Still Life with Chainsaw OR …Cans Have Meanings: Hot Out of the Kiln for October 2014

Still Life with Chainsaw

As a maker of ceramic cans, I have to admit the idea for a Can o’ WhupAss has crossed my mind more than once over the past several years. But, I hesitated. Would it be Too Obvious? Too Crass? Merely Clever?

So, I never went there.

Then, almost inevitably,  a canny collector (pun intended) casually asked me if I had ever done that.  I admitted to having always wanted to, so she spurred it on, asking me to make not one, but TWO Cans o’ WhupAss for her, my design.

A large part of the meaning of a piece like this comes from the sight gag: a REAL can of *fake* WhupAss, replete with tag lines and slogans! (“Use Full Strength” “Don’t Make Me Open It!”) But it is also a faux metal 100% ceramic can. Hmm, very interesting. Oh, and it really opens and could really contain *something.*  It’s part of the dramatic interactive meaning.

And to get it all exactly correct, I needed to ask my canny collector just how SHE spelled WhupAss?

Whoop Ass? WhoopAss? Whoopass? All rejected as “too blue-bloodish”  by her reckoning.

Whup Ass-WhupAss-Whupass: all were better suited to the hillbilly connotations. I chose Whup Ass for graphic layout reasons, but was more than happy to get the tonality dialed in.

I made a third can for myself – but someone else already wants that. I am glad I took the time to get it right in form and function. It seems a Can of Whup Ass is somewhat of a household necessity, full of meaning, and I might soon be making more.

-Liz Crain, who often places her Hot Out of the Kiln work on a nearby wooden surface to cool fully and noticed the matching chainsaw when taking the photos. Meaning Galore!





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