Carrying art ... damage free

© CarriArt 2014-19

Designed and manufactured in the UK


CarriArt is a small business designing, manufacturing and supplying innovative solutions for transporting and storing artwork and art materials.

How it all started

Having dabbled in producing art since my school days, in 2013 I started painting in oils. Transporting drawings and acrylic paintings back from holidays had occasionally proved difficult, but typically the work was dry by the time came for the journey home. Protecting the surface from contact and dirt was the main concern, so I typically bagged them up against something flat and hoped for the best. Not perfect, but acceptable. Bringing oil paintings home presented a whole other challenge - how do you stop artwork that is still wet from getting damaged?

I attended a course given by Roy Lang (www.roylangartist.com) in 2013 and only rather vague advice was provided by the training centre about how to get the completed study home. Reading their advice I was not entirely sure what represented a “suitable cardboard box”. Mine ended up angled across a box I obtained up from work, and as a result the painting still carries some of the marks it picked up while carefully lodged in the back of my car. One of the attendees with greater experience of such situations turned up with a large pizza box. Which seemed like good idea.

While on a holiday in Scotland later that year I painted a landscape of the local loch and mountains. Using my experiences from the course, I had taken a pizza box with me. When I tried to pack the painting away it soon became apparent that such an arrangement was woefully inadequate. The painting was free to slide around, and even with the box packed horizontally the motion of the car caused the painting to touch the inside top of the box when in transit. An that was just a small painting - how do you find a pizza box big enough for a 12x16” board on canvas?

Further research failed to reveal a suitable solution. Regular portfolio? Good if you’re painting is dry or the surface won’t be damaged by being in contact with a flat surface. Pochade box? Possibly acceptable if you’re painting small canvas boards of a given size. What I really needed was a box that could carry either a canvas or a canvas board and accommodate whatever size painting I felt like completing that day.

My experiences set me to thinking about how to solve the problem, eventually resulting in ArtCase. A sturdy, reusable carrier with adjustable holders that prevent artwork from moving, plus a handle and a strap to make it easy to carry. Perfect surely?

Then of course there was all the work of finalising the design, identifying manufacturers and taking delivery. Not easy, but fun in its own way.

ArtCase A2 was subsequently launched in June 2014. Sales were encouraging if not phenomenal. Feedback suggested it was a little too cumbersome for some people, so ArtCase A3 followed in June 2015.

All I need to do now is find some time to paint as well as work and run a business on the side …


CarriArt products are simple yet ingenious. At the basic level they are simply boxes designed to make it easy to carry artwork or a palette. The clever bit is what goes on inside. Within each box a set of holders can be positioned to stop whatever is being carried or stored from moving around. The holders provide a simple, flexible, innovative, robust system for fixing things in place (which is why the holders are subject to a patent application).

As the holders can be moved around the same box can be used to for different sizes of item. For example, CarriArt ArtCase A2 can carry sizes of artwork up to ISO A2 (594x420mm or approximately 23x17"). If the painting is smaller, simply adjust the holders within ArtCase to the size of the painting.

Also, the holders are designed to prevent the item from moving horizontally or vertically. The holders fit around the side of whatever is being carried and also project at an angle over it. Further security is provided by the holders being the same height as the box - so once the box is closed the lid helps keep the holders in place. Hence you can carry the box as you like - even upside down if the mood takes you.

As the holders project at an angle over the item being held, contact is made with the corner where the top surface meets with the side. As contact with the top surface is absolutely minimal the holders are ideal when dealing with surfaces which are either wet or liable to damage in some other way.

The carrier itself is designed to be sturdy and easy to carry. All products feature a handle. On certain products an optional shoulder strap is available.

All design work has been carried out in the UK.


Design input has been provided by a number of designers, both from current manufacturers and those who worked on prototypes which didn’t make it to the final product. I am grateful to them all.

I clearly owe a significant debt to whoever invented the pizza box (though to be fair ,we do it with significantly more style).

Carol Archdale has provided valuable feedback, which led to the ArtCase ‘X’ products and ArtCase A3.

Finally my ongoing thanks to my wonderful wife for her invaluable support, input and assistance.

Trading statement

Doug Smith trading as CarriArt. Work on CarriArt started trading in June 2014, with design work  having begun in July 2013.

Intellectual property

The function of the holders is covered by the patent application 1313250.1 lodged with the UK Patent Office in July 2013.

About CarriArt