Rudy Autio was born in Butte, Montana, studied at MSU Bozeman where he befriended Peter Voulkos, helped found the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena Montana, and started the ceramics department at University of Montana, Missoula. Needless to say, he was an incredibly influential ceramic artist of the 20th century. His work is marked by giant, sculptural vessels wrapped in Matisse-inspired illustrations of reaching figures and cantering horses. I like them well enough, but I am sure a face-to-face introduction would find me more greatly wooed by Autio's work.
(images via artist's website and AskArt; portrait via Distinctly Montana)