Thursday, May 21, 2009

Everything Goes But the Spaniel

Chyawanprash in hot water for tea, "All I Need Is a Miracle" by Mike and the Mechanics on iTunes. I hope it's not a prophetic song for the day--I feel more ahead of the curve than iTunes choice of songs would imply.

I'm in the studio already this morning getting the pallet of my work prepared to be picked up and shipped to Vegas for ACRE. So many things can go wrong from here. It could be lost, dropped, delayed, crushed--just to name a few. There is nothing new to this scenario--it's always like that when you ship to a show. But today I am feeling more pessimistic and caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand (the chosen hand, the rock) I can ship everything palletized together to minimize loss. On the other hand (the hard place), I can ship all boxes regular UPS and hope they don't get lost, delayed, or broken (or some awful combination of the above). Putting everything together both diminishes and maximizes damage potential (isn't physics funny that way?). It's one BIG package so the freight workers have to work harder to drop it (as opposed to UPS who would cheerfully throw each and every package whilst loading and potentially drop one in four or so--and that's being generous about their care and respect). But if it is dropped off of or rammed by a forkift by the freight company (UPS usually just damages by gravity) the potential for catastrophic large-scale damage to EVERYTHING is much greater. Which is safer? I guess I'll just stick with the freight company because they are scheduled and on their way.


So Becky came this morning, we packed, palletized and conquered--and I even ran to the shipping supply place and got a poly strap tape kit so we could strap everything to the pallet before we shrink-wrapped it. In the midst of the packing the woman from the gallery in Omaha called and said that two of the three 24" X 30" glass panels I just shipped her arrived broken. One was completely smashed, and the other was broken in half.

I should have known UPS would have their revenge on me for insisting the driver (NOT my usual driver) make the pick-up I had scheduled and not get away with saying he couldn't make it. Friday night at 8:30 he had to lug a million lbs of glass and tradeshow display materials boxes (Dee shipped from here Friday too) to the truck when he was only expecting two boxes of about 35 lbs total. What can I say? I had more time to get more stuff out for him when he was late.

I got the insurance claim filed and now I have to figure out how to get the replacement panels out there without having them broken too (if the client's even willing to give me another chance). A crate would be safest, but the client didn't want the added expense. I thought they'd be fine in heavy-duty cardboard boxes--but those are really big panels. Even with 1-1/4" of Styrofoam sheeting on each side and then 4" of bubble wrap on all four sides and 6" of bubblewrap on each end UPS *still* broke them. What a headache, and boy am I glad I didn't go to New Mexico this week! I can't imagine having to juggle the breakage from storage and now the UPS breakage while on the road. (And what numbers of breakage are these in this series? If things come in threes these are either one and two or two and three... I hope they're two and three!)

Speaking of New Mexico, Nancy, I will talk to you at ACRE about the new pieces, their pricing and the gaffers. It's all still in process right now. I am being FLEXIBLE, letting it all flow together, and hoping it doesn't come back to bite me in the behind (especially the whole pricing thing--what I paid in total to create these pieces may put them at a higher price point than they can support).

Time to go fire a New Technique load. Also need to call the Omaha gallery back and discuss where they want to go from here (the installation day for the pieces is supposed to be TOMORROW). If she does want me to remake them, it looks like I might have to do a little firing this weekend after all so they can be ready to ship by Monday (they are made with a frit that devitrifies badly so I'll need to do two firings on them--one to fuse and one to correct the surface with overspray).


Dee said...

just because the ups driver had to do his job doesn't give him license to mistreat packages!

now, positive thinking - the pallet will arrive in vegas at your booth in excellent condition with all pieces INTACT! ;)

Bill said...

Oh, go ahead, try to send the spaniel in the freight shipment...

Anonymous said...

No you don't, send the cocker to me. He's beautiful. I didn't know you had a cocker, just big dogs. We use to have cockers but now are cat people. Good luck with the shipment. I hate shipping anything anymore. It's like the delivery services don't care anymore.