Rudy Autio (American, born in Butte, Montana 1926 — 2007)

I still love [clay] because there are so many ways you can go with it and because it requires great focus and concentration. There’s the interesting technical side to firing clay, the sculptural side and the painting side. Other arts seem so distant to me right now.

Born in the shadows of the Depression, Rudy Autio drew inspiration from his immigrant Finnish heritage. He spent the majority of his career in Montana and had a deep sense of place about the open western environment. Informed by his childhood experiences and his love of Montana’s rich history, Rudy created a unique body of work that captured the artist’s personal worldview. 

Rudy Autio was an innovative artist whose career path followed a steady progression of artistic excellence, both in the realm of craft and fine art. As an artist and educator, he helped change how ceramists were viewed; they were no longer potters, but artists. Autio’s contribution to the ceramic arts is unquestioned, as is his influence on successive generations of ceramists

During his artistic career, Autio altered his color palate. His expanded use of color to create narratives allowed him to expand his visual vocabulary.  Clay turned out to be the perfect medium for Autio, allowing him to adding dimension to his voluptuous forms.  

Autio was one of the most innovative artists of his generation, whose career path followed a steady progression of artistic excellence, both in the realm of craft and fine art.