Tony Birks, Lucie Rie, Yeovil, Somerset, 1987, pp. 185 and 212 (for related examples) Oliver Watson, British Studio Pottery, Oxford, 1990, p. 107 (for a related example) Emmanuel Coper, Lucie Rie: Modernist Potter, New Haven, 2012, no. 98 (for a related example)
Lucie Rie thought of herself as a “man-made” potter. Trained at the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Art and Design) in Vienna in the 1920s, Rie gained international recognition at the 1925 Paris International Exhibition where she exhibited an earthenware piece that was inspired by Asian aesthetics. Just before World War II, she fled Austria and settled in London where she established her own studio and began collaborating with her mentee and longtime friend Hans Coper, another leading figure of British studio pottery.
Throughout her career, Rie revealed little about her artistic techniques as onlookers marveled at the unparalleled beauty and complexity of her ceramics. “I work in a completely unorthodox manner, no longer using any form of scientific method,” Rie explained, “I glaze my pots raw, often using a number of glazes on top of each other and sometimes between one glaze and the next layer of slip.” Using an electric, oxidizing kiln to fire her pieces, she created rich, nuanced glazes and in a wide range of colors. Particularly towards the end of 1970s, Rie experimented with bright pinks, blues, and yellows, creating exquisite low footed bowls incorporating a dripping bronze glaze at the rim and incised lines, as seen in the present lot. The old-fashioned kiln that she used to fire these later pieces testify to the potter’s prodigious mastery over the chemical aspect of firing complex pots and creating vivid colors.
Overall very good condition. The glazed surfaces with scattered minute surface irregularities inherent in the glaze. The rim with a small irregularity which is likely a repair made by the artist during production. A very delicate and elegant form with desirable pink glaze and dynamic decoration. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.