Spark: ten

A series about people that have influenced my creative path

Lucie Rie, footed bowl, porcelain, bronze rim, pink inlay, matt glaze, dia: c.22 cm, c.1980. Galerie Besson, London.

I will happily admit that I didn’t discover Lucie Rie (1902-1995) until my 30s, but following a trip to the V&A I’ve been quietly in awe of her ever since. The delicacy of her throwing, and her deceptively simple decoration and glazes have influenced many before me. I’ve almost finished reading Emmanuel Cooper’s beautiful and respectfully written biography of her – a fascinating read.


7 thoughts on “Spark: ten

  1. I bought the Tony Birk’s book on Lucie Rie about twenty five years ago for my then boyfriend’s birthday (now my husband). We both loved her work and I have pored over the book ever since. I particularly loved her use of sgraffito and when I took my first pottery class about five years ago, her influence was always in the back of my mind and I was determined to try the technique. It still remains my favourite technique!

    • Jo, I think you and I must have been twins in a former life! When I did my pottery evening classes in London I tried out double dipping my pots first in white, then partially in a coloured glaze and then incising lines through the colour to reveal the white underneath – all inspired by Lucie Rie. One day we will meet – somewhere between Fife and Aberdeen and we’ll have loads to talk about.

  2. Juliet, I have recently read both Emmanuel Cooper’s and Tony Birk’s books on Lucie Rie. Amazingly, I hadn’t really taken much note of her work, although I knew of it. But reading the books was incredibly inspiring and she now sits there at the back of my mind as I make.

    • She certainly was formidable, in the best sense. I love the quiet battle she had with Bernard Leach… in that she respected him enormously, tried to follow his advice, failed and then carried on regardless (with the help of Coper of course). How did you get hold of the Tony Birk book? I’m having trouble finding a copy.

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