Thursday, October 29, 2015
An Update on the Triptych and Its Trip to California
It took weeks to create, with many hours working late in the studio, but I'm happy to report the triptych that seems to have swallowed up my summer is finally finished! I'd break open a bottle of champagne but I'm afraid the buzz would knock me flat, so I'll just have some flavored water, thank you.
What did knock me flat was the shipping fee to send this piece from Georgia to California. Both FedEx and UPS have recently adopted something called dimensional pricing, which basically means they now charge based on the number of cubic inches a large package occupies, as opposed to charging by weight. If you're shipping something large yet lightweight -- such as a painting on canvas -- be prepared to shell out a whole lot more than you're used to paying, particularly if it's going to travel any distance.
I elected to ship the piece by FedEx. I had packed it in a well constructed cardboard box specifically designed for the transport of fine art. Three plus inches of foam surrounded a sturdy interior box containing the triptych, whose panels were separated with foam lined, paper encased spacer boards to keep the canvases with their dimensional elements from rubbing against each other. Sealed and ready to go, the whole thing weighed just slightly over 17 pounds.
Being unaware of this new dimensional pricing structure (everything I've shipped this year was sent by USPS Priority Mail) the fee quoted was a bit of a shock. Two day delivery was going to cost twice what I had anticipated -- close to $300.00. I was picking up the tab, since the piece was created as a congratulatory gift for my niece. She had just graduated from law school with flying colors, aced her bar exam on the first try, and had secured an excellent position practicing law that included having her own private office. Which had bare walls in need of some art!
After mulling over my options, I decided to put my faith in FedEx and the durability of the shipping container, made by Armadillo Protective Packaging of Santa Fe, NM. Biting my nails all the while, I selected the less expensive 5-6 day delivery. This was $120, and included a signature requirement and additional insurance coverage on the artwork. I was more than a little nervous about my choice, since the longer a piece of original art is in transit, the more vulnerable to damage it is. And California is as far from here as you can get.
But as it turned out, I need not have worried. Someone at FedEx must have noticed that the shipment contained original art and decided to give it special consideration. (How else to explain it?) Much to my surprise and delight, the triptych was delivered to its destination less than 72 hours later, and according to my niece, it arrived in perfect condition. She was thrilled with her gift, and I was thrilled with the extraordinary level of service provided by FedEx, as well as the craftsmanship of the folks at Armadillo. Wow! In appreciation, I'll pop open a bottle of champagne (forget the flavored water) and raise a toast to both companies. They definitely deserve it. Thanks so much, guys, for a job very well done!
©2015 Lynn Edwards