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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Sydney, Australia
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    Default Rolling an oil painting for shipping.

    Hi AMIEN folks!

    First time here!

    I have a question related to the rolling of an oil painting for shipping that is just touch dry and currently stretched. I'm sending a large 60" x 24" painting from Sydney, Australia to NY and as such the crate size required and cost is substantial. So I'm looking into the shipping of the painting rolled in a PVC tube, painting side out of course. The tube I have is just over 4" in diameter (internal).

    I've read that oil paintings should only be rolled if completely and utterly dry. Is this true? My take on this (and it is only my view and not backed up by any hard data) is that a fully dry and thus brittle paint film is more likely to crack than a still reasonably flexible paint film that ought to handle a few days rolled up in transit. This also assumes re-stretching will be performed soon after arrival at the other end.

    Is my logic completely wrong on this or is it at least feasible to roll a painting in this state without inducing stress to the paint layers?

    The painting in question isn't particularity thick with impasto but it isn't a thin wash either.

    Thanks in advance and thanks for a great forum!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    9,067

    Default Rolling an oil painting for shipping.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ankaris View Post
    Hi AMIEN folks!

    First time here!

    I have a question related to the rolling of an oil painting for shipping that is just touch dry and currently stretched. I'm sending a large 60" x 24" painting from Sydney, Australia to NY and as such the crate size required and cost is substantial. So I'm looking into the shipping of the painting rolled in a PVC tube, painting side out of course. The tube I have is just over 4" in diameter (internal).

    I've read that oil paintings should only be rolled if completely and utterly dry. Is this true? My take on this (and it is only my view and not backed up by any hard data) is that a fully dry and thus brittle paint film is more likely to crack than a still reasonably flexible paint film that ought to handle a few days rolled up in transit. This also assumes re-stretching will be performed soon after arrival at the other end.

    Is my logic completely wrong on this or is it at least feasible to roll a painting in this state without inducing stress to the paint layers?

    The painting in question isn't particularity thick with impasto but it isn't a thin wash either.

    Thanks in advance and thanks for a great forum!
    Ankaris,

    Welcome to AMIEN.

    We're not a fan of rolling paintings of any kind -- just too much stress for the paint films. On the other hand, it is successfully done, even by conservators, so you can do it.

    However, we urge you to get a larger diameter tube -- as large as you can get. There is a concrete column forming tube called a Sonotube that can be had in very large diameters (152 cm!): the larger the diameter of the tube, the less the paint films will have to curve and there'll be less stress. We hope the painting is also allowed to acclimate before it's unrolled and re-stretched at its destination.

    Best of luck with this shipment.
    The AMIEN Staff

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks for that answer! The larger dia tubing is something I will look at if I go the tube at all. I'm still curious to know, if one must send an oil painting rolled up, and given a large dia tube etc, is it better to roll up a freshly painted (touch dry) canvas or should it be bone dry? I can imagine an old brittle painting put under stress this way, but what about a relatively young flexible paint film rolled for only a few days?

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    9,067

    Default Freshly painted or bone dry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ankaris View Post
    Thanks for that answer! The larger dia tubing is something I will look at if I go the tube at all. I'm still curious to know, if one must send an oil painting rolled up, and given a large dia tube etc, is it better to roll up a freshly painted (touch dry) canvas or should it be bone dry? I can imagine an old brittle painting put under stress this way, but what about a relatively young flexible paint film rolled for only a few days?

    Thanks again.
    Ankaris,

    We think a dry-to-touch painting that's not completely bone dry is a better choice. Both versions of "dry" will be under a great deal of stress during the rolling, but "bone dry" will probably crack more quickly.
    The AMIEN Staff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thank you for the response folks, much appreciated! I've decided this particular piece will be shipped stretched, I'll leave the rolling for the time being.

    Cheers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    9,067

    Default Shipping: stretched or rolled

    Quote Originally Posted by Ankaris View Post
    Thank you for the response folks, much appreciated! I've decided this particular piece will be shipped stretched, I'll leave the rolling for the time being.

    Cheers
    Ankaris,

    Great idea! We're glad we could help.
    The AMIEN Staff

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    55

    Default

    I was glad to see this thread. I am doing an 11x14" oil painting that is on canvas, the canvas is stapled to the back. I will be shipping it, probably rolled, but there is a medium box (2) with dimensions Outside: 14" x 12" x 3 1/2" Inside: 13 5/8" x 11 7/8" x 3 3/8" so I could ship it flat, if needed. If I roll it, do I leave the edges out--so it's about 13" wide and 18" long, or should the edges be folded to the 11x14 size?

    What isntructions should I give to the recipient--just to let it stay in box or tube for a few days?

    And, I am getting one in return. The one I am getting is on unstretched canvas. How do I handle it? Same way?
    When I put it on stretcher bars, should I stretch it taut or somewhat loosely? The paint on it iw also fresh, just touch dry.

    Thanks.
    Ella

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    9,067

    Default Shipping: stretched or rolled

    Quote Originally Posted by Ella5 View Post
    I was glad to see this thread. I am doing an 11x14" oil painting that is on canvas, the canvas is stapled to the back. Stapled to the back of what? I will be shipping it, probably rolled, but there is a medium box (2) with dimensions Outside: 14" x 12" x 3 1/2" Inside: 13 5/8" x 11 7/8" x 3 3/8" so I could ship it flat, if needed. Ship it flat. If I roll it, do I leave the edges out--so it's about 13" wide and 18" long, or should the edges be folded to the 11x14 size? Don't roll it.

    What isntructions should I give to the recipient--just to let it stay in box or tube for a few days? Take it out of the box immediately upon receipt, with the shipper present, and check for damage.

    And, I am getting one in return. The one I am getting is on unstretched canvas. How do I handle it? Same way? Yes.
    When I put it on stretcher bars, should I stretch it taut or somewhat loosely? The paint on it iw also fresh, just touch dry. Stretch it taut, immediately upon receipt.

    Thanks.
    Ella
    Ella5.

    See our comments and questions above.
    The AMIEN Staff

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    55

    Default

    Sorry, my fingers are going faster than my brain,which seems to be not going at all.
    My canvas is on a stretcher bar frame. The canvas is stapled to the back of the stretcher bars, rather than the sides.
    I see the Inside dimensions of the box are 13 5/8" x 11 7/8" x 3 3/8"--a bit short of the 14". Is that almost 1/2 inch a problem? Maybe if I prop one end up it will fit without folding it under. What should I use for packing material? bubble wrap? How do I pack it? Sandwiched between foam sheets? What do I protect the painted surface with? What else do I need to know about packing this painting?
    Thank you.
    Ella

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    9,067

    Default More on shipping: stretched or rolled

    Quote Originally Posted by Ella5 View Post
    Sorry, my fingers are going faster than my brain,which seems to be not going at all.
    My canvas is on a stretcher bar frame. The canvas is stapled to the back of the stretcher bars, rather than the sides. OK.
    I see the Inside dimensions of the box are 13 5/8" x 11 7/8" x 3 3/8"--a bit short of the 14". Is that almost 1/2 inch a problem? Yes. Get a bigger box. Maybe if I prop one end up it will fit without folding it under. No. What should I use for packing material? bubble wrap? OK, but you will need an even bigger box. We prefer to cover the surface of the painting with glassine and wrap the corners with crumpled newspapers formed into lengths, so the painting will sit suspended in the box. There is an illustration of this in "The Painter's Handbook." How do I pack it? Sandwiched between foam sheets? What do I protect the painted surface with? What else do I need to know about packing this painting? "The Painter's Handbook" -- available on Amazon.com, in a good library, or in a good art supply or museum store -- has very clear instructions and illustrations on how to pack a painting for shipment.
    Thank you.
    Ella
    Ella5,

    Please see our comments, above.
    The AMIEN Staff

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