Lucie Rie was born Lucie Gomperz in 1902 in Vienna. She toured Europe with her antiquarian uncle before going on to study ceramics at the Kunstgewerbeschule under Michael Powolny from 1922 to 1926 .
During her time there she conducted exhaustive glaze trials which provided the foundation for the stunning range of coloured glazes which characterised her later work. She threw pots at her and her husband Hans's architect-designed flat (to be recreated with the original furniture and fittings in Albion Mews, London) and exhibited in Italy, Paris and Brussels before coming as a refugee with Hans to London in 1938 . They lived in Hampstead initially until Lucie moved her home and workshop to Albion Mews, Bayswater where she lived, after they divorced and Hans moved to America in 1940 , until her death in 1995 . Early on she visited Bernard Leach in Shinners Bridge for four days 'tuition' and although their aesthetic diverged widely they remained friends. From 1940-43 , forced to temporarily abandon pottery, she worked for Fritz Lampl's Bimini glass, jewellery and button workshop and in 1945 opened a clay button-making business with assistants in Albion Mews in 1945 . Hans Coper, a young German refugee, joined the workshop in 1946 and so begun a life long friendship between the two pre-eminent modernist potters of the twentieth-century. Together they were responsible for producing a range of tableware that embodied the simple bold shapes of the 1950's , working together from 1949 . Although they produced no joint pieces after 1958 they continued to share a creative dialogue for the rest of their lives. In the mid to late 1940's she began to produce one-off thrown stoneware and porcelain. Rie exhibited widely throughout her long career, in commercial galleries such as Primavera in Sloane Street (and later Cambridge), Peter Dingley Gallery, Berkeley Galleries, Davies Street, Fischer Fine Art and Anita Besson; with retrospective exhibitions in London in 1967 organised by the Arts Council, at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in 1981 and at the V & A Museum, and at the Crafts Council in 1992 and following her death at the Barbican Art Gallery in 1997 . She also exhibited in Japan and the USA. Rie's later work was characterised by delicate porcelain and stoneware bowls and tall narrow necked bottles with brilliantly coloured glazes using pigments or slips eg yellow, bronze and manganese. Sgraffito was often used as well as heavily pitted textured stoneware glazes. She was awarded an honorary degree from the Royal College of Art, where she taught part-time from 1960-1971 , and the DBE in 1991 .