Carl Walters treated his artmaking as play rather than work. He was formally trained at the Minneapolis School of Fine Art and the New York School of Art, but the works for which he is best known are those he taught himself how to make. In addition to teaching himself to work with clay, Walters also built himself a glass furnace. After thirteen months of experimentation, he created a set of glass doors for the Whitney Museum in New York City. The wit and humor of his ceramic animals are the very qualities by which Walters is often described. He hoped viewers took as much enjoyment from looking at them as he did from creating them. Walters joined the Maverick Art Colony outside of Woodstock, New York, which fostered the creativity of early-twentieth-century writers, artists, and actors in the rustic Catskill Mountains.