Making Peace With The Beer Can Police

Liz Crain Ceramics

Usually my ceramic conetop beer cans delight. People marvel and touch. They tell me their beer can stories. They take them home to their mantels, dens and patios. Yet in truth not all go along with my artistic ruse. I find it’s nearly always because they are avid collectors of real metal vintage beer cans, and can’t abide my ceramic interpretations.  I call these guys The Beer Can Police and my work has been variously described by them as “fake,”  “pretty bizarre,”  and “weird beer can art.”

What follows are two instances where I got a chance to reply to their misguided objections and stick up for myself with kindness and perhaps a lil bit of schooling.

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An Opening Gambit

Photo by Tazo Ozawa
Liz Crain with Flora Benzal at Roscoe Ceramic Gallery     Photo by Tazo Ozawa



Art Openings. I used to think they were about The Art. Nah. They’re about the people who come to see the art  – and just possibly the artists.

The Art matters mightily, don’t get me wrong, but The Opening Moment affords a certain focused richness and therefore matters more in real time.  It’s this Moment that I address here, which is informally subtitled, “What Really Happened at the First Friday Opening for my 99 Cans of Beer on the Wall Exhibit at Roscoe Ceramic Gallery in Oakland, CA.”

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99 Cans of Beer On the Wall



Glory Be! It’s here!

My first ever Solo Show, “99 Cans of Beer on the Wall”  is installed for the month of May at Roscoe Ceramic Gallery in Oakland, CA.

You’re invited, whether in person or virtually. Or both. I love that. You can see the display,  purchase a piece or two, or just say hey. It all counts.Read More >

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It’s QUITsy with Etsy




Since July 18,  2009 I have offered a wide array of my ceramic work for sale through the online handcrafter’s marketplace known as Etsy.

But, now it’s kaput, done-ski, o.v.e.r. My Shop is still there, with a few remnant listings, but no need to check it out – it’s on Vacation – indefinitely – until I can take a stick and kill it.

It’s been a pretty fair run: 89 sales to some nice people, 99% of them living east of the Mississippi River, where I hardly ever go. (About one sale a month.) A nice fat PayPal account, for a time. 370 Shop Admirers.



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“OUT OF THE WOODS”: Hot Out of the Kiln for July, 2014

Here’s something wondrously new for me: my first three-artist invitational exhibit. I’m sharing the photos and this post the day it opened.

Out of the Woods 5-72dpi

You’re seeing work from the three of us. The provocative paintings of Courtney Johnson, the charming ceramic and bronze animals of Paula Wenzl Bellacera and, from me, the Amador County Series beer cans and some great new TeaCans.

All will be at the Fine Eye Gallery (in Sutter Creek, CA) “Out of the Woods”  Fine Art Series from July 1, 2014 to August 31, 2014.

You are invited to take yourself out to the charming Mother Lode for a visit. I will be going later this month to see it for myself. (Maybe even drop off replacement work!)Read More >

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Getting the Signs Right




Here’s to all those mandatory white booths at outdoor art exhibits. It coordinates the look of the festival, but it can un-orient a visitor. The artwork might be memorable, but, really, in an ocean of 10x10s arrayed in semi-meandering quasi-suburban tract rows, what sets one booth apart from another? Might as well be Cubicle Nation, Artisan Style.

As a visitor and at times the artist in one of those booths who wants to get found and remembered, I have taken a tiny step to address this sameness: descriptive signage on the outside valances of my EZ-Up.Read More >

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