How to Move and Pack 3D Art Peices

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How to Pack and Move Sculptures and Statues

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Sculptures and statues can add a little art and class to indoor and outdoor areas of your home. They also can hold religious significance. When moving, you may want to take these expensive pieces with you, but their odd shapes combined with their fragility make moving them a challenge. It can be done, however. Here's how:

In order to move a sculpture, you're going to need assess a few aspects of the piece.
  • How much does it weigh?
  • How fragile is it (what material is it made out of?)
  • Can it be safely disassembled and reassembled?
  • What is the maximum length, width, and depth of the figure (what are the smallest dimensions a box could be and fit the whole statue?)
  • How expensive is it and do you have any receipts or documentation to prove its value?
This information should be noted for yourself or given to a specialty mover. You could attempt to move a relatively small and inexpensive sculpture yourself, but it is best to hire professionals for larger statues. 

DIY moving for smaller sculptures

After accessing the previous information, you may decide that the sculpture you are moving is small and durable enough to move yourself. Hiring specialty statue movers can be expensive, so this may be the more economical option for smaller pieces. Here is what to do to pack your own statues and sculptures:
  • Disassemble what you can. Packing the statue in several smaller boxes makes the whole process safer because it puts less strain on the structure of the figure. Each piece should be measured to find appropriately sized boxes.
  • Find a box that is a few inches larger than the dimensions of the sculpture or piece of the sculpture that is being packing in that box. You don't want to allow too much extra space for movement, but you also need to allot some space for all of the packing material and bubble wrap on the sculpture.
  • Completely wrap the sculpture in bubble wrap. You may want to use two layers. Seal the wrap with packing tape.
  • Fill the area in the box around the sculpture with packing peanuts, paper, or any other cushioning
  • Make sure the cardboard box can withstand the weight of your sculpture when carried. If it can't, you may need to just use the bubble wrap move the sculpture without a container 
  • Mark all boxes containing sculptures or statues "Fragile."

Hiring statue movers

For bigger statues, specialty movers should be hired. You will want to assess the dimensions, weight, and value of your statue yourself, but the moving company should do the same during an on-site estimate. Such a specific item needs an on-site estimate. Phone or e-mail estimates will not cut it for special items like sculptures and statues.

Once the movers assess your statue, it will be time to come to a price for moving it. Here are some factors to consider:
  • You should always purchase replacement value protection for any artwork. Free movers' insurance will not cover statues beyond 60 cents per pound. Hopefully you a have some proof of value you can show the movers.
  • The movers may determine that a custom container or pallet needs to be built to safely transport your statue. It may cost you more money, but don't argue with the movers about it. It is an inconvenience for them to construct custom equipment, so it is unlikely that they are doing it to scam you.
  • Remember that bigger and heavier statues will always cost more to move.
  • Disassembly and reassembly can be done by the movers for an additional charge.
  • Normal moving expenses like the cost of travel and inconvenience fees should be considered.

In the new home

Once your statue is moved, it is time to set it up in its new location.
  • Be careful unloading the statue. If the moving team is different during unloading than it was during loading, be sure to remind them that it is a fragile statue that needs to be moved.
  • If you are reassembling, your pieces should be labelled to make the process easier
  • Don't unpack the statue until most other items are unpacked. Statues and sculptures are for decoration, and you'll only get a good idea where to put it after most furniture and appliances are in place
  • You should keep the statue in a climate controlled area that is free of moisture if you plan on storing it for any length of time.

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on September 9, 2014 - Moving Expert
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