With great joy, [my son] texted me a picture of his pumpkin yesterday.  I, honestly, was overcome with pride and emotion.  From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for your support.  He is so proud of himself for his effort and the results he is seeing in your class.  I think that the success he has found working with the clay is emblematic for the growth he is experiencing as a freshman.  In your class, he has come to appreciate that he really, truly, can learn and be successful at something for which he initially felt he had no confidence, skills, or abilities.  He was talking yesterday about his plans to take ceramics II because he really likes you, he likes working with the clay, and your class is fun.  He then proceeded to pick up a clay dish he had made in elementary school, criticizing the cracks, lack of symmetry, etc.  I had tremendous apprehension when the semester began.  However, the fact that he is trying, really trying, and finding a modicum of success means so much to him.  Thank you for your patience and teaching.  You gently have pushed him to do more, try more, be more, and expect more.  Without being overly dramatic, ceramics has given him valuable life lessons.”—Julie C.

I loved your article in the newsletter. The kids don't get enough of what they are learning about in your class, and I do not necessarily mean just ceramics. Persevering, dealing with failure and revising and figuring things out. Thank you so much for what you do. I think your class will be one of the most important and memorable of James' high school time at Brentwood.  I loved his quote at the end. I wish more creating like this was done in other classes. As a parent, this is what I am looking for my children to experience.” —Bob K.

I am so in love with this set of beautiful blue and white serving pieces! Thank you for challenging my son as an artist and as a person.  Thank you for your guidance and patience. I really hope he goes on to take ceramics 3.  He loves it so much. I am so grateful that he had you as a teacher.
Have a wonderful summer!
” Abby K.

“Chuck and I so enjoyed meeting you last week. It was such a treat to have that little one on one time with you. Thank you for sharing the beautiful video with us once again. I can't watch it enough. What a lucky girl Alexis is to have this class and especially you Michele, helping to guide her through the creative process. Have a wonderful week! Many thanks.  —Terri K.

“Thank you so much for sharing that video with us, it was so beautiful to watch (over and over again)... With such a demanding academic and athletic schedule, it really warms our hearts to know that these students have the opportunity to work with their hands to create, and hopefully "wind down" as well, if that's possible, while working with clay.” It seems like a wonderful class which results in a hand finished beautiful creation, which must be satisfying to the students. It certainly gives us much joy to watch.”  —Kathie & Gary T.

“The pumpkins are amazing!  It is such a nice gesture to dedicate them to cancer. Now I can see why Riley and Dylan are loving ceramics! Have a wonderful weekend & Halloween!”  —Tracie A.

Thank you so much for this great video. We thoroughly enjoyed it! We couldn't be happier seeing Grey explore his artistic side. Thanks again.”  –Lani F.

“Thank you so much for sharing that with us--what a fun class. I loved Liam's pumpkin creation! Many thanks.”  –Avril A.

Thank you so much for the video. I really enjoyed watching it. And thank you for all you do to teach our kids. Best, –Kathy P.


“When I saw the ceramics show I was so happy! I loved the class and learned so much. I was honored to have my piece in the show! Thanks again for such an awesome semester. —Tara N.

“I have to say you are an amazing teacher. You are the master of ceramics. You know how to nudge someone in the right direction on any project. The first time I saw you on the wheel I was amazed by how effortlessly you could work the clay and create anything you envision. You know so much about clay. I can tell from all the jokes we shared during the the animal project that you have a really good sense of humor. You are really nice and know how to treat people especially when it comes to what one says about them. You believed in me, not only in my work in class, but also in sports."  —Terence H.  

“I’ve learned to be patient, find a solution and express myself through my own art. I thought this was going to be an easy class, but it introduced me to so much more.”  —Cesar N.

Ceramics really challenges my artistic ability that I didn’t even think I possessed.”  –Robbie E.

“I really enjoy the throwing aspect of my ceramics class. The throwing helps me relieve some stress after a tough day.”  —Sam T.


“I've toured two separate families in the past two days, and each perambulation included a peek at the beautiful ceramics display in the gallery. I must say, your students have once again helped us show off our campus! The work is simply spectacular, and each family has been most impressed. We've spent quality time viewing every piece -- a stunning collection, and a real treat. I congratulate you on an amazing show! Best,”—Patsy Noah

“As always, the work is awesome. I already told some of the students. Thank you for displaying their work.”  —Donnie Todd

“The display in the gallery is wonderful. I truly enjoyed seeing the variety of work. Thank you for bringing out the talents of so many students. Their work is beautiful.
Congratulations to them and you!”  –Dawn Cunnion

“Absolutely wonderful show! There are some amazing pieces in the exhibit, and overall it feels like you have again raised the bar. Well done. Thank you.”  —Mike Riera

“WOW! Amazing job. Tell your students their work is worthy of being collected! I wish I had my VISA Card : )”  –Alex Donis

“Love seeing the pumpkins in the lobby! It makes it feel so personal!”  —Amy Hollis

“LOVE THE PUMPKINS! Absolutely beautiful, whimsical, fun, and artistic. Thank you for having the students create these, and for taking the time to display them throughout the school. Very nice.”  —Bob Cooke

“This is your best display of pumpkins yet! I love the color of the pumpkins, the shapes, and the faces!!”  —Daniel Gannon

“The pumpkin ceramics with the rainbow bands look beautiful. Thank you for doing this. Thanks for supporting GSA”.  —Asako Kurosako-Jost

“I have been meaning to let you know sooner how much I like the Ceramics show. I really enjoyed my visits to the gallery. I have gone back three times. The work appears increasingly more sophisticated in concept and execution. Personally I like the addition that I see to the variety in glaze colors, techniques and application. Also I like the way that you chose to install and lay out the work.”  –Mike Knight

"We just wanted to thank you for giving us the opportunity to learn from you. We all had a wonderful experience and we appreciated that you put up with our silliness and excitement. P.S. The pumpkins look amazing!”  –AP Art History Class, Corry Newman 

“Thank you for letting me sit in on your Ceramics class today.  There were so many wonderful things to observe.  I especially appreciated your taking me around to each student and describing what level they are at and how their projects were evolving.  I'm glad we spent time discussing the stages of completing a piece, because I never before considered the psychological effect on an artist of accepting the changes a piece goes through before completion. Near the end of class I even got to see you demonstrate correct technique--effortlessly.  Your expertise in your field is so readily apparent in your student's work, from what I observed in class, to the ceramics show in the gallery, to the All-School Art Show.  Thank you again for letting me sit in on a stimulating and motivating class.”  —Hank Koransky


“Ceramics with Ms. Ogilvie is one of the most popular art classes at Brentwood. Some students select art courses looking for a break from the rigors of academic classes, while others search for a class that will test their skills and present a new challenge. Ceramics addresses all of those desires.

The skills required for the increasingly difficult levels of ceramics achievement are intricate and sophisticated. For those students who rise to the highest levels of ceramics, the work product is as skilled as one would find at established fine arts institutes.

Those seemingly unrelated elements—patience, intensity, and the ability to learn something about one’s self while acquiring new skills –are the most valuable and unique qualities of fine arts studies in general, and the ceramics program is symbolic of Brentwood School’s excellence.”  —2012 Yearbook

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