Laurent Bosson has been working at Harsch since 2007. He is a carpenter and fine art technician. His speciality is the manufacture of crates for the transport of works of art.
At Harsch, we have taken advantage of the sanitary crisis to innovate. During that time, in the works of art transporter’s workshop, a new crate has been created, made of wood and cardboard. It is lighter but remains as strong.
The transport of works of art is at the heart of Harsch’s business. Every day, collaborators think about how they could improve their methods and especially, packing. The heavier the packing is, the more expensive it becomes. How to make it lighter, without diminishing its resistance?
Recently, Harsch has been offering a new crate combining two materials: wood and cardboard. Its advantage: it is lighter. Yet it remains very resistant, due to the fact that certain parts are reinforced with wood, like for instance, the sides. A wooden belt surrounds and strengthens the crate. The front and the bottom are made of cardboard. On top of that, due to this combination of materials, the crate is built in a shorter time. Which results in lower costs for the client.
Packing with white gloves
Laurent Bosson is a carpenter and has always worked in the art field. He is well aware of the cleanliness and precision that are expected by the clients. Whenever he goes to see a client, may it be a museum or an individual, he always wears white gloves. He usually works alone in his workshop, even though a helper sometimes comes to assist him. Every piece is made to measure, whether it be the crate itself or the inside foam rubber cut out in the shape of the work of art. “Sculptures, paintings, vases… We can pack anything in order to send it anywhere in the world.”
Each item has its own importance. Marble, glass or a piece of furniture, all deserve to be treated with the same precision. And each step is carefully carried out. “Sometimes, a client asks us to paint the crate white. It has nothing to do with aesthetics. It is simply a way to make sure that nobody stepped on it.” Transport in containers is reserved to works that are lighter and smaller than those transported by sea. For the works of art that are transported by air, the crates need to be reinforced. Several layers of foam are necessary to absorb the shocks as well as insulating material to protect the object from the drop in temperature.
Wood and especially, Swiss wood!
Harsch does not use any plastic at all. The crates are made of wood only. Swiss wood. Spruce, plywood… A noble material more fitting to the activity of the company. According to Laurent Bosson: “The wood used for our crates is treated with a solvent before being heated. That way, any parasite is exterminated. It is a legal obligation when an item is sent abroad.” Such measures meet the requirements of ISPM 15, a regulation that Harsch respects scrupulously.
Laurent Bosson concludes by saying: “The actual sanitary crisis has changed a lot of things. Obviously, the reduction of activities in the world of art has had an impact on us. But we are bearing it quite well and we have managed to attract new clients. We have also taken the opportunity to innovate. Our new crate made of wood and cardboard is the result of our recent cogitations.” A blessing in disguise?
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