Water Dexter was born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1931, and received his Diploma in Ceramics from the Alberta College of Art in 1954. He later went on to study at the Swedish School of Art in Stockholm and then to teach at the Kootenay School of Arts in Nelson, British Columbia; the Vancouver Community College; the Emily Carr College of Art; the University of Saskatoon, and the University of Victoria.
He has exhibited across Canada and internationally. In 1962, he received a silver medal at the International Ceramics Exhibition in Prague, and the following year was presented with the outstanding Stoneware Award at the Canadian Ceramics Biennial.
In 1978, he was the President of the Craftsmen�s Association of British Columbia and a Director of the Canadian Crafts Council. He has also served as President and Vice-President of Ceramists Canada. He continues to live and work in Metchosin, where he co-edited The Art of Earth with the late Rona Murray.