Click on the presentations and links below to learn more about shipping issues for Artists and Makers.  Shipping issues specific to the media or size of the work are addressed. Without a doubt your objective should be to ship your art or craft without damage or unnecessary risk. No carrier is perfect. Your best assurance for safe shipping is your packing. Careful preparation is your key to success, but if your work is ever damaged during shipping use the Claims for Damaged Work from the Professional Guidelines  to make a successful claim. Learn more about shipping insurance at the bottom of this page. 

If you are shipping your work to an exhibition don't forget to use the Condition Report from the Professional Guidelines. 
Contact me anytime with your questions.


Documentation for shipping is your first step to protect your art and craft when it is leaving your studio

Design Your Sculpture for Shipping

Pack Your Art or Craft Work to Protect It from Loss or Damage During Shipping

The next two presentations are for one of a kind art or craft. Scroll down for presentations about shipping jewelry or large sculpture. 

The PDF Step-by-Step Guide for Preparing a Custom Shipping Box
PDF  Handout for one-of-a-kind art or craft is 26MB with images (give it time to download)

Shipping Jewelry is a Specialized Situation. 

Usually jewelry is small and easy to steal. Sometimes high value materials increase security risk. In the presentation below Tina Pint from Jeweler's Mutual Insurance Company shares her words of advice. This presentation was originally give during the SNAG Professional Development Seminar 2012.

Shipping Large Sculpture

Shipping large sculpture presents a unique set of challenges. Designing the work to be disassembled or packed compactly can be cost effective solution. Removing fragile elements is also an important consideration when shipping large sculptures with fragile elements. High shipping costs may be compounded by the cost of shipping by dimensional weight are all expensive. Sculptor Kim Cridler offers great information for shipping large artwork & sculpture and "thinking outside the box" options to reduce cost. This presentation was originally given during the SNAG Professional Development Seminar 2012.  Kim Cridler's PDF Handout provides helpful information for shipping large sculpture. 

Shipping Art and Craft Across International Borders

When shipping art or craft across international borders, usually the biggest obstacles are finding out what is the appropriate paperwork and anticipating taxes and fees. Andy Cooperman worked hard to point out some of the issues surrounding international issues, but be careful. Each country has its own customs, paperwork, rules and regulations. In addition, in some countries theft is frequent problem. Be prepared first by listening to this presentation, then do your own research using the recommended options. This presentation was originally given during the SNAG Professional Development Seminar 2012 The PDF Handout from Andy Cooperman offers useful information. 

ARTISTS USE *97* SHIPPING CODES ON ART TO AVOID VAT AND CUSTOMS HOLDS by Maria Kazalia offers a stunning resource for shipping internationally while legally avoiding taxes and penalties. If you are shipping your artwork cross borders take time to read her suggestions.

Shipping Comparisons: Shipping cost and insurance with common carriers

While this presentation by Loring Takoda was given many years ago, the principles still hold true. Shipping costs have increased significantly since this presentation but USPS registered mail is still the least expensive including shipping insurance. FedEx is at least twice as much and in my experience very rude. UPS is fine for shipping manufactured merchandise but should not be used for shipping one of a kind art or craft. Handout by Loring Takoda

Leila Hamdan offers her experience as a registrar from the National Ornamental Metal Museum. The time it takes to listen to her words of advice will be saved over and over in protecting your art or craft during shipping. It is also important to remember that shipping to exhibitions is a completely different scenario than shipping to a gallery. At exhibitions your packing needs to be fool proof and completely reusable for return shipping. 

Carefully packed work for shipping greatly reduces the risk of damage and fosters a more professional impression upon arrival. High quality packing implies high quality work that demands and receives better handling by exhibition staff and careful installation according to instructions.  

Hastily and poorly packed work increases the risk of damage during shipping. Upon arrival, pieces of work may be lost in the packing materials or damaged when unwrapped. If the artist did not provide packing instructions or reusable packing materials, work may be repacked in inappropriate containers or damaged during return shipment. This presentation was given at the SNAG Professional Development Seminar 2012. 

Shipping Information and Shipping  Insurance 

My professional recommendation as an artist and maker is to use USPS, registered mail, insured for shipping one of a kind art or craft with a wholesale value over $1,000. For shipping art or craft below $1,000 value use USPS insured mail. USPS offers the best handling, least expensive shipping insurance, and the most cost effective shipping rates. Fed Ex offers good handling at twice the price. UPS is not suitable for shipping one-of-a-kind  art or craft.