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Thread: Shipping Glazed work from India

  1. #1

    Shipping Glazed work from India

    I am posting this on behalf of my registars, and I was hoping smeone might have some insight into how to handle the situation. Thanks

    This is their question:

    "We are working with a shipping company in India and we have some large paintings framed in glass that must be shipped to San Francisco. They tell me that they use 3M tape to protect the glass. Unfortunately, it has come to my attention that this tape is not very easily removed. I asked them if they can use glass skin, but that does not seem available and seems to costly for us to purchase and ship to India for just two paintings. I am looking for some recommendations from the list on how best to handle this situation."

  2. #2
    If it was my call to make, I would let them use any tape they wanted and lots of it. I would treat the glazing as sacrificial and replace it when it gets state side. It would only act as a barrier against damage during shipment. The paintings will be handled many times on the trip over most likely which increases the risk to them. Hopefully the shipper has some experience with this type of thing.

    I remember all shipments that I received from India. We once crated a photography show that went to 2 venues there and the crates at one point must have been exposed to the elements because they were all covered with a thick grime when they returned. All of the crates had minor damage, with the worse being split wooden battens. I assumed that once the crates were empty, they were transported on flatbeds to a storage facility; all the photos were fine in the end.

    Another shipment that comes to mind is when we purchased a number of paintings on glass; they were all shattered to bits, the packing only consisted of cardboard, bubble wrap and one inch polystyrene planks. The outer cartons clearly shown evidence of corner drops and one had a footprint on it.

    I'm not trying to fear monger here, only point out that the concern over adhesive remaining on the glazing should be on the bottom of your list. This is just my humble opinion mind you, hopefully more people will respond to your question.

    best of luck to you,


  3. #3
    PACCIN Advisory Committee Member T. Ashley McGrew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    Hi Kelly,

    There are several things to consider here with different related options. First off what kind of glass is it? Reputable museums and collectors these days - if they use glass - may choose a laminated glass which makes the discussion a non-issue (in essence it is already "taped"). In fact if they choose this kind of product is likely a coated glass that could be ruined by tape. The stuff is pricey though and since there is already discussion about taping I suspect we are dealing with a more common glazing.

    If that is the case there are a couple of old timey things to consider. One is that for many, many moons standard masking tape was applied in a pattern across the surface. Yes it occasionally left some residue but especially if it hadn't been in place for a long period of time the residue was not difficult to remove and was just a part of a preparators standard skill set (this is non-coated glass of course). Since the proliferation of the blue painters tape this is even less of an issue.
    The other old timey practice was that paintings and/or glazing were often taken out of their frames and packed separately. I don't advocate that as a standard practice for every venue the way people used to(because it places too much faith in the folks framing and unframing) but in this instance if the glazing being used is not optimal to begin with it might be a good choice. If it is a standard window glass especially consider having it shipped without glazing and install better glazing here.
    My two cents worth.

    T. Ashley
    T. Ashley McGrew
    PACCIN Advisory Committee member

  4. #4
    I'm a new member if this listserve, and am having a hard time figuring out how to start a new thread. But - I do have an urgent question: I need to prepare monolithic Luxar® glass, some 4 x 8' pieces in metal frames, for shipment to Turkey. Of course, good shock-absorbing crates are essential, but I want to tape the glass. Does anyone have experience with either MasterPak's glass-skin or the 3M 3125 Polyethylene protective tape on the coated Luxar surface? none of the manufacturers will certify....Thank you!

  5. #5
    PACCIN Advisory Committee Member T. Ashley McGrew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    Hi, I put your request out on our listserve (this is our website forum) because it will reach more individuals more quickly. You can sign up for it at the top of the articles page where there is a tab to direct you. The following response came immediately.

    We’ve had to tape coated glass from time to time due to it not being laminated, with mixed results. In all cases though, we’ve always been able to clean off any residue without damaging the coating. Mostly, there is none. Obviously this is dependent on nature of the tape in use. My suggestion, ask your glass supplier for a sample and tape it up, then leave it for a representative period of time and see what happens.

    With that thickness of glass over those dimensions, if the glass gives out, even with tape you’re likely to suffer damage to the works from heavy, unsupported shards.

    Mark Slattery
    Senior Art Handling Technician.
    The National Gallery
    Trafalgar Square
    WC2N 5DN

    You might get more responses if you describe your situation again yourself.
    Good luck.

    T. Ashley McGrew
    PACCIN Advisory Committee member

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