Born in Vienna, but worked most of her life in London.
Lucie Rie (Gomperz) was born in Vienna to Gisela and Benjamin Gomperz. From the very beginning of her career as a potter she made distinctly original earthenware influenced by jewellery rather than the ceramics of the time. In 1937 she won a silver medal at the Paris International Exhibition and by the Second World War she was well known in Europe. In the same year she moved to England. Her work and life were profoundly influenced by Bernard Leach and a German immigrant Hans Coper, who went on to become one of the world's leading potters. In 1946, when out of work, Coper was introduced to Lucie Rie and was taken in by her as a shop assistnat. Functional tableware with delicate sgraffitto decoration is typical of Rie's style. She taught at the Camberwell School of Art and in 1968 won an OBE. Rie's work is held in many private collections and can be seen at the V & A Museum.
Up to 1948, her pottery produced red or buff earthen ware. After that, things were made in stoneware. Although nearly all wares were sold under Lucie Rie's name, both potters prodcued work. Two monogram seals, or maker's marks - LR and HC - often apper side by side on the underside of a pot.
She used a top-loading kiln, and worked with Coper beginning in 1949. At this time, Rie intriduced porcelain to her workshop.
It was Coper who first made a stamp with LR for Lucie.
Lucie Rie, by Tony Birks, Chilton Trade Book Publishing, Radnor PA, ISBN 0-8019-7962-5
Lucie Rie and Hans Coper: Potters in Parallel, edited by Margot Coatts, Herbert Press in conjunction with Barbican Art Gallery, 1997, ISBN 1-889250-07-4 (see photo pp. 57 of coffee set, c. 1955
Dame Lucie Rie, DBE (1902 -1995) was an influential Austrian-born British studio potter.
Life Lucie (pronounced "Lutzie") Rie was born Luzie Gomperz in Vienna, Austria, the youngest child of Benjamin Gomperz, a medical doctor who was a consultant to Sigmund Freud. She had two brothers, Paul and Teddy. Paul was killed in the Italian front in 1917. She studied pottery under Michael Powolny at the Kunstgewerbeschule, the art school associated with the Wiener Werkstätte (the "Vienna Workshops), a craft workshop. She set up her first studio in Vienna in 1925. She exhibited at her first International Exhibition that year, in Paris. In 1937 she won a silver medal at the Paris International Exhibition (the same exhibition for which Pablo Picasso painted Guernica). In 1938 she fled Nazi Austria and emigrated to England, where she settled in London. Around this time she separated from Hans Rie, a businessman whom she had married in Vienna. For a time she provided accommodation to another Austrian émigré, the Austrian physicist, Erwin Schrödinger. During and after the war, to make ends meet, she made ceramic buttons and jewellery, some of which can be seen displayed at London's Victoria and Albert Museum. In 1946 she hired Hans Coper, a young man with no experience in ceramics, to help her fire the buttons. Although Coper was interested in learning sculpture, she sent him to a potter named Heber Matthews, who quickly taught him how to make pots on the wheel. Rie and Coper exhibited together only two years later, in 1948. He quickly became a partner in her studio, where he worked until 1958. Their friendship lasted until he died in 1981. Her small studio was at 18 Albion Mews, a former narrow street of converted stables located just meters from Hyde Park. She would invite just about anyone in for tea as late as the 1980s. Visitors who had seen photos of her studio taken in the 1940s would be amazed that every piece of furniture and pottery was in exactly the same place 40 years later. The studio is to be moved and reconstructed in the new ceramics gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum due to be opened in 2009. Because of her close collaboration with Coper, and perhaps because they were both pre-war immigrants from German-speaking countries, Rie's pottery is often associated with Coper's, but while his work tended to be sculptural and abstract, Rie's remained predominantly functional. Rie's pottery was also very different from that of Bernard Leach, a dominant figure in British studio pottery from the 1920s to the 1970s. Unlike his rustic, Japanese-influenced pottery, mainly in browns and greys, her work has been described as cosmopolitan and architectural and often was decorated with bright glazes. Rie is particularly known for bowl and bottle forms. Her pottery is displayed in collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and reaches high prices in salerooms. Rie herself stopped making pottery in 1990, when she suffered the first of a series of strokes. She died at home on April 1, 1995, aged 93. Awards and honours