Bachelor of Science, Montana State University, 1950; Master of Fine Arts, Washington State University, 1952; Doctor of Fine Arts, Maryland. Institute College Art, Baltimore, 1986.
As a child, he first learned to draw by taking evening classes from Works Progress Administration artists working in Butte. He served in the Navy for two years during World War II. Frances Senska taught both of them. Autio earned a Master of Arts degree from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.
In 1952, Autio was a founding resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation. In 1957, Autio started the ceramics department at the University of Montana, in Missoula. He taught there for twenty-eight years and, until his death, he was retired as Professor Emeritus.
Autio's torso-shaped vessels are painted with figures and animals in a free linear style reminiscent of Matisse's drawings. They are found in permanent collections of museums around the world, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Brooklyn Museum, the Carnegie Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, the Applied Arts Museum in Helsinki, and the National Museum in Stockholm.
Fellow American Craftsmen Council (gold medal 1999), Archie Bray Foundation (trustee 1974), International Ceramic Society Geneva. Member National Council Education Ceramic Arts.