For shipping large canvases (above 100 x 100 cm), I prefer to remove the canvas from the stretcher frame and shipped rolled. This is the cost effective alternative to shipping in a wooden crate. The rolled canvas needs to be restretched at the buyer’s location.
The costs of stretching a canvas vary depending on the location. I have seen prices from as low as €75 and up to €300 (includes supplying the stretcher bars). In all cases this is significantly cheaper than shipping a large wooden crate.
Here are the key steps in my process for shipping large works:
1. Varnish the work
Generally I use a Sennelier satin finish varnish. This makes the artwork look great while also providing a protective layer.
2. Remove canvas from stretcher bars
3. Prepare protective layers
To protect the surface of the work, a layer of Canson glassine archive-quality paper is first placed, then a layer of bubble-wrap (made from 100% re-cycled plastic).
4. Roll the canvas
The canvas, glassine paper and bubble-wrap “sandwich” is then rolled around a suitably sized former.
5. Insert roll into a sturdy tube
The roll is taped close to ensure it is fully waterproof before inserting into a sturdy cardboard shipping tube.