Leo Atkinson has been mastering the Lapidary Arts since the late 1980’s. Somewhere in the middle of this new career of his, he recruited his kids into the shop to help him with the ever increasing demand for his one of a kind fossil and mineral sculpture. An unintended (or possibly intended) consequence of bringing his children into the fold is they eventually fell in love with rocks and became proficient in many of the lapidary techniques. Fast forward to 2012, after graduating college and working several years in the real world two of Leo’s children, Dustin and Siara, decided to work with their Father full-time as a chance to be closer to family while at the same time seeing different parts of the US. Through the past 6 years all of Leo’s children have continued to contribute to the family livelihood on a part-time basis with the exception of Dusty who is now a full time Artist alongside his Father. Both Leo and Dusty have their own unique styles, yet on occasion they will combine their talents to create a collaborative masterpiece.
RICHARD “LEO” ATKINSON
Leo is a self-taught lapidary artist, turned sculptor with over 30 years of experience in the field. For him, most of the fun is in procuring the stone that will eventually become a work of art. Leo believes that Stone represents the most basic and elemental form of matter on Earth. As humans we all experience a need to “Create”, his creative desire gravitates toward the “energy” of Minerals and Fossils. Leo’s favorite challenge as an artist is to achieve perfection in form without destroying any of the essential elements of the original fossil or mineral in its natural form.
Dusty, Leo’s son and partners grew up helping his Father in the workshop with all the small details that go into creating a sculpture masterpiece. After many years apprenticing with Leo in the studio Dusty eventually acquired all the requisite knowledge and techniques to create sculptures of his own. Though similar in basic design, if you look closely, you’ll notice subtle differences in the shapes and materials in which the two artists endeavor to work with. A few times a year the Father-Son team will collaborate to create a rare one of a kind masterpiece. In addition to working in the shop on sculptures, Dusty has put his Business Management degree to work in running the day to day operations of Stone Art Studios and its sister company “The Geode Guys.” (Link to Geode Guys page) Outside of the studio/office Dusty enjoys exploring the mountains of Colorado with his beautiful wife Clarice and their Golden Doodle “Peanut.”
To learn more about the process of creating these one-of-a-kind sculptures please visit the Artistic process page of the website.