Tuesday, August 04, 2009

So Much for Quality Control

I know I've raved about Raphael linen panels many a time on this blog. I've loved the surface from the first time I tried it. With a cross-border trip in the works, last month I ordered some panels, stocking up on a few sizes, and had them delivered to my friend Juliet in New York. The panels are shrink-wrapped, and I don't take that off until I'm ready to use them. The size I needed for a new painting was one I'd ordered in that latest batch, and brought back from a trip to Saratoga this past weekend. The trip was amazing, but how could a trip to Saratoga be anything but?

Imagine my disappointment when I removed the shrink wrap tonight to find, first of all, that the surface has changed, and secondly that the linen is not completely adhered to the panel. I checked the second panel of the same size, hoping at least one of them would be good - without luck. This is the downfall of ordering online from a company on the other side of the border! Given that the company I ordered from, ASW, is not known for its customer service, I'm left with trying to come up with a way of fixing the panels, somehow. Attempting to return them would be even more of a nightmare! It's a sad, sad day! Thank goodness I have a supply of the old panels, but it doesn't look as if I'll be ordering anymore Raphaels. And now to come up with an alternate support for a painting that is already on a tight deadline! Eep!

A sad post like this at least needs a cheery photo, so I'll post one or two from the trip. In typical Saratoga fashion, it rained one day, but we were blessed with two days of sunshine. Now I want to go again! And I don't want to wait for next year!


Elizabeth McCrindle said...

Ouch, sorry about the panels hope you manage to salvage something. Glad you had a great time, geesh Saratoga sounds just like Scotland...weatherwise lol. Love the photos especially the bottom one :)

Karen Thumm said...

Linda, why don't you try contacting the company that makes the panels? Surely they'll make things right for you. It could be that you just got some panels from a bad batch.

I don't order from ASW anymore for the very reason that you mentioned. Have you checked out Dick Blick?

Linda Shantz said...

Thanks Elizabeth. I guess we'll hear first-hand how much Saratoga is like Scotland from Juliet - very soon!

Karen, the company is in Italy. :-( If I could get the linen off the panel I do have acid free adhesive, but the 'bubbles' are in from the edge. I think I will start ordering Signature panels. That way I'm dealing directly with the company, and in my limited experience, they've been wonderful. A bit pricier, but great customer service.