Walter trained as a stonecutter at the Art Development Program for Youth at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Ct. After serving in the U.S. Marines as a welder, he returned to his Irish heritage and Connecticut roots to open a blacksmith shop and work as a city firefighter.
Walter developed his own style while studying with several masters: Francis Whitaker, Manfred Bredohl, and Ivan Bailey. He participated in certificate progams in Architectural Technology at Hartford State Tech, and Architectural Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. He began to attract major clients after winning the USS Steel Design Competition in 1985 and exhibiting at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
Walter studied at the John C. Campbell Folk School, where he also taught for eight years. He demonstrated at the second World Congress at Aachen, Germany and the ABANA Conferences in Birmingham, Al., and St. Louis.
Walter worked on the restoration of several Yellin pieces at Yale University, and the restoration of the Guggenheim Museum’s carousel at Sands Point, N.Y. He was the primary blacksmith during the construction of the replica of the historic schooner Amistad at Mystic Seaport.
Walter has taught at several colleges and technical schools, and is working on several research and development projects. His other interests include old tugboats, open wheel auto racing, wind tunnels, and aerodynamic designs.
*My job is to create functional artwork, itself a contradiction in terms,” Walter says. “To take a steel bar and forge it into an element of beauty excites me. When I can create an architectural piece that will reward the casual observer, when they take the time to look at it, gives me a great feeling of pride. This craft, practiced for thousands of years, still amazes those involved and those who admire it. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of it all.”