Crabb was born in Shanghai, China in 1947 and immigrated to the United States with his father, who was in the Air Force, and Chinese mother, from Taiwan, at the age of eight. Crabb and his two younger brothers moved many times, but a summer house at Cape Cod motivated his BFA work at the University of Massachusetts. In 1976, he received a MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was Professor of Ceramics from 1976-2015 at Santa Ana Community College, California, except for two quarters in 1983 where he taught at Utah State University during a job/house swap with Alan Bennett, (see Alan Bennett’s 1980 Fish Bowl and Fish). Crabb’s travels and experience of primitive cultures of Asia, Africa and South America have impacted his multi-cultural imageries and colors.