Backing up a moment - When shipping work first I wrap my paintings in Dartek, a plastic I've had great luck with. It is an archival museum product made by University Products. I find that it works great to keep foam and dust from getting on the work. I would caution that it's best to experiment with your particular varnish. I always try to varnish at least a week before the work is shipped so it's not green.
Then they are put in Airfloat System StrongBoxes, which have a puncture resistant liner and foam so the work doesn't move at all. They are expensive but reusable and I've had great luck shipping with them. They are lighter weight for shipping than a plywood crate so you will save in the end on shipping costs.
Meanwhile back to the problem at hand - we opened up one end of my largest StrongBox and made the box bigger by canibalizing other boxes we had on hand. Ok, this is gonna work.
Then...As we are building the box we realize IT'S too big to fit in my Mazda CX 7. At this point I have already delivered four boxes to FedEx and paid for a shipping label for this fifth box and time is of the essence. FedEx had given me a deal on shipping the five boxes as a multi-piece shipment.
It seemed too complicated to try to arrange a pick up of the work so we took all the parts down to FedEx and assembled the package there.
EXTREME amounts of Extreme packing tape and many FRAGILE stickers later I finally said goodbye to my diptych.
Now I know my absolute width size limit if I'm going to haul the work to FedEx myself. Wondering, will these years be known as the Mazda years? Someone in this family really needs to buy a truck.
I'm happy to say all the work arrived safely in Santa Fe at the Peterson-Cody Gallery for my show which will open next Friday, Nov, 4, 2011.
Here are few links you might find helpful: Dartek Film,
Here's a previous post I did about The Certainty of Youth and the Complexity of Wisdom.
Here are a couple others about shipping art work. Good luck!