Double-boxing Boxes Unboxed

2 Minute Read

By Bill HelwigMore from this author

In this day and age, everyone knows the necessity of double-boxing items shipped; but then, do they?

The boxes arrived; it was late winter and they had been left on the porch. They were taken inside and allowed to warm to the environment - natural acclimation. (Photo 1)

Of the many tasks that need to be taken care of in the daily world at Thompson Enamel, shipping and receiving is one. The approach would be to pack and ship in the same mindset as one would receive. Having seen the 'care' of pick up and delivery, it can only be concluded that a box is a box is a box. There is no care; toss it anywhere, any way. Pick up and deliver the box; it is nothing personal. Drop it off and walk away. No problem, it ain't a baby…and it sure ain't mine.

The box was opened. (Photo 2)

When shipping an object, one must realize that those who make contact with the box, see it only as a box. There is nothing inside. It is just a box. There is no concept of content, even if marked 'fragile,' 'glass,' 'liquid,' or 'this side up.'

The box, opened. (Photo 3)

There is no need to go into details, and insurance can't track how the box is handled. Once the box is out of your hands, you have no control. Insurance is a myth, because the bulk of what is shipped is commercial. While craft is commercial, art is not.

Three layers of foam were lifted. (Photo 4)

For having recovered from the death of Lenore, I gave myself a gift: two pieces from Sarah Perkins. What follows is a reenactment of their unpacking, as a counter point to how one packs.

This revealed (Photo 5) consistent packing. Removal of a fourth level revealed the second box of the box within a box.

Packing and packaging require that what arrives consummates what was sent.

The second box was opened to reveal foam padded walls, two compartments, and two bubble wrapped objects. (Photo 6)

The second box was actually opened first, because it contained a piece that had not been seen. The sequence is obvious.

The larger of the two pieces was removed in it's bubble wrap. (Photo 7)

It is important to note that the object was a steep sided bowl. It was packed upside down, it rested on it's lip, not on it's well-rounded bottom. The lip offered more support to the whole of the form in a rested shipping position.

The bubble wrap was removed to show the acid-free tissue in which the piece was initially wrapped. (Photo 8)

Of great importance: It should be well-noted that no tape was used, except on the boxes.

The object was unwrapped, and shows that 'fragile appendages' were wrapped with foam. (Photo 9)
The object was unwrapped, and shows that 'fragile appendages' were wrapped with foam. (Photo 10)
The foam was removed. (Photo 11)
The second part, the top of the container, was removed in it's bubble wrap. (Photo 12)
The bubble wrap was removed. (Photo 13)
The acid-free tissue was removed. (Photo 14)
The box is now empty. (Photo 15)
The box in scale to the object that was it's shipping home. (Photo 16)
By Bill Helwig [Volume 25, Number 3, June, 2006]
In association with
glass on metal
Glass on Metal is the only publication dedicated to enameling and related arts. Technical information, book reviews, how-to articles and insight on contemporary enamelers highlight each issue.

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