pouches at Lowes/Home Depot (about 50 cents a piece but last a long time) and come in small and large size. They may have a medium but have only seen and bought the two. It was a few hundred buck investment to start but just did it once and now just add a package or two here and there to replace ratty ripped ones from time to time. 

I wouldn't stress too much about it though. We've done dozens of shows (one day and three day) and have only had a couple of damaged pots and none in a long time and we pack and unpack as fast as possible. Just make sure they are wrapped with something. MarK C turned us on to using cardboard squares in divided boxes over bubble wrap for mugs and we put those boxes in plastic bins (weather better). Can stack two and three layers of mugs really fast and used that method with zero issues. Ditched it lately for the pouches on mugs too because bigger mugs became a problem. Bubble wrap worked fine for years but we found it to really made breakdown take longer. Now we just slide into pouch and stack. Have to be careful on weight though because boxes will hold a lot of pots packed that way.  

It probably takes two of us half an hour or so to pack a few hundred pots this way.

Edited by Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I pretty much use the same system as Neil.  Just pack everything tight with no paper/foam.  In the last 10 shows I have only broken 2 sponge holders and I bring many hundreds of pieces to each show.  I have some rough surfaced wood fired pieces and I do put a sheet of newspaper around those because they can scratch other pots if there is a little rattling while moving/driving.  I am usually one of the first folks packed up at a show. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My van holds 70 boxes when full-just did a one day show zero breakage-unlaoded about 60 boxes for show and repacked them as some where partials.

Edited by Mark C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When my sister moved she gave me all her foam sleeves for packing dishes.  I am a fan. She got them from Amazon, I believe.  Lots of sizes.   I agree with everyone else as far as packing tight and in stackable tubs. Just make certain you can heft them yourself.  So the size of the tub is important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stopped using bubble wrap after my first real windy show....as i unpacked my pots the wind took my wrap and blew it down the road. I now use uncut cloth bolts, cheaply got on clearance at the fabric store and thrift store and some muslin bags i found at a thrift. If it is round and fits in a five gallon bucket it gets stacked in a bucket with a fold of fabric between bowls or plates and extra fabric tucked around and smaller bowls bagged in the muslin bags and tucked around the stack of larger bowls. Things that don't fit in buckets i.e. platters and wall hangings get put in plastic bins and layered with cloth. One torrential downpour and your cardboard is a soggy mess...i remember one show having to pack up with water halfway to my knees under my tent. That was the show that i actually backed my truck under my tent and loaded it all up finding the footing easier barefoot than shoed...i now have rubber boots in the truck for those kind of days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.