Potters David and Becki Dahlstedt Featured Artists Nov. 18 at Arkansas Craft Gallery
Potters David and Becki Dahlstedt will be Featured Artists at the Arkansas Craft Gallery, Nov. 18, from 10-5, when they will demonstrate hand built techniques incorporated into their wheel thrown, functional stoneware. David and Becki have been making pottery together since 1984 when Becki joined David as a crafts interpreter at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas. David studied pottery at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, before coming to the Folk Center in 1978. Becki had a studio at the Berkeley Potter’s Guild in Berkeley, California, before finding her way to Mountain View.
While demonstrating pottery at the Folk Center they developed an extensive line of decorative and functional stoneware pottery which they continue to produce and market throughout the State. Stoneware may be used in the oven, microwave and dishwasher, as it’s fired to a high temperature to create a durable and safe product. In 1990 they began building a studio adjacent to their home with assistance from an Individual Artist’s Fellowship which David received from the Arkansas Arts Council. Since 1996 David and Becki have worked exclusively in their home studio, “Mountain View Pottery,” near the Court Square in Mountain View.
Dahlstedt pottery has been in the Arkansas Craft Gallery for over 30 years, home to the Arkansas Craft Guild. David and Becki have been active members of the Guild, serving on the Board of Directors and the Standards Committee; Becki spent many hours helping manage the Gallery and promote it. David is pottery instructor at the Arkansas Craft School and will be teaching 2 classes this fall at the school’s new location on the corner of Main and Peabody on the Square. He helped build the kiln shed behind the Craft School. For the past 16 years David and Becki have organized and participated in the award winning Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour, held the 3rd weekend of September annually, which welcomes visitors into the private working space created out of their shared talent and passion for their craft.
You can purchase their work by visiting one of the Arkansas galleries where their work is currently available: the Arkansas Craft Gallery, the Ozark Folk Center Gift Shop, and the Dulcimer Shoppe in Mountain View; the Butler Center Galleries in Little Rock, and Crystal Bridges Museum Store in Bentonville. Or you can contact Becki and David directly to visit their studio year round. Go to Dahlstedtpottery.com for more information.
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Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.