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Bowl (brown and white inlaid line), 1974

Lucie Rie was one of the foremost potters of the 20th century. Though retaining conventional vase and bowl shapes, Rie created a highly expressive and original formal language, influenced by traditions ranging from prehistoric pots to Islamic fritware. Her technique was also innovative, notably for the practice of decorating and glazing pots before once-firing them.

This bowl was decorated with inlaid lines on the outside and sgraffito lines on the inside, a common feature in Rie’s work from the early 1950s. She used a steel needle to draw lines into the ceramic. This was a long-winded and risky process, inspired by the bronze-age pots decorated with lines etched with bird bones, which she first saw at Avebury, in Wiltshire.

Ceramic [LR 2]



80 x 200 mm

About the artist

Rie was born in Vienna, Austria. After training at the Kunstgewerbe Schule, she moved to England in 1938. She worked with Hans Coper for many years, but it was only in the 1950s that the quality of her work was recognised. Although Rie was an admirer of Bernard Leach's work, her production was much more metropolitan in style, with no undertones of folk art. She taught at Camberwell College of Art and received an OBE in 1968.