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Patrick Crabb

Chinese/American, b. 1947

Shard Bowl

6.25 x 7 x 7 in. (15.875 x 17.78 x 17.78 cm)
Gift of the artist

Patrick Shia Crabb is a potter and sculptor known for his “deconstruction” treatment prompted by Rick Dillingham’s (see 1989 Globe) vessels that were inspired by ancient cultures. Crabb’s deconstructed shard works are fired at a high bisque (Cone 02; nearly 2000°), then broken into pieces. Each shard is glazed individually and reassembled into the original form. Shard Bowl is a precursor, literally a harbinger, for the path his work has taken over the last thirty years. The four decorated interior shards have different surface and glaze treatments: low-salt, obvara (Eastern Europe raku yeast brew “dunk”), sawdust, horsehair, oxidation and other atmospheric firing methods. For Crabb, the shards reference antiquity while the bright patterned colors reference contemporary times.

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 Bachelor of Fine Arts work at the University of Massachusetts. In 1976, he received a Master of Fine Arts 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.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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