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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 vessels (see 1989 Globe) inspired by ancient cultures. Crabb’s deconstructed shard works are bisque-fired at nearly two thousand degrees, then broken into pieces. Each shard is glazed individually and reassembled into the original form. Shard Bowl is a harbinger of the path his work has taken over the past thirty years. The four decorated interior shards have different surface and glaze treatments: low-salt, obvara (Eastern European raku yeast-brew “dunk”), sawdust, horsehair, oxidation, and other firing methods. For Crabb, the shards are a reference to antiquity, while the brightly patterned colors signify contemporary times.

Patrick 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 on Cape Cod prompted his BFA work at the University of Massachusetts. In 1976, he received an MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was professor of ceramics from 1976 to 2015 at Santa Ana Community College, except for two quarters in 1983 when he taught at Utah State University during a job swap with Alan Bennett (see Bennett’s 1980 Fish Bowl and Fish). Crabb’s travels and his experiences of the cultures of Asia, Africa, and South America have informed his multicultural imagery.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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