Fonds SC543 - Walter Dexter fonds

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Walter Dexter fonds

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  • Graphic material
  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1953 - 2013 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

5.94 of textual records and other materials

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Walter Gibson Dexter (1931-2015), R.C.A., was a Canadian ceramic artist, pottery artist and post-secondary ceramic art educator.

Walter Gibson Dexter was a Canadian ceramic artist and potter, born in Calgary, Alberta on October 3, 1931, and died on June 2, 2015 in Victoria, British Columbia. He attended the Alberta Institute of Art and Technology (now Alberta University of the Arts), where he gained an interest in ceramics through his mentor, Luke Lindoe. He earned a Diploma in Ceramics in 1954 from the Alberta College of Art (originally linked with the Alberta Institute of Art and Technology, now the Alberta University of the Arts). He was one of the first artists to receive a formal education in clay in Canada. He furthered his studies on ceramics at the Swedish School of Arts and Crafts (now the University of Arts, Crafts, and Design) in Stockholm on a scholarship he received from the University of Manitoba. Following this scholarship, he lived and traveled around Europe for two years. He returned to Calgary around 1956 after accepting a studio position with Lindoe, which he worked in for another two years. He then worked for a time as a designer and manager for Medalta Ceramics in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Following this position he learned new throwing techniques under Lindoe’s continued guidance and initially learned of Raku, a form of Japanese ceramics, through "A Potter’s Book" (1940) by Bernard Leach. He experimented with this process, although at first did not succeed, and would later learn contemporary Raku technologies and methods from Hal Reigger, an American potter. After receiving encouragement from Paul Sodner, another American potter, he would again experiment with these processes, pushing Raku in new directions.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of the personal papers of Walter Dexter including notes, photographs, pottery samples, supplies, bisque fired items, forms, tools, glaze tests. The fonds reflects the artistic practices of Dexter as a potter and ceramicist from the mid-1960s to approximately 2012. Textual records in the fonds consist of: correspondence, often pertaining to glaze recipes or suggestions for materials; materials related to Dexter’s artistic practice, including sketches, hand-written and typed notes, kiln blueprints, personal/artistic papers (i.e. studio license, exhibition pamphlets, etc.), research papers (i.e. articles, manuals), periodicals, newspaper clippings, and other materials; photographic prints, negatives, and slides; professional associations and affiliations (the Limners and BC Pottery Guild); pedagogical materials (i.e. attendance records, class notes, lecture notes, etc.); audiovisual materials (CDs and VHS tapes); and ceramic test glazes.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of Michael Haddon, June 2017.


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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised by JF, March 29, 2019.
Inventory created by Maegen Sargent, 2024.
Revised, April 18, 2024.

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


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