Aug
06

Post 6: Cables and Crates

Second to last post before the bog is caught up, this one is from just a couple weeks ago.  After getting back to Bennington, I only had a couple days of working on my sculpture before I got an email.  The guy who ran the kilns at Montgomery College, where I had my first workshop, emailed to tell me that the work was ready for pickup.  I only had access to a truck for about a week or so, and he told me he was going on parental leave in a couple days, so two days after I got the email, I drove up to get my work.  and thus began the most stressful shipping experience I’ve ever had.

Luckily, I had asked Lindsay about how to ship work during my first workshop, so I had some idea of what I was doing, and I drove up with a roll of bubble wrap, five sheets of Styrofoam, a homemade crate, a bunch of power tools, and a ton of upholstery foam.  when I got to Bennington, I found out that my work had survived firing mostly intact, with only a few cracks.  As much as this was good news, those cracks told me that there were weak spots, and that the pieces could easily break if I didn’t pack them right.  I started with the Ibex head.  I measured the distance and angle of flatter portions of the head, and used that to align a couple 2x4s lined with 2 layers of foam, one soft, one rigid. The head got placed on them, then I put 2 more 2x4s on the sides, holding it in place.  one more 2×4 on top, and the head was secured (if the way I phrased that was confusing, look at the pics down below, the general idea is to limit the amount of vibrations that reach the head, while making sure it can’t move).  I put the crate in the bed of the truck, on top of more sheets of foam to dampen vibrations, put wood supports on each side, and wrapped it with ropes to keep it from moving around, hoping that would be enough.

The other pieces were a lot easier to pack, I just wrapped them in bubble wrap.  The horns I put in my backseat, which I lined with a thick piece of upholstery foam, and the deer head I wrapped in a layer of this foam and stuck under the passenger side dash.  Then I drove back to Williamsburg, constantly worried every time I hit a bump that the head was going to shatter.  But, after making it home and using a hand cart to move the pieces (thanks to construction shutting down the loading dock), I found out they all survived!.  Either I got lucky, or what I learned worked, but either way, I now have a couple ceramic animal heads to finish, and I know how to ship work.

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