Moving can be more involved than just boxes and furniture handling. Sometimes one has to move one-of-a-kind pieces of fine art. They may be worth millions of dollars, or be of significant personal value. You won’t want to have careless, untrained workers treating them roughly. Some fine artwork is very heavy or strangely shaped. Most of it is fragile, and probably not replaceable. When moving day rolls around, you need to be sure that your art is being moved by experienced professionals who have been there and done that many times over. It’s about quality of service.
The key to relocating any kind of art pieces is to be patient and pay attention to the nitty-gritty. That is, do detailed research before you begin, make sure you’re doing due diligence and avoid last-minute moving stress. Here are a few handy tips for moving fine art and sculptures.
The way you wrap various pieces of art can literally make or break them. Avoid wrapping oil paintings in regular paper because it will stick. For glass-covered artwork, use special non-marking masking tape to create an X across the glass for added strength and to keep it together in the event of breakage. Wrap art and canvases in plain white or brown paper, not newsprint; otherwise, the ink will transfer onto the paint. Do not use cling wrap, which can create mold. If you want to wrap the artwork to prevent scratching, use a blanket, silicone release paper, unprinted newspaper, or plain wrapping paper.
For expensive and large artwork, consider a custom-built crate. The crate can be built around the painting on-site and then disassembled when it reaches its new home. In case the piece needs to be moved long distance or overseas, crating is not only recommended but definitely required.
Avoid packing multiple paintings in one box or crate, even without frames. They may scratch against each other in transit and damage the paint or canvas. If your artwork must go into storage, make sure it’s climate-controlled to prevent damage to the paint. Stick large red FRAGILE labels all over the crate or box.
If you have a collection of sculptures or figurines, facing a move from one home to another can make you very anxious. You may want to transfer them one by one in your car, but that may not be physically possible or practical.
So how will you transfer all these precious pieces? Whom can you trust to handle the packing and logistics of the move? Knowing the track record and specialties of your chosen sculpture moving company will give you the peace of mind you need. Many of the same tips and caveats we mentioned about paintings also apply to the moving of sculptures and carvings.
Here are some extra items that are sculpture specific.
Most importantly, explain to your moving crew all unique constraints associated with the piece, even if you have discussed them previously with the estimator. Has the piece ever been moved before? Was it moved in or assembled in place? Are there any damages that need to be accounted for in packing? Are there any recommended procedures or instructions for packing or moving the sculpture? All these will apply no matter the size of the piece. Sometimes a sculpture may appear big and bulky except for a few key fragile pieces that need extreme special care.
Aside from your knowledge and specific instructions by the artist, the material and size of the piece will help decide the packing methods involved. Five sculpting materials frequently used are: stainless steel, bronze, wood, marble, and corten steel. We will go over each of these briefly.
Here are some guidelines that should be followed to ensure the smallest possible risk of damage.
As you can imagine, it is no easy feat arranging the safe and secure transportation of fine art and sculptures, which is why you need a reputable company with experienced operators and the foresight to send an estimator out well beforehand to get all details about the piece/s before a moving crew ever shows up to actually do the job. Quality Movers Inc. has moved several sculptures, both for private collectors as well as local art galleries, so we know how to take care of people’s valuables, and hence we have a lot of referral business from this class of satisfied customers.