Bespoke Recycled Paper from old shirts!

At the end of last week I received 10 sheets of SRA2 paper from Lez Paylor who makes it at a Creative Paper makers in Wales. They make paper from all sorts of stuff - one being sheep poo - and one customer had wedding invites of paper made from the jeans they were wearing when they met (ah!) I had a number of old shirts which I had worn until they were full of holes so I decided to have some paper made with them instead of just throwing them away. Not only did it appeal to my attempts to be as green as possible (flights to New York making this even more important!) but I also liked the idea of drawings relating to touch/ trace being done on paper which had once been worn. I spent months cutting up all of my old linen and cotton shirts. The fabric had to be cut into 1 x 5 cm strips, no seams/ fastenings etc. and I needed about 1.8 kg for 10 sheets. At one point last November I got very excited as I thought I had nearly got enough until I realised I had 1.8 lb not 1.8 kg - bit of a low point!! However, when the paper came it was worth every minute spent - it is absolutely beautiful. I was going to post a picture but I couldnt come even close to doing it justice. It is a cream/ off white with a deckle edge and a textured surface - similar to khadi paper but nicer. Can't even think about using it yet - still at the looking/ stroking stage - but I will use it for a series of drawing at some point.

Work all packed and ready to be picked up tomorrow. Filled in all the forms after a few emails to The Drawing Center for tax no's etc. and then emailed it all to FedEx to check for me!! As I haven't heard anything I'm assuming it was all O.K. Fingers crossed then until it's due to be delivered in New York on Friday.

'Reveal' drawings in progress

Shipping and Packing (part one) - light at the end of the tunnel!

Well, at last I seem to have made sense of how to get my work to New York. I've emailed so many packing case manufacturers and shippers that it's ridiculous- and also really suprising how many have not bothered to answer!
I go my packing case from acorn packaging eventually - they were really helpful and also reasonable - although delivery from Essex cost as much as the case itself. I tried to buy locally but no Derby firm replied. One thing I learnt was that any wood needs to be ISPM15 compliant and to be stamped as such - otherwise it will be denied entry by US customs. Luckily I am useless at making stuff, otherwise I would probably have made my own case and promptly had it returned!
The Drawing Center recommended either FedEx or Bax Global and I have decided to use FedEx - as they seem to be the cheapest and FedEx Freight has a number which means you can ring and actually speak to someone. (I did got a quote from a Fine Art shipper which came to around £7,000 so that was the end of that idea!)
The first thing I did was set up an account (mainly because it makes it easier to get the work back at the end of the exhibition) which was really straightforward and is linked to my credit card. Deliveries can only be booked the day before pick-up which is a bit scary (in my case I shall book on the 11th Feb for delivery in New York on the 15th) - but they have assured me they won't run out of space on the plane! One thing I wasn't clear about was what documentation was needed - I am not selling the work, it is on loan and will be returned - so I rang FedEx today to find out what I need and they have emailed me the documentation so I can go through it in advance and check I have all the information. It appears I need:
  • FedEx Airway Bill
  • Pro Forma Invoice (which will indicate value of goods)
  • Temporary Export Form (which has a tick box for 'exhibition')
  • Work of Art Declaration (which specifies work is original)

I shall go through the documentation over the next few days (and probably have to make a few calls to FedEx for clarification) - see part 2 for details.