View Full Version : Question about packing pastel art to ship it

10-04-2008, 08:07 PM
I paint a lot of 4 x 6" and ACEO (Art Cards Editions & Originals, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" size) artworks and have been mailing those out whenever they sell... but now I'm looking at doing some larger pastels. Including some 5 x 7" pieces on Pastelbord, or at least paintings on 5 x 7" Pastelbord.

How would you ship something like that without damaging the delicate surface of the painting? I've had good luck using cardboard mailers with pastels under 9 x 12" by just putting a sheet of thin watercolor paper or something over them and making sure the mailer is stiff, or putting stiffeners in if it's a soft mailer like bubble wrap. But the Pastelbord is 1/8" thick Masonite and weighs a lot. It seems like it would stand up well to being banged around but as soon as the piece got turned over -- smush! How could I somehow prop it up and keep the art from touching the box if I used a box?

Any suggestions? Does anyone here sell art online and have to ship it?

I bought some photo bags for sending pastels on paper, one more layer of protection is not going to hurt them at all.

10-04-2008, 08:09 PM
I forgot to mention that for 4 x 6" or 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" pastels, I put them inside a rigid plastic "top loader" used by people who collect collector cards and postcards -- these are archival and seem to be as good as framing for protecting art. I've been collecting tiny artworks in those sleeves for a year and never had one mashed when an artist sent it to me or any complaints from people I mailed art to, for trade or sale.

But there is nothing like that for 1/8" thick masonite, no matter what size it is.

10-08-2008, 05:29 PM
You could cover your work with a sheet of glassine that is a little larger than the actual piece and tape it all the way around on the back. Then you could put the wrapped piece inside a sleeve, then bubble wrap.


10-08-2008, 08:38 PM
Robert, I have mailed non framed works using a foamcore "sandwich" even from overseas.
Tape the pastel to foamcore, cover with glasine, tape,then lay another piece of foamcore on top, and tape all around. This keeps the pastel from sliding and protects it from bending.

10-09-2008, 12:36 AM
Helen and Tressa, thank you! I love the Pastelbord surface, and yes, it makes sense glassine and bubblewrap would protect it. Even more that a foam core sandwich would protect it from anything. Sometimes my buyers are overseas. I only ever sell art online and it's whoever follows my blog or reads my ebay listings or visits my store, so I never know where I'm shipping what. I have it down to a routine for the tinies, but want to begin focusing more on serious paintings in larger sizes. Glassine goes on my next supply order along with foam core! (Hm, that'd get around the minimum number of big sheets in Blick orders too, nice.)

Problem solved! Thank you both for solving the problem. I knew someone here would be used to doing it routinely and know how to package them. Unframed, the weight of the package isn't the problem. The way it gets banged around would be. This rocks.

10-09-2008, 04:18 AM
In looking up the foamcore, it comes in bulk packages. So if I get the acid free foamcore, maybe I can also paint it with Colourfix primer and use it as a lightweight stiff substrate. That could be fun! Besides, it'd be better for using as backboards when framing.

10-09-2008, 08:01 AM
Robert the acid free foamcore is a wonderful surface to prime for pastel.
Gatorboard is a little stronger, but I have used both.

10-12-2008, 02:32 AM
Oh cool! I wondered what was special about Gatorboard when the price of one sheet was so much higher than a sheet of even the good Bienfang. I'm looking forward to priming it and painting on it. It'd be so sturdy and almost provide its own backing board if I cut the board to a frame size and marked off the painting area to the mat opening size.