Arts and Entertainment

Professional potters stir interest among ceramics students

By Ally Dellheim and Julia MacKenzie
Published: October 2010

Professional potter Jeremy Ogusky came to South on September 30 to teach the students currently enrolled in ceramics.
Ogusky was a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho, South Africa. As well as coordinating HIV/AIDS community programs and educating on public health, Ogusky also worked with local dibopi, or potters, to create pottery workshops. He shared techniques and learned from local potters.
Ogusky has always been passionate about pottery. He believes in creating functional and simple objects that are utilitarian enough to be incorporated into daily life. Ogusky’s passion for pottery extends from his belief of the deep significance of fired clay.
Ogusky’s visit to South elicited positive responses from many students. As a professional potter and social activist, Ogusky was the perfect mentor for South’s pottery students. His passion was infectious, sparking excitement and interest in the students.
During the week of October 18, another potter joined South pottery teacher Karen Sobin-Jonash in her ceramics classes. Megan Hergrueter, a Newton resident, was invited to lead a hand building demonstration as part of the Empty Bowls fundraiser.
Hergrueter takes a different approach to pot-making. While Ogusky uses the wheel to make pots, Hergrueter prefers to use the “pinch-pot method. Neither method is necessarily better, and exposing students to both provides them with a variety of methods to learn from.
Hergrueter has been a potter for many years, both making pots independently and teaching classes at her home. She participates in several sales a year and shows her work in a few retail stores.
She showed students how to make pinch-pots by evenly pinching and controlling the clay. Hergrueter focused on teaching about potting with no wheel and very few tools. After a 15-minute demonstration, she answered questions and helped students make their own pots.
Hergrueter foresees returning to present again in coming years. “Having had three kids graduate from South, I am more than willing to continue to volunteer if possible, Hergrueter said.
South’s ceramics teachers hold positive feelings about the guest teachers and their influence on ceramics students at South.
“Sometimes, when another person comes and tells a student something, it may only click when they hear it from someone new, Sobin-Jonash said.
Variety in instruction and style is important in all art classes in general. South two- and three-dimensional art teacher Megan Crist favors exposing students to different approaches to art.
“As a teacher, I need to help support all learning styles, and through having different people, with varying teaching styles, I can have that happen, Crist said.

Read more

Like it? Share it!


Copyright © Denebola | The Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School | 140 Brandeis Road, Newton, MA 02459.
Site designed by Chenzhe Cao.