Patrick shia crabb

“The shard vessels [I create] reflect ... my interest in the forms and surfaces from archeological artifacts of ancient times.


Price range: $650 to $1,300

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Patrick Shia Crabb

The broken surfaces, distinct patterns and pictographic images of the ceramic vessels by Patrick Shia Crabb allude to the fragility of surfaces, from historical broken pottery to geological rock facings. His distinct, bright colors bridge the past with the present, each piece is contemporary; each piece asks that we look at our culture and observe how we define “beautiful.”

Patrick Shia Crabb earned his BFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MA and his MFA from the University of California in Santa Barbara, CA; he also received a Fulbright Scholar Award and has been a Professor of Art at Santa Ana College in Santa Ana, CA since 1976. Crabb has spent time as an adjunct professor at California State University in Fullerton, CA and Utah State University in Logan, Utah.

The adoption by Patrick Shia Crabb of his unique technique was directly influenced by the work of artist Rick Dillingham (1952-1994) who conveyed in his works that broken ceramic surfaces can be an artistic attribute. Working in ceramics for over thirty-five years Patrick Shia Crabb brings tremendous acumen to his creation process. “The shard vessels [I create] reflect ... my interest in the forms and surfaces from archeological artifacts of ancient times. The vessel form suggests a figure with its soft profile, and the wall plate surfaces reference cultural markings (African/Meso-America/Asian) of another time. While the raku process does have its historical Japanese antecedents, I employ it here only as a dark counterpoint and visual variety against the bright colors.”

Each piece by Patrick Shia Crabb is wheel thrown then altered in its wet state. After the initial bisque firing, the vessel is intentionally broken into fragments (shards) and is ready to receive glaze patterns. Many of his shards are fired in raku, oxidation, sawdust or low-temperature salt; burnishing, glass fragments and horsehair are also applied to enhance the layering of techniques. The parts are glued together with epoxy.

The work of Patrick Shia Crabb is included in over 60 public collections including: Auckland Museum, New Zealand; Kyushu Ceramics Museum, Japan; Laguna Beach Art Museum, CA; International Ceramics Museum, Faenza, Italy; Taipei Museum of Art, Taiwan; Guangzhou Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China; Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, Alabama; Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC. Patrick Shia Crabb has participated in 24 international exhibitions, 291 group juried/invitational exhibitions and 60 solo/duo exhibitions.