Thursday, August 8, 2013

Packing It In

Some of you folks have packed for a lot more shows than I have. Others are just starting to do this. I thought they might like to see how I pack for a show. If you have additional ideas for making life easier, please add them in the comments section.

I like to pack the van on Thursday for a Saturday show. This leaves me a whole day for the OMG I forgot to... items. When I first started, I had a bunch of pots a bunch of cardboard boxes and a bunch of newspaper. It took me twice as long to pack half the pots that I carry now. It's still hard work but not as hard as it could be. I got rid of the newspaper and started using recycled packing foam great stuff , it lasts a lot longer than paper, and your hands stay clean. Most of my pots have designated boxes and the packing foam never leaves the box so it is a lot faster at closing time. Ditto for cardboard tubes. Slip in a bowl, add a sheet of foam, repeat. No head scratching no complicated wrapping. Except for a couple of big ones, I have also gone to plastic tubs, mostly matching, that stack well without sliding around. Except for some big slab doors that are shelves for my base unit, all the shelving is in the second seat row of the van. It can't get loose an go careening through the pots. Likewise, the boxes in the back are staggered enough to lock each other in.  A big bag of shims and a set of tent weights completes the Thursday packing. Tomorrow, I'll worry about personal items, signage, snacks , and office supplies but I'm well on my way for now.


  1. I use bubble wrap which I like because I can almost see which piece is packed in there. I like your label on top of the bin and the use of cardboard sleeves, that's a good tip for me for the future.

    Seeing the before and after reminds me of all the hard work it is to pack up for a show. I am wondering if having a portfolio book with the photos of all you do to pack would encourage folks to buy more pottery, I may make one of those up myself.

  2. I use bubble wrap on mine, but it was taking me too long to match up sizes of wrap with size of pieces and wrapping around the piece. I had a couple of bubble wrap bags (sleeves) from something I received and they were so easy to use, so I got out my food saver vacuum sealer and made my own bags. I made 3 different sizes. You slide the piece in and fold it over and done!

  3. We travel with a trailer. Since it has no suspension it rides rough... which means we have to pack carefully. I nixed newspaper years ago. I don't like to spend the day at a show with black hands. We were wrapping with newsprint (and still do some) but I have spent the last year creating cardboard dividers to fit a variety of boxes. It really speeds up the process, when like you said, just drop the pot in the slots, top with cardboard, drop in another.
    It's always great to read and see photos of other craftsmen's processes. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks Michele. Compared to you and Jeff, I'm a rank amateur but I get a good idea every now and then.


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