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March, 2023
Lucie Rie, Bowl, 1971, Crafts Council Collection: P107. Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd | All images © Estate of Lucie Rie

Ground-breaking artist Lucie Rie (1902–1995) is regarded as one of the most influential potters of our time.

Now, a remarkable chance to see her works in person – the textures, natural pigments and all – is presented at a significant new show at Kettle’s Yard.

Lucie Rie in her studio at Albion Mews, 1990s. From the Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts, RIE/20/1/11. © Estate of Lucie Rie / Times Newspapers Ltd | All images © Estate of Lucie Rie

Lucie Rie: The Adventure of Pottery, shares more than 100 works available to be experienced up close and personal in the intimate space in Cambridge. With more than 25 per cent of the works in the show from a private collection, these sculptures have rarely seen before. In addition, this is the first survey of her pottery in the UK for over 20 years, a show the Kettle’s Yard curators were working on since 2019.

Tableware, bowls, vases and buttons all formed with natural clay and colours to spark the imagination and furthermore, emotion. The beautiful pots on display are evident with an unexplainable depth, they seem both fragile and tough, much like the personality of Lucie Rie.

Lucie Rie, Bowl, 1977, thrown porcelain with manganese glaze and sgraffito decoration, Middlesbrough Collection. Purchased with assistance from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund | All images © Estate of Lucie Rie
Lucie Rie, Buttons, 1940s, earthenware. Courtesy of Mitochu Koeki. Photograph: Takao Ōya | All images © Estate of Lucie Rie
Lucie Rie, Teapots, 1950s, stoneware. Private Collection. Photograph: David Gerrans | All images © Estate of Lucie Rie

“To make pottery is an adventure to me, every new work is a new beginning.” – Lucie Rie

Born in Vienna, Rie emigrated to London to escape Nazi persecution in 1938, and built her career there in a pivotal time after a very turbulent war.

The Adventure of Pottery is a rare opportunity for visitors to experience Rie’s works in person and understand more about her life journey, explained through the beautifully curated exhibition. Various rooms are dedicated to sections of her life, building the understanding of Rie’s life and work influenced by economic and demographic factors.

An inspiration to many, Rie’s legacy continues to live on brightly in her meticulously works made by hand. A testament to the craft.

Lucie Rie, Bowl, c.1962, stoneware. Courtesy Andrey Gertsev | All images © Estate of Lucie Rie
Lucie Rie, Footed bowl, c.1978-80, stoneware & Lucie Rie, Bowl, c.1975, stoneware with ‘American’ yellow glaze. Both Private Collection. Photograph: Mark Dalton | All images © Estate of Lucie Rie
Lucie Rie, Coffee set, c.1960, stoneware. Private Collection. Photograph: David Gerrans | All images © Estate of Lucie Rie
Lucie Rie, Vase with flared lip, c.1978, porcelain. Private Collection. Photograph: Maak Contemporary Ceramics | All images © Estate of Lucie Rie
Lucie Rie, Vase, 1970s, stoneware, porcelain slip and dolomite glaze with incised vertical lines. From the Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts, P.76.5. © Estate of Lucie Rie. Photograph: Whitechapel Gallery / Stephen White Photography | All images © Estate of Lucie Rie
Lucie Rie, Turquoise bowl with bronze rim, 1980s, stoneware. The Derek Williams Trust on long term loan to Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales. Images courtesy of Erskine, Hall & Coe; Photography by Michael Harvey | All images © Estate of Lucie Rie

Kettle’s Yard 
Castle St, Cambridge CB3 0AQ, United Kingdom

Lucie Rie: The Adventure of Pottery 4 March 2023 – 25 June 2023

For more destinations in the United Kingdom, click here.

Text: Nicole Haines 
Images: As credited

March, 2023