Walter Awlson is known throughout Britain for his figurative ceramic sculptures. He has been interested in figure drawing since his secondary school days at Galashiels Academy and his ability in drawing forms the basis of his work. This interest was developed at Edinburgh College of Art where he studied furniture design as his main subject.
It was only later that he discovered clay and became obsessed with the handling of the material and the firing of it. "Any child loves playing with mud and has a fascination for fire. It is a marvellous way to earn one's living. I particularly enjoy raku firing which is done with real flames and smoke." Walter now produces slip-cast ceramic sculptures, which are all signed and numbered in limited editions.
Over the years he has overcome the technical problems of slip-casting a complex form which can then withstand the thermal shock of raku firing (where the piece is taken out of the hot kiln). This means that he can produce sculptures at a reasonable cost which have all the richness and individuality of that type of firing. As an alternative, he sometimes uses stoneware glazes. Fired at a higher temperature, these pieces , which have stone-like or bronze-like finishes, are harder and can be placed outside in a sheltered spot.
In a realistic style, he models nude studies which often express a quiet repose or stillness, and child studies which can be more lively. Pieces vary in size from a few centimetres to life-size. There is always a range of sculpture by Walter Awlson on display at Tolquhon and works not on show may be ordered.