Having owned and managed a small pottery business for 12+ years, I have done my share of packing and shipping. I have shipped large and small pieces across the country and around the world, without any pieces arriving in less-than-perfect condition. The nuisances of the space-time continuum always send a chill down my spine, when trying to figure out how to put a fragile piece of art into a box and trust that it will make it to the receiving party in the same condition that I sent it.... Given that artwork is ever-so-much more than the materials it's created with, and that some artwork (and other personal items) are irreplaceable; how on earth do we pack it up, ship it out AND still sleep at night?
The physics involved (size and shape of the item, the box, type of packing materials, wrapping materials, distance, time, etc.) suggests that anyone with the right tools can step into a packing role and succeed. While some may be taught or have the ability to "puzzle piece" items into perfect packaging, it is the CARE of the packer which makes the difference between success and brokenness. Broken pieces, broken hearts, broken wallets, broken relationships.... The Packer is the single, most important role and the key ingredient to the end success. The Packer has their hands on the "fragility" button and it is only when they take a vested interest in the item(s) that they are shipping that they pack them with gentle precision to create a perfect end result. When they have access to the correct packing materials (though, I have seen some ingenious unconventional materials used as well) and take their time and direct effort to package a piece of artwork (or any other precious item), The Packer builds the foundation for a successful shipping experience. Without them, the entire process would crumble (much like those pieces that are incorrectly packed).
So, I offer up this; Ode to the Packer:
The Packer, The Stacker, The "Hand me that Backer",
The surgeons of peanuts and boxes.
They can rumble, and tumble, and throw it around,
You have them fooled, you sly foxes...
You've nestled it securely, tight and well,
Inside that box, that crate or that tub.
The outside may look a bit dinged,
But the item inside is simply put - snug.
We offer up our trust, and our cherished things,
So that you may prove how unbreakable they are.
Without your care, your skills and your love,
Our precious items wouldn't go very far...
You can envision the fit,
And ingeniously make it happen.
We salute you for this,
When the mail arrives and nothing is flappin'.
The ultimate credit belongs to you,
Though, you may never know.
When the items arrive perfectly,
You ARE the stars of the show.
We thank you for your hands,
And your delicateness.
And caring about our things,
With true thoroughness.
For you, The Packer,
Are akin to our cherished things.
You pack them up right,
And bless them with Angel's wings.
Thank you, Dear Packer,
For caring so much.
Shipping would be doomed,
Without your skilled touch.,