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How to Ship Glazed Artwork

17 May 2019

Our clients ask us how can framed and glazed artwork be safely transported. Glass is fragile, and inherently prone to breaking; the glass used in picture frames is often very thin and more prone to damage. Therefore, the single most important thing to do when transporting glazed artworks is to use glass protection tape. While it isn’t a magic solution, it will go a long way towards protecting your artwork from broken glass.

Glass protection tape is available from a number of suppliers, and in a range of colours and widths, up to 100cm wide. Whatever supplier you buy from, glass tape is essentially a low-tack tape that won’t leave a sticky residue on the glass and will peel off easily.

Here are some simple steps on how to use glass tape:

  1. Cover the entire surface of the glass with the tape
  2. On larger works it’s a lot easier if you have two people, one to roll out the tape and one to smooth it over the surface
  3. Don’t worry about getting it exactly straight or if there some creases in it, just cover the surface of the glass, taking care not to go over the frame
  4. Fold over the end of the tape on itself, like you would on a roll of sticky tape, this will make it easier to peel off when you are unwrapping the work at it’s final destination
  5. Once you have taped the glass, pack your artwork as you normally would, with protective foam in a strong box

Glass tape is designed to protect the artwork, not the glass. In the event that the glass breaks, it will stay stuck to the glass tape, and you should be able to simply remove the broken glass in one go. If you don’t use glass tape, you’re liable to end up with a box full of broken glass and cut fingers when you go to unpack. If you take the time to protect your glazed works properly and pack them with care, there is really no reason they can’t be shipped with confidence.

Be aware that even if you have insurance in place for your shipment, most insurance will not cover glass breakage. However, ask your insurance company if they will cover damage to the artwork, even if they won’t cover the glass itself. Insurance policies will extend to cover the artwork in the event of glass breakage, as long as you used glass tape on the glass. Of course bear in mind, that most insurers also require you to use a reputable art packing and moving company to do the transport for you.

Contact us at movingart@mauriceward.com if you have any queries on your art handling or transport needs.

A version of this article was originally published by our Art Technician Cathal Murphy on: https://www.artboxworldwide.com/single-post/2016/05/09/How-to-Ship-Glazed-Art-Work

Maurice Ward Art Handling
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