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jepson workshop experience

updated thu 11 mar 99


John Baisch on tue 9 mar 99

Hello All,

I wanted to share with everyone my experiences from Jepson's Pottery
School. I just got back Saturday 3/6 from a week in Geneva, Florida at
Stephen's class in the "Jungle".

Yes, Jungle school. He built a beautiful building behind his main
pottery operation right out in the Jungle. Very nice building with
screened-in windows all the way around the room. He would turn off the
lights at different times of the day and the jungle would look in at

He had 11 wheels, most consisted of his Jepson Pro Station. We used a
number of prototypes of the early product and it was interesting to see
the evolution of the product. Some wheels needed a little finesse, but
worked fine. His Pro Station was a great system, and could be easily
configured into any setup.

Whew !!! what a week!

The first day of the class was very basic. He had us doing simple
throwing techniques, primarily giving him to opportunity to gauge the
experience level of each individual. Tuesday was much more advanced for
a number of us who had throwing experience. We moved on to mugs,
pictures and pulling handles. Wednesday was a much needed slow day, we
went to Axner and saw their operation and came back to more throwing
techniques. Thursday was additional advanced throwing techniques
including lidded jars, lids, faceting and goblet cups. Friday we fit in
everything that we didn't cover including wine goblets, plates, platters
and large pots.

Overall the class was excellent. I had never taken a formal workshop
before and Stephen kept the ball rolling. By Friday evening I had
realized that I had taken over 25 pages of notes. Lots of stuff and he
is definitely a teacher. He keep everyone throwing and focusing on
specific projects. Overall I felt his focus was getting you to throw
lighter, taller and faster while thinking about good form.

He has a great setup for production pottery and makes everything look
easy. It definitely built up my confidence and yesterday I compared a
number of pots before and after the class, and overall, I would say that
I'm throwing at least 100% lighter.

We had a number of hand builders in the class and many comments were
made about how they were going to need to spend more time on the wheel.
This was a great class to take you to the next plateau for throwing. I
would recommend it highly to anyone who has hit a brick wall technically
and creatively with their pottery. Stephen made it interesting and
fun. I have a new outlook on pottery and hope this will last another 5


Jolee Chartrand on wed 10 mar 99

Hi John & thanks for the report. I'm taking Stephen's class the first
week in May and am a little anxious. Its good to know that he works
well with people with all levels of experience. I was hoping to get a
trip to Axner's in (need a few things) and it sounds like a break is in
order. Thanks to your report I'm feeling much more comfortable.

Jolee Chartrand