Testimonials

TESTIMONIALS FOR STEPHEN JEPSON & JEPSON POTTERY VIDEOS & WORKSHOPS

Workshop testimonials and recommendations:

“WOW and more WOWS. This is  how I felt after doing five workshop days with Stephen Jepson.  I am a potter and a ceramics teacher at a community college and have attended many workshops, ceramic demos and have even worked with a production potter to get the feel for that side of pottery making.  Jepson took me back to the beginning of throwing on the wheel much to my hesitation, but I learned the Jepson way to throw and it is much better and makes great sense for throwing any type of pottery.  I immediately began teaching my advanced students the Jepson method and the students had great results with less physical efforts. The best part was the workshop was in my studio as Jepson came and stayed, thus it was very economical. It does not matter if you have been making pottery for thirty years or three days, you will learn so much, all you need is an open mind and start from the beginning of the Jepson throwing method. By the way i am seventy years old, still teaching, making pottery, and still learning pottery methods. Stephen Jepson’s workshop is the BEST of the BEST. If you only do one workshop.  I highly recommend Stephen Jepson’s workshop, potter to potter, teacher to teacher.”

Don Fethkenher   College Professor

 

“Last summer a friend and I hired Stephen Jepson for a 5-day workshop at my friend’s home. I have been to several commercial workshops around the country, and even twice in Italy, but I didn’t know what to expect when we hired Stephen as our private tutor. To my absolute delight, the week with Stephen turned out to be my best workshop experience ever.  Stephen brings years of experience to both his teaching and throwing methods, which he shared with us in detail. Although I have been throwing clay for many years, I learned tricks about the very basic steps of centering, pulling, and trimming that I have now incorporated into my own work, as well as more advanced techniques for items ranging from teapots to very large vessels. Stephen also designs and sells tools, some of which now reside my toolbox. But a tool functions better with the correct technique for use as intended by the designer. What a treat to have the designer at my side, correcting my incorrect angles and tentative motions.  And last, but not least, is Stephen’s personality- warm, caring, nurturing, and enthusiastic- all traits of a great teacher. Stephen entertained us with many stories, and his philosophy of how to keep the brain and body young is not to be missed. Since he lives what he extolls, he is the best example of the efficacy of his philosophy.

 Don’t miss a chance to have Stephen grace your life. You will not regret your decision.”

Nancy Huefler

 

“Words of praise for Stephen Jepson:

 In one week with Stephen Jepson, my growth as a studio potter was exponential! He came to my studio in The Bahamas and hit the ground running, giving me practical tips on how to rearrange my studio for greater efficiency right away. 

 As for my throwing skills, had you looked at a bowl of mine thrown the week before his instruction and one from the week after, there is no way you would be convinced that the same potter made both bowls, or that such improvement had occurred in the span of a matter of days. 

 Stephen met all of the learning objectives that he outlined at the start of my training, and he was a pleasure to work with. There was no anxiety, and no sense of pressure – all of the training flowed seamlessly from one day to the next and I was able to acquire skills without over-analyzing the ‘how to’ aspect of anything. It just felt like he was uncovering skills that were already there – but would have taken many more hours of trial and error to develop had I not had the advantage of his relaxed method of teaching. I ended up calling my week with him “The Jepson Intensive.”  If you are considering it, I can say with confidence that you won’t regret deciding to take a Jepson Intensive yourself!”

Lisa Codella,  143 Pottery, Bahamas

 

“I have used your video as both introduction and backups. It’s well-organized – easy to understand – clearly presented and non-threatening to the beginners. This is the area – beginner’s wheel work that is so difficult to explain in one class and your video is available all the time for the students. I have to teach 3 levels of ceramics at once and it’s as if I had an assistant in the classroom! (Also, a better thrower than I!) I was hoping that you would make more – many students can pay attention to a TV and not a live human. (Early childhood training). I have benefited from your teaching techniques.”

Hannah Metzger, Instructor, Cuzahoga Community College, Highland Hills, Cleveland, Ohio

 

“Watching your video has helped me a lot, because of watching your technique and you explaining me right through the process. I have successfully completed my first doggie dish. Thanks for showing us the right way to hold the clay and the right tools to use and when to use them,”

Kevin Risner, Grade 11, Mount Dora High School

 

“The introduction to throwing video is incredible. I have learned more from it than I have learned from a single source in my life. I can’t believe that I struggled for almost two years to learn what you are able to teach so quickly.”

Linda Samuel, Effingham, IL.

 

“Jepson is a patient and confidence-inspiring teacher, and his innate love of the clay medium is obvious. These videos are appropriate for both institutional and public library video collections, and should appeal to artisans high school age and up.”

ABC Clio Rating Guide for Libraries with Video Librarian

 

“I am so happy that someone has finally stated plainly some clear cut steps for beginning potters. Center, open, set bottom, raise wall, compress rim. Pottery making has never been so logical. My pottery has definitely improved since I watched your view. I’ve lent it to several people in my class and they had visible improvement in their work as well. You are also the first instructor who told me what tools I need and what they are used for. Thank you for all your help.”

Carrie Anderson, Kensington CT

 

“I just ordered five more of your wonderful videos after watching your Introduction to Throwing tape. I have bought books and more books; they helped some and were “mind informative”, but not “hands informative”. Your video made all the difference.”

Vicki Kohl, Richmond VA

 

TESTIMONIALS FOR JEPSON TOOLS:

“Prior to using Jepson’s stainless steel rib # C, I struggled to get a nice shape inside, the one continuous curve concept eluded me. I never dreamed how easy it could be to make a bowl.”

Mike Lester, Mt Dora, FL

“I have several of your Jepson stainless steel profile tools. I use them on mugs to get a nice, clean contour. I am able to achieve results quite quickly.”

Judy Morgan, Chicago IL

“I use your edge tools to give a nice, professional edge to the top and the bottom of my pots.”

Tom Shafer, Geneva FL

TESTIMONIALS FOR INDIVIDUAL INSTRUCTION:

 

A POTTERS REVIEW OF THE BENEFITS OF PERSONALIZED TUTORING BY STEPHEN JEPSON BY ROBERT MITCHELL, PLANT CITY, FL

Many of us have not been working with our pottery for 46 years. The benefits of learning from someone else’s experience instead of figuring it out ourselves, is what I would call a “no brainer.”

In hindsight, being self taught simply means that I wasted a great deal of time learning skills that an experienced instructor could have shown me in clays instead of months of trial and error. The question is, “Do you want to move ahead with your pottery career as well as new enthusiasm, or spend hours learning what an experienced person could show you in minutes‘?” That question, also, seems to be a no-brainer.

Stephen Jepson is not only a talented, experienced potter, he is also an instructor. l have 32 years of experience as a certified public schoolteacher, so l know a little about the subject. Having talent does not insure that an individual can instruct effectively. They are different dimensions. You have to have both the talent as well as instructional qualities to be an effective teacher. Stephen has both qualities. He recently spent 5 days at my home with full days of instruction and hands-on experience. I had earlier purchased some ot his Instructional CD’s, so I was comfortable with paying the money required to justify his time.I That was an excellent “screening” tool to justify my spending this time learning as well.

An aside is that he has retired and isn’t offering classes at his studio. An individual’s benefit of this is that his time is undivided in improving the potter’s skills from the point where she or he is when Stephen arrives.

We not only worked on improving my skills, but also, being VERY important to me, made my studio much more efficient Another nice thing about his approach to teaching and improving my studio is that, after teaching hours during the dqy we went to Home Depot in the evening and bought necessary materials, and did the work some evenings, and mornings before “class.” I was not with a large “to do” list which would not be something to look forward to.

A major improvement to my studio was his helping me to set up my wheel to use while standing. (An aside is that I stood to pot when my (replaced) hip got so bad it was quite painful to even sit.) Maybe you were trained and used to sitting, but, believe me. you are likely to outlast your back if you continue sitting. ln looking at pottery history you will notice that few of the “older” potters are sitting. They are usually standing or leaning at an upright treadle wheel or facsimile.

Stephen showed me how to determine the proper ergonomic height for my wheei, and then we built the stand. As an additional part, we made a hand “throttle” for controlling the wheel speed which was right at the top of the splash pan. With this simple, cheap (one piece of thin oak strip). modification, you don’t have to frequently shift weight while standing and fiddle with the proper wheel speed. It is done with the touch of a finger!

He showed me how to make a simple (cardboard prototype) trimmings catcher for my wheel. Now I am not spraying trimmings in a 360 degree are around my wheel! (No splash pan really catches these trimmings.)

I can now look forward to going out to my studio: feeling much more comfortable and competent with my throwing skills. He “tuned up” my throwing skills, as well as setting up practice lessons when he was through.

If you are more advanced than me: or less. you can benefit. He demonstrates a skill while you watch, and then you practice it briefly. Having some of his CD‘s will provide a review of many of the lessons he shows you because you cannot remember all of the details. I took a few notes. but you can’t do much of that and pay attention to what he is showing you. Stephen’s instructional CD’s have a new meaning now that l have had his lessons,

in closing, I would like to mention one special benefit which made ail of time and money more than worthwhile One of his main pottery rules is to, “Use clay as soft as possible while still achieving the desired results.” Working the new clay available to me, even after thorough wedging, was always hard on my hands. Even new clay (which had to sit in the warehouses after being mixed still caused me a good bit of pain in my hands and arms). I knew ways to soften the clay by slicing and pushing pockets in it with my thumb and putting water in it to soak. but this was just plain impractical for me. Now that I followed Stephen’s instructions‘ t have buckets of stored, softer clay available to me daily without the pain and aggravation of working it. having it still hard to throw, and then being hard again the next time I came back from a trip. This created sunshine in my studio instead of a rain cloud.

It is my experienced opinion that your pottery will simply be more fun for you after having Stephen’s competent instruction. It’s your time; I recommend you use it wisely.

The below note is from my wife who helped and supported me during this very busy week with ail of our “household” tasks. She also does ceramic sculptural “diversions” in our newly built studio.

“As a retired science teacher of 30 years, who truly loved what she did, I was able to observe Stephen‘:-1 teaching style and relate to it. Stephen puts forth a great deal of enthusiasm and energy in teaching pottery techniques. He was able to maintain this enthusiasm. day after day (he worked with my husband over a 5 day period) from morning to night That enthusiasm and energy is a sure sign of someone who loves what he does and does it well.‘

ELAINE ROURKE, TITUSVILLE FL

 

The pottery instruction from Stephen Jepson is the best money I have ever spent on art of any kind!

To say that Stephen Jepson is a great teacher would be a massive understatement! I have been a “master teacher” in public secondary schools for over 15 years, so i should know! In every aspect, he is professional, kind and considerate. He is very thorough in his instructions, both technical and artistic– even for a beginning potter like me. He gave some wonderful demos, then walked me through the “hows” and the “whys” so I could and did make the pieces myself. I found his enthusiasm a delight, as well as his jokes, stories and songs. Stephen has a zany sense of humor and makes pottery so much fun!

I went from just barely being able to throw a lop-sided dog dish to turning out beautiful cylinders, bowls, and cups—-all in the space of one very full week. He was quick to share his ideas, tools, videos, custom equipment and tips that only years of working with clay and the pottery industry could accumulate. He also shared his very valuable clay collection so I could see and closely inspect the work of other potters. His love of clay and pottery is clearly evident!

In addition, Stephen Jepson has some wonderful ideas on longevity, recipes, balancing exercises, skateboarding and life in general. He not only kept me fully engaged for the duration of our pottery ttme . together, but kept the entire neighborhood entertained and talking with new ideas!

Stephen Jepson is an amazing man and one you will not likely forget! If you are considering lessons from him, feel free to call me and I will give you more accolades!

SHARON ISIKOFF, TITUSVILLE FL

 

Do you want to rapidly improve your throwing skills? Do you want to do it with a teacher Who is positive and inspiring? You could not do better than to spend time with Stephen Jepson. His teaching technique is clear and concise, and produces great results. In five days with him I learned to throw everything from plates to teapots. mugs to goblets bowls and vases as big and tall and thin as I want.

I went from a beginner, with lumpy lopsided heavy pieces, to someone who can throw nearly anything including ten different styles of pot lids that actually fit the pots they were made for. The week after I finished my course I threw my own first teapot. More importantly, the experience of learning from him was a joy. I never felt pressured, just positively reinforced until I got it right. It was worth single penny. Yes, his videos are great too, but having him in person to watch his hands and model yours was the fastest and best way to improve proficiency that I could imagine.

Testimonials for Stephen Jepson & Jepson Pottery.

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