Notes from the Mailroom

Most of the nineteen paintings in The Blossom Project have been sent out across the world to find their recipients. Being new to the export game, we had to figure out the best, safest and cheapest method to send these works of art. Here’s how we did it:

First, we had to find suitable packaging. Mailing tubes are not readily available in the 150 cm lengths of these large works. Thanks to a tip from Saskatoon artist Greg Hardy, we found out that new carpet comes on sturdy cardboard tubes. Dave at Beehive Flooring in Saskatoon gave us a nice truckload of such tubes, which are light and strong enough to stand on. We sawed them to length, and presto.

We had to figure a way to the roll artworks such that people in mailrooms don’t damage the paintings in opening them. We printed up fairly extensive packets of enclosures providing all the background on the project and tucked these inside.

We re-checked all the mailing addresses we had found earlier, finding a few small errors, adding postal codes here and there. We printed up some nice mailing labels with the pink blossom logo over-printed. Then it was time to find a shipper.

We had not realized how expensive it is to ship things in modern times. The major couriers offered their speedy guaranteed delivery of our paintings to virtually every corner of the planet — at prices over $300 to many locations. We reverted to surface postal mail. The packages will arrive in weeks, not days, for under $50 apiece.

When you mail one package, you go to the post office and fill out one of those forms where you have to press really hard with a ballpoint pen. For many packages, it is better to learn the tricky-but-workable Canada Post on-line system and do the job from a keyboard. And a credit card.

So, after all these practicalities, all but four paintings are en route. And even as we write this post, we’ve received delivery confirmations on two paintings in the New York area. The four stragglers are destined for countries where we can’t trust the post office not to pilfer at the other end. One painting is going to a war zone. We are looking to send these through friends.




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