Three of my mosaic portraits were juried into the 2013 Christians in the Visual Arts “JUSTart Conference” show. Yaaaay! Those same three pieces, those same three spiky pieces, those same three spiky glass pieces would need to be shipped across the country and arrive just one week after my e-mail notification that I was IN. Oh, noooooooooo!
Once upon a time, in recent memory, I auditioned for a play and got in. Yay! Then, I realized that it meant I had to memorize lines, lots of lines. Pages of lines. Oh, nooooooooo!
This time, with the artwork, I auditioned for the play, I got in, but Dependable Bob got stuck memorizing the lines, so to speak. I sent him a message at work to let him know the good news and to prepare his mind for a mad rush on my behalf.
That night we discussed packaging strategies. Known factors: 1) 5-sided cradled artist panel was the substrate for 2) GOBS of colored mortar into which 3) fused glass spikes had been poked at all angles. There was also 4) a picture-hanging wire on the back of each portrait. So, what we had were relatively heavy little devils with thin, fragile glass attached. And not a perfectly flat hind side.
We knew we could drill into the back edges of the thick cradled panels, in order to use screws to anchor each mosaic to a sturdy piece of wood. Then, the wood could be attached into a box so that the mosaic would be suspended in the center of its wooden cage. No glass spikes would have to touch solid material. Yaaaaaay!
Dependable Bob fired up the old minivan the next day and drove it to work. His office happens to be close to a Lowe’s, where he purchased a sheet of plywood and some fasteners. These frequent 4′ x 8′ plywood projects are the reason I can’t get rid of the old minivan.
That night, back in his workshop and on the driveway, he started to measure. (Knowing he would have to use his table saw outside, he timed this racket to happen before the neighbors would be in bed.) He started to cut. He started to glue and fasten. And, after awhile, he came upstairs with three crates for shipping.
On the kitchen table, I held art and support firmly while Bob drilled the bottom, lying on the floor. He screwed each mosaic onto its support and attached the supports into their crates. Each support and crate was generously labeled. Dependable Bob spent a very long time using Power Point to make an instruction booklet with photos and circles and arrows and warnings for the poor person who drew the short straw and had to un-crate my work for the show.
The next morning I went to fetch large double-walled corrugated boxes and packing peanuts in which to nest the crates. After oh, say, 10 person-hours of effort, the portraits were sent by UPS to the Wheaton College Art Department. They arrived on Tuesday, this is Friday, and I have not heard anything alarming from anyone up there. I hope this means that those portraits arrived in good condition and I will see them hanging on a wall next week.
Here are some pictures from the packing show: