Lucie Rie: Ceramics & Buttons (exhibition)

Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York Art Gallery

22 June 2018 – 12 May 2019

The craft of fashion is at the heart of the work that Welsh has produced for this exhibition. The garments were influenced by the modernist qualities within Lucie Rie’s ceramics. Rie’s sculptural ceramic buttons, which were initially produced during World War 2, were used by couturiers searching for methods of adding adornment without flaunting the wartime austerity measures which had been placed on the manufacturing of clothes.


Welsh’s garments celebrate materials and place a value on the hand-made and hand-woven.

They hark back to a period when the couturier or dressmakers’ skills were sought after as a superior form of craftsmanship.  Domestic post war Simplicity patterns were used to inform the pattern cutting, and traditional dressmaking and couture techniques were employed to expose the process of making and to place a value on the slow and the hand-made. These skills are currently on the decline and are being replaced by mass global manufacturing.


Lucie Rie Image Courtesy of York Museums Trust / CC BY-SA 4.0


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