Lucie Rie was an Austrian ceramicist she was born in Vienna, and active Austria and Britain. Between 1922-26, she studied fine art, at Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna, under Michael Powolny.

A selection of glazed ceramic buttons (1944–45), Lucie Rie

She first became involved in pottery with Powolny and, 1926-38, was a successful potter in her studio in Vienna and active in the movement Neue Werkbund Osterreichs. She moved to Britain in 1938 as Hitler gained power. In 1939, she was settled in Albion Mews, London. In 1945, after wartime closure, she reopened Lucie Rie pottery and button-making workshop. Her unique handmade buttons were made to order, and she developed an extensive range of her glazes to match customers’ fabrics. 

Albion Mews workshop

From 1946, German potter Hans Coper joined Rie in the Albion Mews workshop. She became known for her sophisticated domestic wares, including late-1950s coffee services. Her subtle green, yellow, and pastel pink glazes, often employing cross-hatched sgraffito decoration and rough white tin glaze applied to pots which were only fired once. She taught at the Camberwell School of Art to 1971. 

Dame Lucie Rie in her studio at Albion Mews, via University for the Creative Arts, Surrey

Influence

Her most famous works are vases, bottles, and bowls inspired by Japan and many other places. Other pieces, such as buttons that she left to her close friend the Japanese designer Issey Miyake, and bowls, including her egg cup, she gave to publisher Susan Shaw. Rie worked in vivid colours, brilliantly glazed magenta and peacock blue and gold.

Lucie Rie Footed Bowl c. 1951

Awards and Recognition

She was awarded a gold medal at the 1935 Brussels international exhibition and a silver medal for work in the Austrian pavilion at the 1937 Paris ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques clans la Vie Moderne.’ As a student, she showed her first pots in 1923 at the Palais Stoclet, Brussels. She participated in the 1925 Paris ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes,’ 1930 (IV) Monza ‘Esposizione Triennale delle Arti Decorative e Industriali Modeme,’ 1951 (IX), 1954 (X) Triennali di Milano, 1959 (XX) ‘Ceramic International Exhibition’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and 1986 ‘Nine Potters’ exhibition at the Fischer Fine Art gallery, London. In 1949, she exhibited for the first time at the Berkeley Gallery, London, and, in 1950 and 1956, shared an exhibition there with Coper. They showed together at the Rohsska Konstslojdmuseet, Gothenburg, in 1955; Boymans Museum, Rotterdam, in 1967; at the Gemeentemuseum, Arnhem; Museum für Künste und Gewerbe, Hamburg, in 1971; and at the Fischer Fine Art gallery, London, in 1984. Retrospectives of her work were mounted at the Arts Council Gallery, London, in 1967 and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, in 1981, and at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She received a CBE in 1981. 

Examples of her work

Lucie Rie, Hans Coper. Casserole. c. 1948 | MoMA

Lucie Rie, Hans Coper. Casserole. c. 1948. Glazed stoneware. Overall: 6 1/2 x 11 1/4 x 10″ (16.5 x 28.6 x 25.4 cm) .a (dish): 4 x 11 1/4 x 10″ (10.2 x 28.6 x 25.4 cm) .b (cover): 2 1/2 x 9 1/2″ (6.4 x 24.1 cm).

Lucie Rie. Teapot, Cream Pitcher, and Sugar Bowl. c. 1950 | MoMA

Lucie Rie. Teapot, Cream Pitcher, and Sugar Bowl. c. 1950. .1: Glazed stoneware and bamboo .2-.3: Glazed stoneware. .1 (teapot): 7 x 4 3/4″ (17.8 x 12.1 cm) .2 (cream pitcher): 3 3/4 x 3 3/8″ (9.5 x 8.6 cm) .3 (sugar bowl): 2 x 4 1/4″ (5.1 x 10.8 cm).

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Wikipedia contributors. (2020, December 31). Lucie Rie. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:14, January 10, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lucie_Rie&oldid=997526427

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