To Lucie, Love Bernard


To Lucie, Love Bernard

In 1943 Bernard Leach gave Lucie Rie a Joseon Dynasty moon jar that he had purchased in his travels to Korea in 1935. He asked Rie to care for it for a short time but it ultimately remained with her until her death in 1995. This moon jar is often visible in the background of studio photos of Rie and her work; an ever-present mystical orb, a link between two great ceramists of the time and the undeniable Eastern aesthetic influence on contemporary studio pottery in Europe.


In To Lucie, Love Bernard, a signature form of Rie’s and a moon jar symbolically represent the two historical figures. On one pedestal, Rie’s vase is elevated to stand ever-so-slightly above the moon jar. With a touch of absurdity, two versions of these pots are split in half and stored away in boxes of an archival nature. Upon pulling out the drawer of the box, two small bits of fictitious correspondence between Leach and Rie are revealed hinting at the charged nature of their historical standing.


Dear Lucie,

Sometimes I wonder if you are mythologizing me like I do you?

Yours, Bernard


Dear B.,

I mean this in the best possible way, fuck off.

Cheers, L.R.

P.S. the moon jar is lovely