Born in Vienna, she studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule under Michael Powolney and Joseph Hoffmann before she emigrated to England in 1938 and established a studio at Abion Mews in London. In the 1940s Rie worked together with Hans Coper making tableware and a strong and enduring friendship grew between the two potters. With his encouragement Rie developed a highly individual style based on the aesthetics of the ‘Modernist’ movement. Using the traditional methods of wheel-throwing her vessels were decorated with rich and vivid glazes, often used in conjunction with sets of parallel banded lines of inlay or sgraffito. Rie’s work offered an alternative and distinctly urban aesthetic to Bernard Leach’s Japanese inspired ceramic tradition.
Rie received several awards for her work and exhibited internationally with great success. Her small studio, near Hyde Park was reconstructed in the Victoria and Albert Museum. She stopped making pottery after a stroke in 1990, and died five years later.