Lucie Rie (1902 – 1995) British Ceramicist

Lucie Rie (1902 – 1995) was an Austrian-born British ceramicist. She was born in Vienna and active in Austria and Britain. Between 1922-26, she studied fine art, at Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna, under Michael Powolny.

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Early Career

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’s pottery and button-making workshop. Her unique handmade buttons were made to order, and she developed an extensive range of glazes to match customers’ fabrics. 

Albion Mews workshop

In 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 that were only fired once. She taught at the Camberwell School of Art in 1971. 

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Rie worked in vivid colours, brilliantly glazed magenta and peacock blue and gold. 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.

Lucie Rie Footed Bowl c. 1951
Lucie Rie Footed Bowl c. 1951

Awards and Recognition

  • She was awarded a gold medal at the 1935 Brussels international exhibition.
  • 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,
  • 1986 ‘Nine Potters’ exhibition at the Fischer Fine Art gallery, London.
  • In 1949, she exhibited for the first time at the Berkeley Gallery, London, 1950 and 1956, she shared an exhibition there with Coper.
  • Rohsska Konstslojdmuseet, Gothenburg, in 1955;
  • Boymans Museum, Rotterdam, in 1967; at the
  • Gemeentemuseum, Arnhem; Museum fรผr Kรผnste und Gewerbe, Hamburg, in 1971;
  • 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. 

Museum Collections


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


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