Lucie Rie (1902-1995) trained as a potter in Vienna and moved to England in 1938. She established a home and studio near Marble Arch, London, where she worked until just before her death. Alongside Hans Coper, Rie brought a new aesthetic to British wheel-thrown ceramics, one essentially derived from Continental modernism. After a period making buttons and jewellery she began producing her well designed tableware, alongside some individual pieces, which by the 1970s she was making almost exclusively.
Rie’s pots could have a quietly sculptural quality. Her sgraffito-decorated bowls, elegant and balanced cups and saucers, her tall narrow necked bottles were certainly modern, but also recalled early Oriental pieces in their simplicity. Her best work was understated and urbane, showing her general appreciation of 20th century form and space. Unlike so many potters today she never wrote or theorised about her work, preferring to let it speak for itself.