In Western Canada we’re very much the poor relative when it comes to finding supplies. In our town there‘s a teacher supply shop, a large Michaels craft shop and a specialist art shop called Opus. If you’ve tried all of those, as well as the limited craft section at Walmart, the only option is to go online. Buy in bulk because shipping can be expensive if that’s the only option.
I’ve discovered over time that for effective protection of my mainly small art, the crystal clear cellophane (wood product) archival bag is the best bet. It can be costly if you produce over 100 pieces of art a year as I do, but it’s more costly to damage your precious work and frames.
|EMERALD RIVER by Sea Dean with matching frame|
Crystalclearbags.com and in Canada, crystalclearbags.ca are a well stocked supplier of crystal clear begs and if you buy in bulk they are a lot cheaper than buying elsewhere. To get the right size measure the width and height of the piece, then add double the depth to each dimension and a bit more for ease. For example, an 8” x 10” painting that has a wrap canvas 1/2” deep would need a bag at least 9” x 11” for a very snug fit and a bit bigger for ease. Even a flat piece of paper needs a little ease, and its best to package it with archival backing board or core board anyway, so order a little larger.
Recommended sizes at clear bags
B2XL for ACEO or ATC 2.5x3.5
B75 for 5x7
B86 for 6x8
B811 for 8x10
B1012 for 9x12
B11 for 11x14
WARNING - These bags all have the adhesive on the flap, which is good if you need to use one size of bag for slightly different sized art, however if you need to take the art in and out of the bag, the adhesive strip is in the wrong place and will stick to the art. It is possible to buy bags with the strip on the back of the envelope which is better for most applications, but these come in a very limited size range.
Clear Bags also supply glassine sheets and envelopes, rigid mailing envelopes and a dizzying supply of packaging products. The rigid mailers are less than half the price Canada Post are charging, which can really add up if you run a busy art shipping business.
I loved these art mailers on the US website, which reminds me that the websites do sell slightly different products, so its a good idea to check them both out if youre putting in a big order. With the low Canadian dollar, most supplies are more expensive and dont forget higher shipping costs and duties, but sometimes its necessary.
If you order from Clear Bags in Canada, they have 10% off till Nov 30th. Also once you’re a customer you can apply to be their feature artist on their Facebook page here http://clearbags.ca/become-a-featured-artist/